Author Archive | Steven Horton

July Newsletter: Quilts, Bagels, and Independence

Financial Independence Day

It’s about the relationships

On June 26 CEF Members, Advocates, staff, friends, and family came together to honor the hard work that CEF Members are putting in to achieve financial stability and independence. Thank you to everyone that joined us in celebration and made Financial Independence Day a success! Thank you to our musical guests, Chapel Hill’s Finest! Book them for your next event by contacting OD Sanders at 919-259-2619. And special thanks to full-time interns – Olivia, Hannah, Jada, Collyn, and Audrey – who planned the event!

We are all excited for future events to build and celebrate our treasured community. “It’s not about the money. It’s about the relationships.” -Thomas Owens, CEF Alumnus

Old Fashioned Quilting Made Fun!

Every Thursday At CEF Chapel Hill

Have you ever had the desire to learn quilting? Do you enjoy crafting in good company? Want to get a head start working on that 2022 holiday gift? Join David every Thursday from 5:00pm – 7:00pm at the CEF office in Chapel Hill, 208 North Columbia St. No quilting experience is needed!

COVID-19 Guidelines: Please wear a mask and abide by social distancing protocols.

Donations of fabric and crafting supplies are welcomed! Please drop off at the CEF Chapel Hill office.

If you have any questions or concerns please call (919) 200-0233 and leave a message for David!

Brandwein’s Bagels SAVE THE DATE!

Fundraiser Friday August 20

Friday, August 20, Brandwein’s Bagels will donate 15% of all sales to the Community Empowerment Fund. This fundraiser will assist CEF in our ongoing work to provide person-centered support with financial services that pursue equity in order to reduce the racial wealth gap. Mark your calendar for August 20 and check out their menu at brandweinsbagels.com!

2021 Piggy Bank Bash

Registration is open! Is your business interested in sponsoring

CEF’s 2021 Piggy Bank Bash will be held virtually this year on Monday, November 8 from 6:00-7:00PM EST. Tickets are free, registration is required. The Piggy Bank Bash is CEF’s annual fundraiser and all donations will support CEF’s work in Durham and Orange Counties. Visit the website to register for the 2021 Piggy Bank Bash presented by The Center for Intentional Leadership.

Sponsorships are still available for businesses at the Premier and Community Sponsor levels. You can check out the sponsorship benefits on the registration page here. For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact: ari rosenberg, Director of Development and Finance, at arir@communityef.org

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight Care to Share a partnership between IFC and OWASA to provide up to $200 in financial assistance for overdue water bills from OWASA. This community water bill assistance program helps to make sure that no one in our community will have to go without water – or scrimp on medications or food to pay their water bill.

Care to Share funds are administered by the Inter-Faith Council for Social Services (IFC) in partnership with OWASA. CEF is partnering with IFC and OWASA to be an application site! Contact the Chapel Hill office at 919-200-0233 for more info.

Folks can also help out by donating to the Care to Share program. If you are an OWASA customer you can add a monthly donation to your water bill or donate a lump sum. Both options available at the link here.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight LaunchDURHAM for folks seeking small business support. Applications are being accepted until August 8 for the next LaunchDURHAM cohort. In this ten-week training program you will learn how to refine your product, determine core customers, and how best to reach them, create financial tools for your business, and navigate the fundraising process. By the end of these ten two-hour classes, you will have a working business plan, a strategic plan for the next year, and be on your way towards growing your business!

To qualify applicants must be active in their business, working at least 5 hours each week, have access to an internet capable computer that can manage zoom calls, come from a household that earns less than $60,000 (if not, applicants may still be eligible, but will have to pay the $250 fee). The application can be found here and more information here.

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00pm

Durham ERAP Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Friday 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED: August 9-13

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CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Through Aug 19 Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

After Aug 19 Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 3:00pm

Thurs: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm except Aug 19

No orientations Aug 9-20.

CLOSED: August 9-16

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

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June Newsletter: 10th anniversary of CEF’s Financial Independence Day!

