Archive | Events

CEF Art Show 2018 – Bagpipes Quilting and More

Last weekend the Community Empowerment Fund hosted an art showcase that highlighted a variety of artistic talents from the CEF family! From unique sculptures to detailed watercolor paintings; songs from the CEF Advocacy choir to mesmerizing spoken word, there was something for everyone.

We started with a tour of MFA works at the Ackland Art Museum, led by Art&Life, with discussions “intended to explore the status quo and question why things are the way they are” before heading to the Campus Y for a truly special exhibition. Artists were able to showcase the creative extensions of themselves and to enrich the lives of those of us able to witness it.

It was a wonderful community-building event, and an extremely important chance to share a space and celebrate achievements. We can’t recreate the moments we shared on Saturday but we hope that these pictures shared on this post give you at least a little glimpse of the talent of our artists.

Thank you to everyone that came and to all the artists that shared their amazing work and talents.


CEF Advocacy Choir Performs at UNC Memorial Hall

The CEF Advocacy Choir had the amazing experience of performing at Memorial Hall to close out the first half of a show by the UNC Loreleis this past weekend! Yvette Mathews is a part of CEF’s Staff team in Orange County, and the director of the Advocacy Choir. She has re-written the lyrics to many popular tunes to sing about issues faced by CEF Members – especially about affordable housing.

If you missed this performance, come check out he CEF Advocacy Choir at the CEF Art Show on April 21st or the Chapel Hill Spring Graduation Party on April 28th!

Sing with Us!

Call Yvette at 919-200-0233 or reach out via email at to get involved and be notified about upcoming rehearsals and performances!


A Member’s Gift

CEF Member, Steven Howser, is featured in the Daily Tar Heel for the gift he made to CEF during the 2017 CEF Piggy Bank Bash!

At a fundraiser for CEF last fall, Howser gave back to the organization in the form of a $500 dollar donation, the largest of the evening. He coordinated with several workers at CEF to print a big check to present to West as a surprise during the event to say thank you.

“All gifts to CEF matter, but gifts from members truly glow, they cause ripple effects throughout the organization, and seem to snowball and grow,” West said.

When Steven Howser first came to the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) around four years ago, he was seeking work development assistance to help him qualify for a seven day bus pass at the shelter. After years of support and involvement with CEF, Howser has not only secured income and housing, but is also giving back.

“I wanted to give back to show people what a good organization they are, and the resources they have to help people in the community,” Howser said. “So the people in the community won’t be afraid to donate time and donations to them because they really help a lot of people.”


CEF Chapel Hill Spring Party

You’re Invited:
What: 9th Annual Spring Celebration and CEF Graduation!
Who: All members of the CEF (extended) family — members, advocates, family, friends, supporters, fans, partners, and neighbors

Saturday, April 28th from 12pm-3pm (CEF ceremony at 1pm)
St. Josephs CME 510 W. Rosemary St.

Rides to Chapel Hill Party Available: call (919) 200-0233

The graduation ceremony will take place during the Northside Festival, a block party featuring free food, field games, live music, dancing, performances by the CEF Advocacy Choir, and much more. Hosted by the Jackson Center and St. Joseph’s CME, the Northside Festival is a fun, celebratory annual event and CEF is thrilled to participate!


You’re Invited: CEF Durham Spring Party!

Who: All members of the CEF (extended) family — members, advocates, family, friends, supporters, fans, partners, and neighbors!

Thursday, April 12th from 5pm – 7:30pm
CEF Durham Office — 1206b w. Chapel Hil Street, Durham, NC 27701

We would love to see your beautiful faces and goofy smiles there. We’ll have music, a photo-booth, dancing and lots of food! Your support means a lot to all of our members – hope to see you soon!


7th Annual Holiday — Chapel Hill

You’re Invited!

When:  Saturday, December 9th from 5pm – 8pm

Where: Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill
Who: All members of the CEF (extended) family — members, advocates, family, friends, supporters, fans, partners, and neighbors
What: Celebrate CEF graduates, enjoy delicious food, and sing-along and dance-along with the CEF community!
Rides Available: Chapel Hill, call (919) 200-0233

Piggy Bank Bash 2017

If you walked by Chapel Hill St. in Durham last Monday night you might have heard the CEF Advocacy Choir singing out before a crowd of over 100 attendees! You might have seen CEF Member Steven handing CEF Co-director, Maggie an oversized check, a donation to CEF for $500! You could have stepped into and heard Advocates and Members sharing their stories and how they’ve become apart of a transformative community at CEF. The 2nd Annual Piggy Bank Bash hosted by GRUB Durham,  and was a night to be remembered and held in our minds-eye as we seek out love and joy in community.

