Archive | Newsletters

February Newsletter: CEF Art Show, Apply to be an Advocate, CEF is hiring

Share the Love: Art Show 2021

Thank you to everyone who made CEF’s first virtual Art Show a big success!

We are grateful for to everyone who attended and your insightful comments. Thanks for showing your appreciation to each of the artists. We hope you enjoyed the amazing presentations, from Kohl’s 2D sticker bomb art to Robin Ess’ powerful performance of “Soulfully.” Here at CEF, we believe that everyone is creative, resourceful, and whole. We are so excited we had the chance to share the abundance of creativity with you.

For those who were not able to attend the art show, we have posted a recording of the show to the CEF website for you to enjoy! Click here to find that recording and feel free to download the program guide, watch the show, and reach out to any of the participants to inquire about purchasing their art!

We hope to see you at the next virtual art show!

Become a CEF Advocate in Chapel Hill

CEF Chapel Hill is looking for new Advocates!

We are looking for more talented and dedicated Advocates to work with Members and assist them in reaching their goals. Advocates will need to be able to commit to working with Members before, during, and beyond their transitions out of housing insecurity!

Advocates are not required to have background knowledge, as CEF provides initial and on-going training but Advocates are required to be lifelong learners.

The CEF Chapel Hill Advocates will have mandatory trainings on May 18, 19, and 20 from 5:30-8:30pm EST. Applications are due by Sunday, February 28, 2021.

Learn more about being an Advocate and apply here!

CEF is hiring

There are two open positions we are looking to fill!

The Cross Geography Staff Support role is a part-time position focused on supporting CEF’s Durham and Chapel Hill, NC offices. This is an in-person position, though some meetings may be attended remotely. The Cross Geography Staff Support will be responsible for providing a consistent and welcoming presence for Members and Advocates during office hours by staffing office hours and working one-on-one with Members in the office. They will also be supporting the Office and Community Organizer with any duties to ensure COVID-19 and safety protocols are followed by staff, Advocates, and Members. Applications for this role will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Bookkeeper & Administrative Assistant for Development and Finance (BAADF) role is a full-time, salaried position that works closely with CEF’s Director of Development & Finance. The BAADF will support Finance efforts by tracking income and expenses in quickbooks, development efforts by supporting the donor thank you process, and communication efforts by creating and posting on CEF’s social media channels.The BAADF will have a combination of on- and off-site work; some tasks and duties will be performed in both CEF’s Chapel Hill and Durham offices (primarily in Chapel Hill), and other tasks will be completed remotely. Applications for this role are due Friday, February 26, 2021.

CEF’s Executive Director Sits Down with UNC Media Hub

‘People in housing insecurity are people too’

CEF Executive Director, Donna Carrington, recently had a chat with Julia Masters from UNC Media Hub.

During this conversation, Donna discusses her experience with housing insecurity and how that informs her leadership at CEF, her vision for the organization, and her demands for Durham and Orange county in regards to affordable housing and community support.

Click here to read Julia’s article on their conversation. Thank you to Julia for providing a safe space for Donna to share her story.

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight the Orange County VITA Program. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a volunteer program that provides individuals with low-income, free federal and NC state income tax preparation.

As a result of COVID-19, the program now offers various options for contactless filing. To work with a VITA trained volunteer, call 919. 245. 4242. VITA will also assist with using resources such as GetYourRefund.org or TaxSlayer.

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

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight a list of emergency financial assistance resources for individuals experiencing financial hardships.

This list was put together by CEF volunteers and staff. Please contact these places if you are in need of financial assistance or share with individuals in need!

If you need support contacting these places or are still in need of financial assistance after contacting them, please call the CEF office to schedule an appointment with an Advocate.

Click here to access the Durham: Emergency Financial Assistance Resources

Office Hours

When are the offices open?

There are no changes to CEF’s office hours in March 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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January Newsletter: CEF Art Show, We are Hiring, Laundry Packages Program

Share the Love: Art Show 2021

You are invited!!

The annual CEF Art Show is back!

The Art Show is one of our annual events where the community comes together and appreciates the many talents that Members have. Our community has phenomenal artists, including wood artists, painters, poets, quilters, and musicians! Here at CEF we believe that everyone is creative, resourceful, and whole. We are so excited to help share the abundance of creativity in our community!

