I find that one of the most common misperceptions about United Way of the Cape Fear Area (UWCFA) is that we are a subsidiary or branch of United Way Worldwide. In fact, UWCFA is locally owned and operated. Our Board of Directors, before the Coronavirus Pandemic, met at our office on Oleander Drive here in our backyard in Wilmington, North Carolina. The UWCFA Board of Directors consists of all local individuals who represent our greater Cape Fear community (Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties).
UWCFA has been Here for Cape Fear for almost 80 years! Our mission is to leverage resources to improve local lives. Our vision is a united community where all people are healthy, safe and prosperous. We believe that our community is positioned to achieve that vision if we all work together in a united way.
UWCFA has been a franchise of United Way of America (now United Way Worldwide) since the 70s. That relationship helps us leverage local donations with grants and corporate gifts from outside our communities to have a greater impact. However, UWCFA operates as a local and independent organization to help our closest neighborhoods and families.
UWCFA shapes our program investments and initiatives around the specific needs of our community. Our organization began in 1941 as a United Community Chest responding to the needs. We incorporated in 1953 as the United Fund of New Hanover County. We became the Cape Fear Area United Way when we adopted the United Way brand and changed to United Way of the Cape Fear Area by 2010.
Many things have changed since 1941. Two critical things have remained the same. First, UWCFA has responded to our community’s greatest needs and continues to do so. Second, local leaders have and continue to step up to lend their time, talent, and treasure to improve our community regardless of the challenges we face. Local heroes continue to come together for the greater good.
I have served these same four counties for 18 years. I have worked with UWCFA as a partner and loyal contributor for 6 years and then as an employee for the next 12 years. During that time, I have witnessed local leaders coming together, Living United, to tackle chronic homelessness, youth violence, underemployment, opioid epidemics, natural disaster devastation and pandemics. I am proud to be part of this unique, united community. I’m proud to be a resident of the greater Cape Fear area, and to LIVE UNITED!
Your local United Way wishes all of you a wonderful holiday!
United Way of the Cape Fear Area
Tommy Taylor, born in Mansfield, Ohio, achieved his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Guilford College, and most recently achieved his Masters in Public Administration from UNCW in 2019. Tommy’s career started as a Crisis and College Counselor at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia. After 4 years, Tommy moved to his favorite vacation spot, Wilmington, North Carolina, and started his new career as the Regional Development Manager for Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Six years later, after tripling food distribution and doubling revenues, he accepted the Vice President of Community Impact position at the United Way of the Cape Fear Area. Now serving as the CEO, Tommy is thankful to be able to see the good side of the world that many people do not get a chance to experience and to be able to be part of the solutions to our community's deepest problems.
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Staff Reports - Feb 27, 2024
Staff Reports - Feb 27, 2024
Audrey Elsberry - Feb 27, 2024
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