St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Housing Ministry, Blue Cross NC, Duke Energy, and Golden Corral Step Up to Support McDougald Terrace Residents Through United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Durham One Fund
United Way of the Greater Triangle recently announced that five local partners and organizations – St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Housing Ministry, Blue Cross NC, Duke Energy, and Golden Corral – have made significant contributions to support 241 families who have been displaced from Durham’s McDougald Terrace housing authority complex since January 3 due to high carbon monoxide levels and mold conditions.
Golden Corral has committed $7,500, which United Way has matched with its own funds, so that all displaced families can receive $70 gift cards for use in Golden Corral restaurants. St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Housing Ministry as well as Blue Cross NC made generous $25,000 contributions, respectively, to the Durham One Fund to support long-term recovery. Duke Energy also made an incredible contribution of $20,000.
“Our hearts go out to our neighbors from McDougald Terrace,” said Lance Trenary, Golden Corral’s President and CEO. “We look forward to serving them soon and hope to make their lives a little bit easier during this time.”
United Way of the Greater Triangle announced on Tuesday, January 7 that the Durham One Fund had committed to providing $52,750 to cover immediate needs for the 171 families who had been displaced as of that announcement. Due to the increase in displacement, the Fund actually provided $60,250 for the 241 displaced families in the form of $250 stipends.
The organization worked closely with State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU), Durham Housing Authority, and resident leadership to coordinate the distribution of those stipends, along with the Golden Corral gift cards, to the families. The stipends were delivered to Durham Housing Authority for distribution on Friday, January 10.
“The State Employees’ motto is ‘People Helping People’ and we operate with the working principle of ‘Do the Right Thing.’ SECU takes an active role in assisting schools and local communities across North Carolina through financial education and outreach efforts,” said James Barnes, Senior Vice President of SECU’s Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd Branch. “It was a pleasure to be able to assist United Way with helping families in need here in Durham County.”
The Durham One Fund’s impact wouldn’t be possible without contributions from corporate partners like these, as well as support from the community and Durham One Fund’s partners – Triangle Community Foundation, Durham County, City of Durham, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Durham, Discover Durham, Upstream Works Collaborative, and other local nonprofit organizations – who are all fundraising to support displaced residents.
The Durham One Fund is set up to provide both immediate and long-term support for individuals and communities in need. Working with the nonprofits directly supporting the McDougald Terrace community, the Durham One Fund committee will assess and evaluate all needs before making additional investments designed to surround these residents with ongoing services.
“We’re committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities, especially now in this tremendous time of need for the families and our neighbors of McDougald Terrace. Safe and affordable housing is critical to addressing key drivers of health that ensure our community is safer and ultimately better for everyone,” said Cheryl Parquet, Director of Community and Diversity Engagement, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC).
“This is what community is all about – being able to step up and help our neighbors during times of need. Duke Energy is proud to support the McDougald community,” said Indira Everett, Duke Energy District Manager in Durham County.
United Way of the Greater Triangle’s mission is to eradicate poverty and increase social mobility through the power of partnerships. Now more than ever, this situation emphasizes the need for residents to come together to create a long-term, positive impact on local housing conditions.
“We are overwhelmed with gratitude to this incredible community for stepping up and giving back when our neighbors need it most. But we want to be clear that the situation at McDougald Terrace didn’t happen overnight,” said Eric Guckian, United Way of the Greater Triangle’s President and CEO. “We, as a community, can do better than this and it’s imperative that even after these families have returned to their homes that we continue to come together to support them moving forward.”
Since the Durham One Fund was opened to accept donations again on January 7, more than 240 individuals have contributed with an average gift of $98.
Individuals can donate directly to the Durham One Fund online at www.unitedwaytriangle.org/durham.