Love in Action: How Businesses United to Make a Difference in the Cape Fear Area

As part of our commitment to our community, United Way of the Cape Fear area has been seeking new opportunities to connect businesses to causes they care about. During our first Day of Caring event, we were amazed by the tremendous support and success of our volunteers! 

On Valentine’s Day, we sought to show our love for the community by asking our partners what they needed most. That’s where the businesses and volunteers came in. Leading the charge for change, our volunteer Champion, Richard McNinch, rallied support from friends, neighbors, and businesses to rally support. Angela, the UWCFA Communications and Events Manager, teamed up with Richard and gained impressive backing from local businesses and community leaders who came together to help our partners. 

A CCU employee receives a helping hand from Angela.

Our mission was to show love for our community through service and acts of kindness. Our goals included: 

  • Collecting donations to assemble snack packs for distribution to students in 4 NHC schools via CIS. 
  • Collecting donations to assemble snack packs for guests of Good Shepherd Center. 
  • Assemble a volunteer team to pack diapers at the Diaper Bank.   
  • Collecting greeting cards with words of affirmation for distribution where needed (students, guests, etc.)  
  • Building a fence at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson to enhance this historic site.  
  • Creating and collecting cards for veterans to be donated to Honor Flight. 

Here’s how it went!  

CloudWyze blew us away when they hosted a snack drive and packing event at their office.  The volunteer team hand wrote cards in addition to sorting and packing over 200 Valentine snack packs for Communities in Schools Cape Fear! 

Polyhose assembled a volunteer team where they were joined by our Campaign Cabinet Chair, Billy Smith, to pack diapers in an atmosphere that could only be described as fiercely competitive and determined to do good!  

Novant Health hosted a food drive that was truly an inspiration, and provided a variety of thoughtful snacks, Valentine candies, and sweet treats that were developed into over 80 Valentine Snack packs for Good Shepherd Center!  

NCino surprised us all with their fervor for writing wonderful greeting cards. We gave them 100 cards to hand write kind notes and words of affirmation. They didn’t just write all 100, but they wrote an additional 50 cards! This incredible contribution allowed us to reach even more members of our community, and cards were shared between CIS, Good Shepherd, and as a bonus, Brunswick Cove Senior Living! 

Corning Credit Union staff gave time and dedication during their lunch breaks and brought beauty into volunteering. Volunteers assembled 14 gorgeous mini bouquets for the community, plus took on the task of writing 50 greeting cards! With the desire to give back to all ages in our communities, CCU delivered greeting cards plus the mini bouquets, to the residents of Brunswick Cove. A total of 140 cards were given, ensuring that every single resident received a little bit of love and kindness! 

Brunswick Town / Fort Anderson served as a host location for Veteran Cards, and we finished off our celebrations with a small team of volunteers ready to do big things! With a little time and a lot of enthusiasm, our volunteers went to work on building a fence on site with no tools and only their hands.  

The impact: 

Day of Caring shows there are many ways to give back to those who need our help the most. The Cape Fear region is diverse and beautiful, full of unique individuals and businesses dedicated to improving their neighbors’ lives. When we tap into our compassion, empathy, and kindness, small teams can do incredible things.  

Teams working on Day of Caring accomplished a lot despite their small size, averaging no more than 5-6 people. Through the initiative of strong leaders and committed volunteers, we touched over 400 lives in one day across counties, age groups, and interests.   

There is one final note of acknowledgment that moved the needle of success for this project. While time, donations, and expertise were essential to our success, it would not have been possible without the generosity of the Board and Cabinet members of United Way of the Cape Fear Area. When hearing about the potential challenges faced around not getting enough donations or supplies, there was no hesitation on the part of those who gave, and we were able to raise enough money to ensure that no one would miss out, no drive would be unsuccessful, and everyone would win.  

A generous group of volunteers from nCino hand writes greeting cards for Day of Caring.

The truth is, any time we put ourselves out there, whether as an individual advocating for change, or a nonprofit encouraging businesses to contribute to causes, we are vulnerable. We bare our souls when we ask for help so that we can help others. We hope that when everyone is asking or reaching out a hand, someone will reach back. Events like this exist to support those who cannot reach out or don’t know how. We are restoring hope, faith, and love in times of struggle, loss, and fear.  

Thank you for being a part of intentional change and contributing to meaningful outcomes that uplift our communities. When you work with United Way, you are choosing to be intentional—to work with a nonprofit that has researched and supported other nonprofits in our region for over 80 years. Our passion is supporting our partners and programs that lead to our vision—a united community where everyone is healthy, safe, and prosperous.