Donate Now A $10 donation will aid CEF in our ongoing work ending the racial wealth gap by supporting Members in reaching their employment, housing, and financial goals What are you waiting for? Act now during our Spring Appeal! 55% Goal 20K Text "GIVECEF" to 44-321 or visit linktr.ee/communityef to get started!

Spring Appeal Last Chance!

We have raised $11,725 so just $8,275 to go!

We are almost at the end of our 2021 Spring Appeal and still need your help to meet our goal! New and returning donors will be matched for up to $5,000 thanks to Epworth United Methodist and an anonymous donor! Can you donate now to help us finish strong!

Already donated? There are still ways you can support us in meeting our goal! Please like and share Spring Appeal posts you see pop up on our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Share our Facebook fundraiser with your friends (add a little note about why CEF’s work is important to you!), and forward this newsletter to friends who might be interested in supporting CEF’s ongoing work to end the racial wealth gap!

Thanks to everyone who has already donated and supported us during this year’s Spring Appeal!

The Center for Intentional Leadership Presents: The Piggy Bank Bash
The Center for Intentional Leadership Presents: The Piggy Bank Bash

2021 Piggy Bank Bash

Registration is open! Is your business interested in sponsoring?    

CEF’s 2021 Piggy Bank Bash will be held virtually this year on Monday, November 8 from 6:00-7:00PM EST. Tickets are free, registration is required. The Piggy Bank Bash is CEF’s annual fundraiser and all donations will support CEF’s work in Durham and Orange Counties. Visit the website to register for the 2021 Piggy Bank Bash presented by The Center for Intentional Leadership.

Sponsorships are still available for businesses at the Premier and Community Sponsor levels. You can check out the sponsorship benefits on the registration page here. For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact: ari rosenberg, Director of Development and Finance, at arir@communityef.org

Come Celebrate! Financial Independence Day 2021
June 26 from 5-7pm
music, activities, cookout food
Everyone is welcome!
We'll be encouraging people to distance and wear masks to accommodate COVID safety!
Please RSVP at linktr.ee/communityef
Hargraves Community Park
216 N. Roberson St.
Chapel Hill, NC

Financial Independence Day 2021!

This year marks 10 years since CEF’s first Financial Independence Day!

The people of CEF declared independence from the oppression and tyranny of the unjust financial system, whose banks are built on the backs of poor people and nations. Join us in celebration of a financial system that upholds justice, equality, and people, June 26 from 5:00-7:00 pm at Hargraves Community Park.

Financial Independence Day is a celebration to honor the hard work that CEF Members are putting in to achieve financial stability and independence. We will honor CEF Members who have reached their Safe Savings Goals since January 2021. The event includes cookout food, activities, and music.

Everyone is welcome! This includes anyone who has ever been a CEF Member or Advocate, community partners, and your family and friends!

Please fill out the RSVP form if you will be in attendance.

We’ll be encouraging people to distance and wear masks to accommodate COVID safety. Unfortunately, we are choosing not to give rides this year because of COVID, but we hope to return to this next year. If you need support figuring out how you will get to FID, please give our Chapel Hill Office a call at 919-200-0233

We Are Hiring! Advocacy & Community Building Manager This is a full time position focused on supporting CEF with managing staff, program strategy, and advocacy strategy while supporting both our Durham and Chapel Hill offices. Apply Now! communityempowermentfund.org/hiring/

CEF is hiring!

Advocacy & Community Building Manager

The Community Empowerment Fund is seeking a full-time Advocacy & Community Building Manager that will work with both our Durham and Chapel Hill offices. Are you experienced in community and volunteer organizing? Do you have supervisory skills? Are you excited to join an organization working to end the racial wealth gap by supporting people experiencing homelessness or financial insecurity? Apply now! Priority deadline is June 30 and applications are accepted until the position is filled.

