Non-profits, stronger working together

By John Bailey

Collaboration is a big part of the non-profit world.

A family goes to one agency in need of food assistance and they also get a referral to a second agency for help with transportation.


Someone is looking for help caring for an elderly relative from one program and then gets a referral for additional help with preparing their taxes.

The first thing you learn when you dedicate your time to helping others is that it takes a lot of hands to move a boulder, successfully, up a hill.

This is why, a cornerstone of the United Way’s focus every year is working to increase the organized capacity of people to help others. It's why the Catawba County United Way takes part in as many collective non-profit conversations as it can.

An example of this kind of collaborative effort in Catawba County is the Interagency Council meeting held the second Thursday of every month.

For years, it has been an opportunity for dozens of local agencies to share updates in programing and events and to reach out when they needed help or advice on an issue.

Highlights from this month’s meeting included:

Western Piedmont COG - Area Agency on Aging: Funds available to purchase food for seniors. Call 828-485-4257 for more information.

Council on Adolescents Mentoring Program: Now have 40 virtual lunch buddies for mentoring program. Take out for Teens fundraiser on Feb. 25. Deadline to register is Feb. 18.

ALFA (AIDS Leadership Foothills Area Alliance): Now offers HIV, HepC, and STI testing, and also provides COVID-19 testing.

Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry: Use coordinated entry or 211 to enter clients into Back at Home housing program.

The Children's Resource Center: Currently compiling a list of summer programs for kids.

Family Guidance Center: Expanding to new street homeless outreach program. Domestic violence shelter at capacity.

Catawba County Council on Aging:  AARP Tax-Aide Free Tax Preparation-phone for appointments will be available starting January 19th. Number is 828-358-4669, Mon-Fri 9 am to 1 pm. Food pantry open. Make a vaccine appointment in person, Catawba County Public Health will be at the West Hickory Senior Center (400 17th Street SW) on Tuesday, Feb. 16 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Catawba County Partnership for Children: There are openings for NC Pre-K.

Children's Advocacy & Protection Center: Taking nominations for Children’s Protection Award. Information at… Nominations are due on Friday, Feb. 26. Planning Denim and Diamond Fundraiser for April 24.

City of Hickory: Doing a study on services for disabled in the county, looking for gaps,

Conflict Resolution Center: Program receives referrals from schools or Juvenile Justice, but due to Covid, those numbers have been limited. Serves with truancy mediation, juvenile conflict mediation, anger management/conflict resolution classes, and I run a Restorative Justice program that provides circle conferences for juveniles with behavioral issues & Family Group Conferencing for families in conflict. 

Nu-Dimensions/Youth Build Program: Nu-Dimensions YouthBuild Program has a website and social media sites.  They are, Website: We have approval to take a percentage of our number of required participants form neighboring counties.  So if you have youth in neighboring counties interested in YouthBuild, please give them my contact information

Senior Nutrition Services: Hoping to return to hot meal deliveries soon and the service is available to disabled adults as well.

Open Door Homeless Relief Program: Will host a hygiene distribution day on Feb. 20 at the GHCCM’s Whole Life Center.

Family Service Worker, I-CARE Inc. Head Start: Accepting pre-school applications for next year.

Greenway Public Transportation: Currently reviewing proposed route changes in Catawba County. Visit for all information.

Safe Harbor: Offering more Life Skill classes in Safe Harbor’s community center. Also offer AA meetings on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Call 828-326-7233 for information.

WPCOG RHA: Office remains closed to public, but in coming weeks will be making a push to reach out to those on wait list for housing vouchers.

CVCC/Student Advocacy: College hosting special Black History Month film series on Feb. 15 and 16.

Christian Food Pantry of Sherrills Ford: Provide food and clothing free of charge to people in the Sherrills Ford/Terrell/Catawba areas assist people with information on additional resources if needed. Served 480 last year.

Sipe’s Orchard Home: Transitional living program at capacity. Two boys will be looking to move into their own places in mid-March.

Hickory Soup Kitchen: currently in need of volunteers with food prep. Call 828-327-4828.

The Interagency Council is just one example of collaboration among non-profits in Catawba County the CCUW is part of every month.

There is Housing Visions, Citizens Corps, Senior Information Resources, Catawba Alliance for Recovery, Emergency Assistance Network, County Community Providers and the Christmas Bureau, to name a few.

Every day the non-profits that make up these groups work together to help those in need right here in Catawba County.

For the Catawba County United Way, it’s a privilege to be part of such a vast and caring family. To learn more about any of these groups and how they impact our community, call the CCUW at 828-327-6851.