Thank you so much to everyone that came out to eat and sing and celebrate CEF Members and the amazing community we are a part of! We are so thankful for the amazing support from Grub Durham to all the Members and Advocates and Board Members that came out to volunteer their time, to Erick for his amazing work on the mural, and to Local YogurtThe Cookery, and Pauli Murray Project for donating raffle prizes!


OAR: Groundwater Event Co-Sponsorship

Saturday, December 2nd — 9am-12pm

Orange-Organizing Against Racism (Orange-OAR) and CEF are co-sponsoring REI’s “Groundwater Presentation,” an event designed to introduce people to the realities of racially-determined inequities in all of the United States’ foundational systems and institutions. Groundwater is an effective tool for disarming defensiveness and opening constructive conversations about the nature and impact of racism within our particular organizations and communities.
        Registration is $15, and childcare will be provided.

Piggy Bank Bash 2017

Today's the Day!

You may purchase or pick up your tickets at the door.

Where to Park: You may park in the lot across the street from the restaurant (Address: 1200 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701)

  • Park in the spots dedicated to the offices (they share the same lot as the Durham Co-op Market).
  • Cross the street at the nearby crosswalk, and you’ll be there!

When: Monday, November 6th, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: GRUB Durham, the newest restaurant by Durham-based restaurateurs Wendy Woods and Stacey Poston

Ticket Price: $30

Ticket price includes admission to the event, a delicious dinner (including a meatball bar with vegan options!), and one drink ticket


Join us on Monday, November 6th to support the innovative work of the Community Empowerment Fund through a fundraiser hosted by GRUB Durham. This will be a night of education, food, drink, and camaraderie. There will be ample opportunities to learn about CEF’s work and mission at the event, while meeting CEF members, supporters, West End neighbors, and more.

100% of the ticket proceeds benefit CEF. Purchase tickets here. The GRUB Durham team looks forward to celebrating and supporting CEF’s continuing work with you!

About CEF: CEF supports over 1,000 Members in Durham and Orange Counties experiencing homelessness or financial insecurity to gain jobs, secure housing, and build savings. Founded in 2009, CEF coordinates hundreds of trained volunteer Advocates, primarily from area universities, to work alongside CEF Members towards achieving their personal goals. Click here to learn more about CEF and read stories from CEF’s Members and Advocates.

Can’t make it to the party?

Sponsor a ticket for a CEF Member / Advocate! (mention Piggy Bank Bash in a comment!)

Event Location


Celebrating CEF at Fall 2017 Events!

Our community’s amazing local breweries and eateries are showing their support for CEF this fall with an exciting series of events! Mark your calendars and plan to join us any of the following evenings. We’ll be having fun while raising funds to support CEF’s work, and celebrating the successes of CEF’s Members and Advocates all across our community!


Mystery Brewing Month of Mondays for CEF!
Every Monday in September, join CEF at Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough as a portion of all proceeds will support CEF’s work.

Bingo at the BreweryMondaySeptember 25th at 7pm
Play Bingo at Mystery Brewing to benefit CEF. Just $1 per Bingo card, with fun prizes!



Steel String Brewery Benefit: Wednesday, October 11th beginning at 7pm
Early Bird RSVP Form

Enjoy live music and local food trucks at Steel String Brewery in Carrboro. A portion of proceeds supporting CEF’s work. Live jazz throughout the evening.

Hot Tin Roof

Hot Tin Roof Celebrity Bartender Night: Wednesday, October 25th
Early Bird RSVP Form
Casual and fun evening at the Hot Tin Roof in Hillsborough with local celebrities tending the bar! Stay tuned to hear who our local celebs will be! Speciality cocktails and fun, relaxed environment!



Grub Durham Dinner on the Rooftop! Monday, November 6th
Early Bird RSVP FormGrub Durham
Grub Durham is the latest restaurant from Wendy Woods and Stacey Poston, Durham restauranteurs and CEF supporters. Grub is our Durham office’s next-door neighbor! Wendy and Stacey will be hosting a special dinner to benefit CEF on November 6th. Details coming soon, but mark your calendars for that evening! You won’t want to miss this chance to try the new food at Grub Durham, hear from CEF Members and Advocates, and enjoy the beautiful rooftop atmosphere of the restaurant!



CEF Holiday Parties! December 9th, Chapel Hill 5pm – 8pm
Go ahead and mark your calendars for the Annual CEF Holiday Parties! Our Chapel Hill party will take place on Saturday, December 9th from 5pm-8pm at the Chapel of the Cross (304 East Franklin Street). During this event, CEF will recognize graduating Members, newly trained Advocates, and enjoy in festive cheer and fellowship. Our favorite day of the year, every year!

CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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