CEF Durham Food Pantry Free and fresh food available at the CEF Durham office: 2364 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham, NC 27707 Delivery available first come first served Friday 1:00-3:00PM visit linktr.ee/communityef to fill out the delivery form. Questions? Email dufoodpantry@communityef.org or call 919-797-9233

CEF Durham Food Pantry

Free and Fresh at the CEF Durham Office

Please come to the Durham office to pick up free and fresh food. Available items include fresh produce, dairy, meat, soup, pasta, beans, bread, and more. The freshest produce is provided by the kindness of local farms, such as Lil’ Farm (you can get their produce every Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market or order a CSA share today for weekly delivery). CEF Food Pantry Delivery is available Fridays from 1:00-3:00PM and is first come first served. Click the link below to sign-up.

Resource Alert: Emergency Broadband Benefit & Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight Medicaid Ombudsman and Medicaid Enrollment Broker which will help folks with newly privatized Medicaid plans enroll, change their enrollments, and navigate their benefits statewide! New Medicaid plans take effect July 1st and the last day to change health plans without a special reason or until next recertification is September 30.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to continue highlighting the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The ERAP is open to all Durham Residents that make 80% Area Median Income or less and are obligated to pay rent for a residential dwelling. Applicants must have experienced a hardship due to COVID-19 and demonstrate a risk of housing instability or homelessness. All applicants will need an email address to register.

The Community Empowerment Fund will support anyone in need of assistance with an application. If you are in need of assistance pleasecontactourDurham office at 919-797-9233. The application can be found at https://durhamerap.dconc.gov/cares

This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal award numbers ERA0207, awarded to the City of Durham, and ERA0422, awarded to Durham County, by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm except July 22

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00pm

Durham ERAP Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Friday 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED: July 2, 5

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CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Monday-Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thurs: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

CLOSED: July 5

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

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May Newsletter: ConGraduations! and 2020 Annual Report

CEF Annual Report We are a resilient community 2020
2020 Annual Report we are a resilient community

2020 Annual Report

We are a Resilient Community

As CEF has grown and blossomed over the years, we have been reminded, time and again, of the importance of being nimble and adaptive as we grow. As you will see in this report, 2020 was no different. In the enclosed stories you will learn how CEF responded to COVID-19 through articles and reflections from CEF’s staff. The report also shares more information about our quantitative impact and our year-end financials. This report is dedicated to the CEF Members who moved on in 2020, we hope you will hold them in your hearts and minds as you read.

CEF 2021 Spring Appeal

2021 Spring Appeal Reminder!

Through June 30

We are near the halfway point of our 2021 Spring Appeal! New and returning donors will be matched for up to $5,000 thanks to Epworth United Methodist and an anonymous donor!

Aside from donating, there are several ways you can help contribute to CEF’s 2021 Spring Appeal! You can like and share Spring Appeal posts you see pop up on our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Go to our Facebook page and share the fundraiser with your friends (add a little note about why CEF’s work is important to you!). You can forward this newsletter to friends who might be interested in supporting CEF’s ongoing work to end the racial wealth gap!

Thanks to everyone who has already donated and supported us during this year’s Spring Appeal!

Congratulations!

Duke and UNC Class of 2021

May means it is graduation time! The class of 2021 is moving on to the next chapter of their lives and CEF wishes them all the best. CEF is grateful for our relationships with Duke & UNC and the wonderful, committed, kind-hearted people who decide to become Advocates. Congratulations Class of ’21! We hope you continue to stay part of this resilient community.

CEF is Hiring!

Strategic Planning Consultant

The Community Empowerment Fund is seeking an experienced strategic planning consultant to design and facilitate a participatory planning process that will create a 5 year strategic plan for the organization. Submission deadline is June 15. To learn more and apply click the button below.

Thank you Duke Progress Period and WISER!

Supplying CEF Durham with menstrual products for our community!

In early April, the Duke chapters of Progress Period and WISER held a menstrual products drive for CEF’s Durham office. The drive produced over $500 worth of menstrual products to distribute to the CEF community.

WISER works with girls to transcend poverty, HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence by creating environments that empower young women to drive change in their communities.

Progress Period is a global, youth-powered non-profit that is fighting to end period poverty and period stigma through service, education, and advocacy.