The pandemic has disrupted our ability to host the CEF Art Show in-person but don’t worry, we are moving it online. Please join us February 16, 2021 at 6pm EST for the free art show! Click here to register.

We hope to see you there!

We are hiring!

The Cross Geography Staff Support position is a part-time position focused on supporting CEF’s Durham and Chapel-Hill, NC offices.

This is an in-person position, though some meetings may be attended remotely. This position will be responsible for providing a consistent and welcoming presence for Members and Advocates during office hours by staffing office hours, working one-on-one with Members in the office, and supporting the Office and Community Organizer with any duties to ensure COVID-19 and safety protocols are followed by staff, Advocates, and Members.

Click here to learn more and apply. Applications are due by February 12, 2021.

Support the Laundry Access Program

The Laundry Access Program is responsible for distributing laundry packages, which include quarters and laundry pods, for anyone living unsheltered in Orange County.

Since launching in November, 42 packages (84 loads of laundry) have been distributed and 28 individuals have participated with over a quarter of participants using the program more than once.

Our partnering organizations such as Street Outreach, IFC Community Kitchen, UNC Homelink, and CHPD Crisis Unit have communicated the continued need for this program.

To donate laundry detergent pods, please contact the Chapel Hill CEF Office at 919. 200. 0233.

Final Call for Summer 2021 Interns and Advocates

CEF Durham is hosting part-time and full-time internships this summer.

Part-Time interns will work paid in the Durham office at ~16 hours a week. Scheduling is flexible based on other responsibilities. Full-Time interns will work ~32-35 hours a week at $10/hr. Everyone is eligible to apply, including all current Advocates (regardless of time spent at CEF) and people who aren’t currently Advocates!

The CEF Durham internship begins May 24, 2021 and ends August 6, 2021. Learn more about the CEF Durham internship here and apply here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of Friday, February 5, 2021.

If you are interested in getting involved with CEF sooner, CEF Durham is also accepting applications for the Spring 2021 Advocate Cohort. Learn more about being an Advocate and apply here!

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight the update to CDC’s national eviction moratorium. An Executive Order signed by President Joe Biden ordered the CDC to extend the moratorium through at least March 31. The order also extended restrictions on foreclosures with federally-backed mortgages through at least March 31.

These orders are in anticipation of congress passing additional COVID-19 relief. Once more updates are given by the federal government, we will be sharing them with the community.

Please click here learn more about these executive orders.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight the update for NC COVID-19 vaccinations. There are two active groups who are able to receive vaccinations at the moment. Group 1 includes Health Care Workers and Long Term Care Staff and Residents. Group 2 includes anyone 65 years old or older, regardless of health status or living situation.

Please click here to learn more about the vaccinations and find sites where individuals in group 1 or 2 could get vaccinated.

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

Both Durham and Chapel Hill Offices have slightly new hours starting in February! There will be no upcoming office closures in February. Any new updates regarding hours will be shared via email 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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December Newsletter: Vigils of Remembrance, Holiday Campaign, Summer Interns

Join CEF this week for Vigils of Remembrance

Honor and grieve those who are not going into the new year with us.

This year has been unpredictable and unsettling for many people. A lot of people we know and love have passed away during these uncertain times. CEF is hosting two vigils, one in Durham and one in Chapel Hill, to remember the lives lost.

Please join us, this Thursday (12/17) at 2634 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd at 3:30pm and/or this Friday (12/18) at 179 E Franklin St at 5:00pm. At both vigils, there will be an opportunity to share a song, message, or brief story to honor those who you have lost this year.

Masks and social distancing are required. Both events will be outside, please dress appropriately for the weather.

Thank you for continuing to support the 2020 CEF Holiday Campaign

We are $10,000 away from our goal! All donations made before the end of the year will be doubled! You can always donate at communityef.org/donate.

This year we have a Holiday Campaign goal of $66,500 to continue efforts of cultivating assets and opportunities to support CEF Members, especially during this time of economic uncertainty! Thanks to a generous group of CEF donors, your gift to CEF will be doubled through Dec 31, 2020 – up to $25,00!

