Updated: Jul 14
The public health and financial impacts of the pandemic continue to create enormous distress for many North Carolina families. Recent research revealed that low-income and lower-middle class families, as well as families of color, experienced more instrumental and financial hardships due to the pandemic, when compared to their higher income, White counterparts.
The North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA) is a pillar to ensure low-income and vulnerable North Carolinians have the resources to survive the ongoing pandemic and beyond. The initiatives launched by our agencies continue to uplift and support the mission of NCCAA. NCCAA invites individuals and organizations to donate to their local community action agencies as the first step in advancing the work to combat poverty. The support of donations and partnerships are a driving force in expanding the work that keeps many low-income individuals afloat.
Programs like NCCAA’s Healthy Home Initiative, Duke Energy Helping Home Fund, Duke Energy Weatherization Program, and The Duke Endowment have been instrumental in assisting qualifying families prior to and throughout the pandemic. The Healthy Homes initiative is a partnership between NCCAA and BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina that provides individuals with up to $2,500 in home repairs.
The Duke Energy Helping Home Fund and the Duke Energy Weatherization Program provides funds to install energy-saving upgrades to households with incomes below the federal poverty level. The program helps decrease the financial burden associated with high-energy costs.
Through a COVID-19 relief grant from The Duke Endowment, NCCAA has provided funding to its network of community action agencies to help address the basic needs of low-income families. Community action agencies have utilized the funds to help clients stay afloat by paying rent and utility bills, securing transportation, paying for childcare and food, among other necessities.
To further assist families impacted by the pandemic, NCCAA has curated a community-wide drive-through event to provide no-cost goods and information. To date, The Big Pop UpTM has served more than 5,000 families in the Raleigh, Statesville and Hertford areas. During the events, participants are required to remain in their vehicles while volunteers place household goods, food supplies, personal items and more.
On July 29, the Charlotte Area Fund will host The Big Pop Up at The Park Expo and Conference Center, 800 Briar Creek Rd, Charlotte, NC 28205. Distribution will start at 10 a.m. and last until supplies are gone. The event is open to the public at no cost on a first come, first served basis. Additional pop-up events are scheduled for August 10 in Goldsboro, hosted by WAGES Community Action, and September 30 in Waynesville, hosted by Mountain Projects, Inc.
NCCAA and the community action network will continue to pursue work to eliminate North Carolina’s income inequality and provide initiatives that allow all citizens to prosper. The financial bridge NCCAA strives to deliver is because of our belief in a more equitable society.
Kelley Traynham is a writer in the North Carolina Community Action Association’s Communications Fellows Program. NCCAA Communications Fellows are students or recent graduates pursuing a career in communications, graphic design, IT, public policy or a related field. They receive a stipend for their participation in the program. For more information on the NCCAA Communications Fellows Program, please contact Yvette Ruffin, director of the NCCAA Communications Fellows Program