CEF thanks the Duke chapters of these organizations for strengthening our community!

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). The EBB is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EBB will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The EBB is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Enroll by visiting GetEmergencyBroadband.org

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The ERAP is open to all Durham Residents that make 80% Area Median Income or less and are obligated to pay rent for a residential dwelling. Applicants must have experienced a hardship due to COVID-19 and demonstrate a risk of housing instability or homelessness. All applicants will need an email address to register.

The Community Empowerment Fund will support anyone in need of assistance with an application. If you are in need of assistance pleasecontactourDurham office at 919-797-9233. The application can be found at https://durhamerap.dconc.gov/cares

This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal award numbers ERA0207, awarded to the City of Durham, and ERA0422, awarded to Durham County, by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

The Durham office has no closures and no changes to hours this month. The Chapel Hill office is closed June 1 and 2. Any new updates regarding hours will be shared via email and social media.

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00pm

CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Monday-Thursday: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Thurs: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

CLOSED: June 1, 2

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

P.S. SAVE the DATE:

2021 Piggy Bank Bash presented by the Center for Intentional Leadership

CEF is once again holding the Piggy Bank Bash, presented by the Center for Intentional Leadership, virtually Monday, November 8, 2021! Tickets are free, though registration is required. We strongly encourage hosting house parties with people you feel safe interacting with. More details to follow.

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April Newsletter: Help CEF Celebrate Spring

Spring Appeal 2021!

Running Through June 30

Spring is here and it is time to kick off our 2021 Spring Appeal! We are so appreciative of the love we received during the uncertainty of last year. The generosity and affirmation from our community gave us the strength we needed to support folks on the path to financial independence.

This year, as we move towards a new normal, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact CEF Members. As the housing and labor markets continue to lag behind the needs of our community, we remain hopeful that everyone will find a stable home and meaningful employment.

Donations support CEF’s ongoing work to end the racial wealth gap. Any amount will help ensure CEF remains strong and vibrant as we continue to evolve. Epworth United Methodist Church in Durham and an anonymous donor will be matching donations from new and returning donors for up to $5,000.

CEF Durham Spring Celebration!

CEF Members and Advocates are invited to attend!

Sat, May 1st from 1:00-3:00 PM at Lyon Park Picnic Shelter -1200 W Lakewood Ave

A celebration of Advocates moving on to their next adventure, Members who have reached milestones in their journeys, and all of us who have made it through this roller coaster of a year!

Families welcome. Covered dish optional. Masks required. Music, hot dogs, and beloved community provided! RSVP by calling or texting CEF Durham at 919-797-9233.

We hope to see you there!

Pedestrian Safety Initiative in Chapel Hill – Get Involved!

Town of Chapel Hill relaunches Road to Zero Task Force

Did you know the Town of Chapel Hill has a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan? With this plan, the Town aims to make active transportation (walking, biking, using a wheelchair, rollerblading, etc.) safe, accessible, and enjoyable for everyone in Chapel Hill. This is part of our “Road To Zero”- zero pedestrian traffic fatalities.

 In order to deliver on this goal, the Town has launched a Road to Zero Task Force. This group will focus on equity, public engagement, and safe routes to school, providing advice and recommendations to Town staff. We want this task force to be collaborative and inclusive of all Chapel Hill residents and visitors.

We need strong, inclusive community engagement to ensure the success of this initiative. Volunteer opportunities include serving on the task force, helping with community outreach, providing input on your walking experience, and more.

Are you interested in these topics? Do you want to help ensure Chapel Hill is a safe, walk-able community? Contact Jordan Powell, Complete Streets Specialist, at jpowell2@townofchapelhill.org with your interest!

A Note from the Board

One-year anniversary of Donna Carrington as Executive Director!