Thanks to your generous donations, we have raised over $56,000! We appreciate your commitment to help sustain our work in the Durham and Orange County communities.

It is not too late to give. All donations made through December 31, 2020 will be matched! To be a part of our work for change, we invite you to share a financial contribution. All donations make a big impact and are appreciated greatly, please give at whatever amount feels meaningful to you!

CEF is looking for Summer 2021 Interns and Advocates

Both CEF Offices are hosting part-time and full-time internships this summer. Part-Time interns will work unpaid at ~16 hours a week. Scheduling is flexible based on other responsibilities. Full-Time interns will work ~32-35 hours a week at $10/hr. Everyone is eligible to apply, including all current Advocates (regardless of time spent at CEF) and people who aren’t currently Advocates!

The CEF Durham internship begins May 24, 2021 and ends August 6, 2021. Learn more about the CEF Durham internship here and apply here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of Friday, February 5, 2021.

The CEF Chapel Hill internship begins June 1, 2021 and ends August 6, 2021. Learn more about the CEF Chapel Hill internship here and apply hereApplications are due by January 24, 2021.

If you are interested in getting involved with CEF sooner, CEF Durham is also accepting applications for the Spring 2021 Advocate Cohort. Learn more about being an Advocate and apply here!

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv is highlighting the Laundry Access Pilot. $500 in pilot funding was used for 58 separate Laundry Packages for distribution to anyone living unsheltered in Orange County. Since launching in November, 20 laundry packages have been distributed by our partners at the Street Outreach and Harm Reduction and Diversion (SOHRAD) Team and the Crisis Unit of the Chapel Hill PD. You can access laundry packages through any of the participating partner programs (which are listed on the flyer above) including our Chapel Hill office.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie is highlighting End Hunger Durham. End Hunger Durham supports those in need of food by providing reliable information, networked collaborations, and advocacy for policies and initiatives aimed at ending poverty and hunger. Visit End Hunger Durham at this link for a searchable list of food pantries in Durham! You can search by zip code, times of service and call specific locations for more information.

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

Both Durham and Chapel Hill Offices will have upcoming winter closures. The Durham Office will be closed Friday, Dec 18, 2020 – Friday, Jan 8, 2021. The Chapel Hill Office will be closed Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 – Friday, Jan 8, 2021. Both offices will be closed Monday, Jan 18th, 2021.

Please be aware that during these closures, there will be limited ways to access mail and complete Safe Savings transactions. If you have any questions about these closures, please check-in with a CEF Staff Member.

In January, offices will resume their typical COVID-19 schedule:

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

CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – 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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November Newsletter: CEF Appreciates Your Support!

Thank you for making the first virtual Piggy Bank Bash a success!

Because of your donations, CEF was able to surpass our goal and raise $15,685.76!

With over 85 participants, some joining from as far away as the Virgin Islands, the Bash was a joyous celebration of all the things the CEF Community has accomplished in the past year, and will strive to accomplish in the upcoming year.

The CEF Advocacy Choir encouraged us to not give up despite the hard times we are enduring now and that “we look so much better when we smile.” Robert Watson, CEF Member, shared how comforting it has been working with Advocates through stressful situations. Executive Director, Donna Carrington, reminded us that under her leadership she hopes “CEF remains a place where members feel supported in their dreams and goals, that staff feels supported in wrestling with the values we hold dear, and the wider community sees CEF as a place to come to for information and resources.”

We are grateful for all who participated. It was a night full of stories, laughter, and unity.

And, we appreciate our sponsors for this event:GRUB DurhamThe Center for Intentional LeadershipRob Lammé and AssociatesEvoke StudioPilot Benefits, and PNC.

It’s not too late to support CEF! Join the 2020 CEF Holiday Campaign!

All donations made before the end of the year will be doubled! You can always donate at communityef.org/donate.

With the appearance of COVID-19, this year has been unprecedented for CEF. Many CEF Members have had to pull money out of their Safe Savings Accounts in order to ensure that they will have financial security during this pandemic and CEF has adapted strict COVID-19 procedures to ensure CEF Members are getting the support they need while being safe.

