Next time someone asks you to contribute to the United Way of Lincoln County, keep their annual Day of Action in mind. The United Way, by helping to fund 14 community partner agencies, provides much to improve our community and meet its needs year-round. Not familiar with those partner agencies? You can find a list at https://www.unitedwayoflincolncounty.org/our-community-partners.
Each year, communities around the world come together to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live. United Way of Lincoln County is proud to participate and has always held a Day of Action searching for ways to address community needs in education, income inequality and health.
Last year, over a hundred volunteers from more than 50 businesses and organizations participated in the Day of Action creating a community garden for the Oaklawn community and a nature trail and park at the Hesed House of Hope. A school supply drive was also held to help provide supplies for needy kids for back-to-school. The 2018 Day of Action also involved work at the Oaklawn Community Center.
In 2017, volunteers for the Day of Action worked to improve the Asbury Resource Center, which had been created by the 2016 Day of Action. The ARC served over 4,300 students in Lincoln County this past school year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, with the pandemic making a project requiring multiple volunteers working at a location a potential health hazard, the United Way asked individuals, clubs, churches and businesses who wanted to help to hold their own Day of Action, collecting non-perishable food items, hygiene products, school supplies and other supplies for the West Lincoln Resource Center at West Lincoln Middle School.
This week, a limited number of volunteers at the West Lincoln Resource Center did the physical work, installing shelves and appliances, stocking the center with donated items.
The project was started last October with plans to complete the distribution center by Easter of 2020--but then came the pandemic. Thanks to the way the community responded again this year, most of the project is now complete. Additional plans include Christian Ministries opening a satellite office to help individuals without transportation to get to the city to complete the application process to meet their needs and help with crisis assistance. `
For now, the Day of Action has once again served a community need--something the United Way does through partner agencies and special projects all year long. Many held their own Day of Action collection events, collecting non-perishable items, hygiene products, school supplies and other supplies, then took them to the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, which served as a collection point.
Special thank you's are in order to the many who participated--either by holding events or otherwise doing collections for the WLRC, for those who gave cash contributions, and for those who were a part of the group working at the center on three days this past week. We will surely miss some, and for that we apologize, but we know that you helped because you wanted to do it for your community--not just to be recognized, so thank you!
The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce served as a collection point where people could drop off donations. Jim Studdard, the president of the Chamber, and Lisa Ormsby deserve a special note of thanks. Thank you also to the other major sponsors--Lincoln County Schools, Duke Energy & Publix.
Franky Mendez was the first manager of the Publix supermarket when it opened in Denver in 2018. He's since been transferred to another store, but he still went the extra mile by arranging for Publix to donate shelving for the center.
Duke Energy donated two refrigerators and other shelving.
Technibilt of Lincolnton donated four shopping carts.
Howard's Creek Fire Dept. washed down the shelves to make sure they didn't transfer any coronavirus.
Lincoln County Schools provided help from multiple individuals, among them West Lincoln Middle School principal Dr. Nathan McLean.
Special thanks also to Daniel Hipps of Duke Energy, Assistant City Manager Richie Haynes, Wayne Vinzant, Walter Clark, Lincoln County EMS, Atrium Health, Bank of America, H.D. Reid, Marsh Ivey, Kamden Hollar, Cathy Davis, Susie Helt, and Janet Lopez.
"When they see a need, the people of Lincoln County are always quick to respond," said United Way Executive Director Kathy Vinzant.