In March, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Donna Carrington’s leadership as Executive Director! We are so grateful for the gifts and love that Donna brings to her work, which inspires everyone daily. During a year of immense change and challenge, in the midst of the pandemic and a new organizational structure, Donna led CEF with care and perseverance. We appreciate Donna’s willingness to ask critical questions, acknowledge systems that are not working for CEF Members, and work toward a shared, more equitable vision of the future for our community. Donna is recognized as a wonderful collaborator with our external partners and is trusted and respected. These are just a few of the reasons why Donna is the perfect person to be leading CEF. Thank you, Donna, for your leadership!

-Brian Smith and Karen Eldridge, CEF Board Co-Chairs

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight transportation to and from Orange County courts. The Orange County Bail Bond Justice Project is generously providing funds for folks with court hearings. The Uber funding and Orange-Chapel Hill Connector bus vouchers are being maintained by the Criminal Justice Resource Department.

Requests for transportation assistance can be made by emailing or calling Ted, Cait, or Allison at the CJRD or coming to the CJRD Courthouse office.

Ted Dorsi: tdorsi@orangecountync.gov, 919-245-2970

Cait Fenhagen: cfenhagen@orangecountync.gov, 919-245-2303

Allison Zirkel: azirkel@orangecountync.gov, 919-245-2304

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight End Hunger Durham’s directory of local food pantries. End Hunger Durham envisions a unified and just food system where healthy food is available to everyone. Their directory contains locations, hours of operation, contact info, prerequisites, and more!

You can find the directory here.

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

Durham has no changes to hours this month. The Chapel Hill office has several changes to be aware of listed by date below and will be closed the last week in May. Any new updates regarding hours will be shared via email and social media.

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Thursday: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Friday: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

May 3-7:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Thurs: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

May 10-21:

Tues-Thurs: 10:00am-3:00pm

May 24 through June 2: CLOSED

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

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March Newsletter: Meeting of the Minds, Social Media Survey

Meeting of the Minds

Finding Your Voice

Meeting of the Minds, established in 2016, is one of CEF’s Member-led advocacy groups. The group focuses on the lived experiences of those at 30% AMI and below. Members of the group engage with local government to address the need for housing. Meetings happen on the second Monday of every month at IFC. Changes to the schedule are sent out over the email list. This year, the group is working to amplify the voices of members who feel unheard. Everyone in the Chapel Hill community is invited to attend, especially politicians and leaders who want change for people who feel they don’t have a voice. If you would like to sign up for the Meeting of the Minds email list please contact Yvette directly at 919-200-0233 or email Val at Valerie@communityempowermentfund.org

Social Media Engagement Survey

In less than 5 minutes you can be a huge help!

Throughout spring, the Community Empowerment Fund is working with Consult Your Community, a student-led consulting group at UNC which aims to support local non-profits and socially minded organizations which serve marginalized and minority populations. This survey, intended to gain information about your social media tendencies, will help inform the types of content that CEF shares.

CEF Member surveys are due April 4 and Donor surveys are due April 8. Click the buttons below to start your survey.

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

For April, Diiv would like to highlight the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development’s updates on Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA). Now anyone (under 60% AMI) needing help with rent (arrears or upcoming) or utilities can get it! Folks who have gotten EHA help in the past can still get it now! There is no longer a $6500 limit. Folks who are behind on mortgage payments can once again seek assistance.

Click here to learn more about EHA and what the program offers!

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight City of Durham’s Water Hardship Fund. The Fund, part of a program administered by the Durham County Department of Social Services, helps residents pay their past-due water bills. It cannot be used for penalties and fees. Through a simple online process, you can apply for up to $240 in assistance per year if you are having a documented hardship, have past-due bills, and are in danger of having your water cut off. If you think you might qualify, please complete the Water Hardship Fund application form. If contacted, you may be asked to provide identification, proof of income, a copy of your water bill, and other information.

Click here to access the Water Hardship Fund application.

Office Hours

When are the offices open?

There are no changes to CEF’s office hours in April and no upcoming scheduled office closures. Any new updates regarding hours will be shared on CEF’s website and social media.

CEF Durham’s Office Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Monday – Thursday; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday; 1:00 pm – 3:00pm Friday

CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – Thursday; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233

cef