This year we have a Holiday Campaign goal of $66,500 to continue efforts of cultivating assets and opportunities to support CEF Members! Thanks to a generous group of CEF donors, your gift to CEF will be doubled through Dec 31, 2020 – up to $25,000!

Our work is sustained by the generosity of individuals who believe in our mission, as well as foundations and corporations. We look to those we care about to help us sustain a growing, creative, and supportive community. To be a part of this change, we invite you to share a financial contribution.

All donations make a big impact and are appreciated greatly, please give at whatever amount feels meaningful to you!

We are collecting winter items for the CEF Community!

Inspired by the amazing Coat Drive organized by Lucas Risinger (Orange County Advocate) and Yvette Matthews (Orange County Office & Community Organizer), in partnership with Rumors NC and UNC SFI, CEF is continuing to collect new or gently used winter items for Members!

As it gets colder these items are essential, so please consider bringing in items to either office! Winter items include warm coats, sweaters, shirts, pants, scarves, gloves, etc… Please call the Orange County office at 919. 200. 0233 or the Durham County office at 919. 797. 9233 if you have any questions.

Keep in mind CEF office hours and scheduled winter closures (see below) when preparing to drop off items.

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resources of the Month:

This month, Diiv is highlighting the COVID-19 Move In Packages Program and the COVID-19 Transportation Program. These are programs by the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development. These funds must be used by December 31st, 2020. The Move In Packages Program is a fund that can be used to buy items or services necessary to a participant’s housing stability since March 1, 2020. Eligible goods include furnishings, bedding, basic small appliances, cleaning supplies, etc… and eligible services include furniture delivery cost, moving truck rental, furniture or personal property storage. The Transportation Program is a fund that can be used for essential transportation cost related to a participant’s housing. Eligible transportation cost include public transportation pass, account credits for ride sharing mobile applications, etc… and eligible services include repairs to a participant’s vehicle and purchase of a bicycle. If you would like more information or need help accessing either of these programs please call CEF’s Orange County Office at 919. 200. 0233.

Durham County Resources of the Month:

This month, Debbie is highlighting the City of Durham – Water Hardship Fund and Fed Up! Political Food Distribution. The Water Hardship Fund by Durham County Department of Social Services exist to help residents pay past-due water bills. Through a simple online application, you can apply for up to $240 in assistance per year if you are having a documented hardship, have past-due bills, or are in danger of having your water cut off. Fed Up! Political Food Distribution by NC Poor People’s Campaign, Carolina Jews for Justice, and Raise Up NC is distributing produce boxes every other Friday in the Parking Lot at Lakewood Shopping Center. They will be there next Friday, 12/04!

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

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

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

Both Durham and Chapel Hill Offices will have winter closures due to volunteer unavailability. The Durham Office will be closed Friday, Dec 18, 2020 – Friday, Jan 8, 2021. The Chapel Hill Office will be closed Wednesday, Dec 16, 2020 – Monday, Jan 11, 2021.

Please be aware that during these closures, there will be limited ways to access mail and complete Safe Savings transactions. If you have any questions about these closures, please check-in with a CEF Staff Member.

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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October Newsletter: Celebrate CEF at the Piggy Bank Bash

Join us for CEF’s annual Piggy Bank Bash on Monday, November 16 from 6:00-7:00 pm EST!

There are many reasons to attend the Piggy Bank Bash this year. Watch the video above to hear why Jessie Maxwell, CEF Board Member and Treasurer, is excited to join you as an MC at the Bash this year. In case Jessie isn’t compelling enough, here are an additional five reasons we hope you’ll join us:

  1. Celebrate CEF’s new leadership and focus on centering voices of people with lived experience with homelessness and poverty.
  2. Learn more about CEF’s innovative work in housing and economic justice.
  3. Listen to songs by the CEF Advocacy Choir.
  4. Hear from Members and Advocates about the importance of CEF in their lives.
  5. Hang out with the CEF Community, near and far (a virtual bash means friends from all over the country, and world, can attend)

During a year that has been defined by social separation, CEF is excited to host a night where our community can come together to reconnect and celebrate together. It is time for joy!

