Letter: United Way steps up to help during COVID-19

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 6, 2020

The stated mission of the Rowan County United Way is “to lead the community by mobilizing resources making a lasting impact for those in need and shape a better future for everyone.”

They have proven without a doubt during this COVID-19 crisis that their mission statement is more than words. It is a promise they have kept with the community.

Over the past few months, as nonprofits, have struggled to aid all those who needed assistance, our United Way has been there to offer support.

I can only speak directly about our agency, Nazareth Child and Family Connection, but I believe our experience is the same as many others in Rowan County.

The Family Foster Care program at Nazareth is a vital part of what we do and, with the financial struggles created by COVID-19, we were concerned that the program would be impacted. But the United Way of Rowan County made sure that those vulnerable, at-risk children were not affected.

COVID has created especially difficult time for foster parents. Without school, they had to find daycare and ways to replace meals missed because school was closed. It was cost prohibitive for some. But the United Way awarded Nazareth a grant that allowed us to increase the stipend licensed foster parents receive for meals and household expenses.

We were faced with the possibility of cancelling our fall foster parent instructional classes because we couldn’t hold in-person classes. But the United Way awarded us a grant that allowed us to teach the classes virtually. This will result in several new foster families gaining their state license to begin providing a home and help for at-risk children.

I have always appreciated the job Rowan County United Way does for our community; I think most of us have. But never have so many needed them for such a long time. As always, they honored their mission. And we all should be very thankful.

— Vernon Walters Jr.


Editor’s note: Walters is president and CEO of Nazareth Child and Family Connection.