April 16, 2021
"To increase the organized capacity of people to help others."
News & Resources
Rethinking mentoring in a virtual world – CCUW funded partners

By John Bailey

Is the internet connection going to work?
Are students going to remember to unmute their microphones?
Are they going to get the link they need?
These were some of the challenges The Council on Adolescents (COA) faced with its Lunch Buddy Mentoring program when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and forced schools to move to remote learning last March.
With more than a year of COVID-19 behind us, the Catawba County United Way (CCUW) began checking back in with its funded partners to see how lasting the pandemic’s impact has been on them.
Every year, the CCUW focuses on finding and supporting local programs that help youth achieve their potential. In 2020, the CCUW helped fund two Council on Adolescents programs: Healthy Youth Education and Lunch Buddy Mentoring.
Now, with school districts transitioning to four days of in-school instruction this April, there is hope this will mean positive changes for the Lunch Buddy program.
The Lunch Buddy Program began in 2011 and focuses on helping at-risk middle school youth in Catawba County, Hickory Public and Newton-Conover City Schools. In recent years, it expanded into high schools and sixth grade.
The strength of the Lunch Buddy program is its ability to connect youth with mentors who can encourage them onto a healthy, positive path, a task difficult enough when you can sit down and talk face to face. The loss of being in person with students meant the COA had to find a new way for its mentors to still make that connection in a world becoming more and more remote after last spring.
“We’re seeing these students need these mentors more than ever,” COA Executive Director Jordan Ledford said. “The pandemic has affected us all, but the way it has affected the students and the things they have seen, a lot of them don’t have great home lives anyway, and the pandemic just multiplied that.”

Visit THIS LINK for the rest of this story.

Check back next Friday at https://www.ccunitedway.com/news to learn about how 2-1-1 has helped connect those in need with local housing programs.

Purchase food online using EBT Cards at Publix Super Markets
North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services participants can now purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards at an additional authorized online EBT retailer, Publix Super Markets Inc. This flexibility will allow participants to buy food while promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will help families with transportation and mobility barriers.
For more details visit THIS LINK.
How much does it cost to live in Catawba County?
Curious about what it costs for a family of four to live in Catawba County?
The United Way’s Money Needs Calculator can help shine some light on this issue, using a wide lens to view total monthly expenses.
The calculator factors in the cost of housing, food, child care, healthcare, transportation among other related expenses.
In this example, a family of two adults with one school-aged child and one teenager would require a monthly income of $3,585 to live comfortably in Catawba County.
For more details visit THIS LINK.
If you or someone you know is looking for help meeting any of these needs,
call 2-1-1, the health and human services information line provided by United Way of North Carolina.
Catawba County United Way is one of several community partners who help fund the NC 211 program.
United Way delivers donated facemasks, school supplies to CCS
Maria Ballard Director of Student Services at Catawba County Schools recently had a visit from the the Catawba County United Way's John Bailey who dropped off boxes of school supplies recently donated by Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry.
It was an early distribution of the CCUW's annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive. The full drive begins in July. Keep checking back for more details and Thank You ECCCM for helping to get a jump on the collection.
The Catawba County United Way also dropped off boxes of KN95 facemasks donated by Nocqua Adventure Gear.
Several area United Way’s recently received infrared thermometers along with the masks to be distributed to local community partners. Thank You Nocqua Adventure Gear.
To learn more about the Catawba County United Way's mission visit ccunitedway.com or call 828-327-6851.
April news from local non-profit agencies
Check out some of the information shared by the different organizations who attended this week's
Interagency Council meeting.
The group of local non-profits meet every second Thursday of the month.
To learn more about Interagency, email Council President Jamie Brown at jamiebrown@sipesorchardhome.org or Council Secretary John Bailey at jbailey@ccunitedway.com.
Click on the attached photos to see all the shared flyers from the meeting, or visit THIS LINK.
The power of local volunteers like you
Give an hour. Give a Saturday. Give your best.
We all have special talents. Things we can do to help. And when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all.
Whether it’s reading to children, or leading financial literacy classes for hard-working families, or delivering meals to homebound seniors, there are hundreds of volunteer options available every day.
Call the Catawba County United Way if you'd like help finding your volunteer spot - 828-327-6851 or visit https://www.ccunitedway.com/volunteer
Looking for help in Catawba County, remember NC 211
Remember if you or someone you know needs help call 2-1-1 or visit nc211.org.
NC 211 is the health and human services information line provided by United Way of North Carolina.
Catawba County United Way is one of several community partners who help fund this program.
In the last year, more than 200,000 calls were made to 2-1-1 for help.
More than 70,000 called looking for help with housing and shelter and more than 39,000 asking for help with utility bills and more than 20,000 seeking help finding food resources. Dial 2-1-1 or visit nc211.org.
For more than 75 years, the Catawba County United Way has been dedicated to increasing the capacity of people to help others. To learn more about the CCUW's mission contact us at 828-327-6851 or visit ccunitedway.com.