This year, CEF redistributed almost $35,000 to Members through the Safe Savings Campaign, trained and worked with over 200 Advocates, and continued to safely meet and work with over 1,000 Members. The Bash is an opportunity to honor these, and other accomplishments made possible by the CEF community.

The Piggy Bank Bash is also an important fundraising occasion for CEF. The donations and sponsorships received from this event allow CEF to continue working with Members in Durham and Orange Counties to achieve financial stability, become securely housed, and find steady income.

You can reserve tickets for the Bash here.

While tickets for the event are free, all donations are warmly accepted as this is CEF’s annual fundraiser.

Staff Highlight: Tawana Brown and Debbie Long

Meet some of CEF’s new staff members:

Tawana Brown is the Growing Household Income Fellow in CEF’s Chapel Hill office. Her role focuses on strengthening CEF’s workforce development services, integrating CEF’s financial services into countywide initiatives, and directly supporting Members.

Debbie Long is the Member Services Coordinator in Durham. Debbie plays an important role in many of CEF’s partnership-building efforts, ensures equitable program implementation for Members, and provides supervisory support for Member-led advocacy initiatives.

To learn more about them and their work, check out this Staff Highlight blog post!

Resource Request!

Support Members by donating single-use laundry pods!

The Chapel Hill office is asking the CEF community to donate single-use laundry pods, e.g. Tide Pods, to distribute to Members. Your donations will help stretch funding to support Members’ laundry needs. For more information about what is needed or how to drop off donations, email Chapel Hill’s Member Services Coordinator Diiv Sternman at diivs@communityef.org.

Thank you for your contributions!

November Office Hours

Chapel Hill (Nov 2-13): 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – Thursday

Durham (Nov 2-13): 10:00 am -12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Monday – Thursday; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday

From November 16-20, hours will be based on Advocate availability–please call the office to make an appointment. Both offices will be closed November 23-27 and will reopen on November 30.

Members must schedule appointments in advance–meetings can take place in-person, over the phone, or using a video software (such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet). Please specify your preference when you call to make your appointment.

Debbie and Diiv’s Resources of the Month

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie is highlighting Durham Drives’ Free Ride to the Polls. This organization is offering free rides to voting locations for all Durham residents. To schedule a ride, visit durhamdrives.org or call (919) 809-9242. If you would like to volunteer with Durham Drives, sign up on their website!

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv is highlighting Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness’ new Street Outreach, Harm Reduction, and Deflection Program. The program, which began operations on October 19, will focus on working with unhoused people to connect them with resources like medical care, housing programs, and therapeutic services, and liaison with entities within the criminal justice system to ensure that harm reduction deflection is being applied equitably and with trauma-informed, evidence-based best practices. Program staff will be actively going into the Orange County community to connect with and support people experiencing homelessness. This new program is a great resource for local unhoused folks.

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September Newsletter: Supporting and Engaging with CEF!

Fun Ways to Support CEF!

CEF is partnering with two local businesses to uplift our work, and potentially fund our services. To make the most of these partnerships, CEF needs your support!

Vote for CEF in the Campaign for Local: Community Nonprofit Advertising Fund!

This competition will decide which local organization will receive free advertising on 97.9 The Hill and Chapelboro.com. If chosen as the winner, CEF will use these funds to publicize our services, attract attention to the upcoming Piggy Bank Bash, and grow the CEF community. Please vote for CEF here. You can vote multiple times a day between now and September 25. We can’t win without your help.

LocoPops is hosting a Give Back Day to benefit CEF !

On Monday, September 28, LocoPops will donate 10% of pre-tax revenue from online sales to CEF! This Give Back Day is the perfect opportunity to enjoy delicious pops and ice cream, support a local business, and benefit CEF. Place your order on September 28 for pickup or delivery on Tuesday, September 29. Order online here!

CEF Board Co-Chair Brian Smith Invites You to the 2020 Piggy Bank Bash!

CEF ‘s annual Piggy Bank Bash will be held on Monday, November 16 from 6:00-7:00 pm EST!

The Piggy Bank Bash is an opportunity for people new to CEF to learn more about our work, our values, and the communities we work with, and for CEF’s growing community of Advocates, Members, donors, and staff to come together and build deeper relationships. This year’s event will be held virtually, and CEF is excited that community members from all over the country and world will be able to participate. As in past years, the Bash will include songs by the CEF Advocacy Choir, door prizes, and opportunities to hear directly from Members, Advocates, and staff.

While tickets for the event are free, all donations are greatly appreciated as this is CEF’s annual fundraiser. You can register for the Bash here. To make a donation, click here or text the code ‘PIGGY’ to 44-321.

Learning About the Racial Wealth Gap

A 2016 survey of the U.S. showed that the median wealth of white families was 10 times greater than that of households of color. Check out CEF’s newest blog post about what the racial wealth gap is, how it came to be, and how it can be addressed, there is even a game to demonstrate how individual choices can perpetuate the racial wealth gap.

October Office Hours

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

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

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

For consistent updates about CEF’s office hours, check out this document.

We’re Hiring!

CEF is looking for an Office and Community Organizer for the Durham Office.

Applications are due by October 5, 2020.

This position is responsible for bottom-lining office operations in the Durham office and connecting CEF Members to community organizing opportunities. The Office and Community Organizer creates a welcoming, healing centered office environment that emphasizes each person as creative, resourceful, and whole.

For more information and application instructions please visit www.communityef.org/hiring

Debbie and Diiv’s Resource of the Month

This month, CEF’s Member Services Coordinators Debbie and Diiv each choose a resource to highlight in the geography they work in.

For Durham County, Debbie is highlighting the Fed Up Food Distribution program and political organizing effort coordinated by NC Poor People’s Campaign, Carolina Jews for Justice, and Raise Up NC. If you are interested in receiving grocery delivery to your home every two weeks or want to volunteer, call 919-797-9233.

For Orange County, Diiv is highlighting a free COVID-19 testing opportunity. You can go and get tested for free every Wednesday from 10 am – 2 pm at 725 M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. There is no need to pre-register for a test. The results of the test are usually available in 3 days and will be communicated via text.

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August Newsletter: Ways to Connect with CEF

Save the Date for the 2020 Piggy Bank Bash!

CEF ‘s annual Piggy Bank Bash will take place virtually on Monday, November 16 from 6:00-7:00 pm EST!

Please join CEF to celebrate the accomplishments the CEF community has made during 2020.  The Piggy Bank Bash is an opportunity for people new to CEF to learn more about our work, our values, and the communities we work with and for CEF’s growing community of Advocates, Members, donors, and staff to come together and build deeper relationships. This event will include songs by the CEF Advocacy Choir and testimonials from Members and Advocates about the importance of CEF in their lives.

While tickets for the event are free, all donations are greatly appreciated as this is CEF’s annual fundraiser. You can register for this event here. To make a donation, click here or text the code ‘PIGGY’ to 44-321.

Time + Talents Podcast

CEF’s Durham Office is excited to bring you the Time + Talents Podcast!

Time + Talents is CEF’s Member-driven advocacy platform in Durham. Due to the pandemic, Durham’s Office and Community Organizer Rosa Green arranged this podcast as a way to continue bringing information and resources to CEF Members while observing social distancing. The topic of each episode is chosen by Member feedback; the first episode of the podcast focuses on various matters related to housing. Advocates Lily Levin and Lizzy Kramer host the podcast and interviewed a Member, CEF’s Housing Access Coordinator, a Duke professor, and an Assistant Director for Durham’s Aging and Adult Services. Check out the episode here for a great conversation about evictions, renter’s rights, and local resources.

Give Back Day with LocoPops!

On Monday, September 28, LocoPops will donate 10% of pre-tax revenue from online sales to CEF!

Give Back Day is the perfect opportunity to enjoy delicious pops and ice cream, support a local business, and benefit CEF. Place your order on September 28 for pickup or delivery on Tuesday, September 29. Order online here!

September Office Hours

After the breaks each office took during August, CEF is excited to be open for the month of September!

Chapel Hill’s September Office Hours:

10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – Friday

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday

Durham’s September Office Hours:

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

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday

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

For consistent updates about CEF’s office hours, check out this document.

Debbie and Diiv’s Resources of the Month

This month, CEF’s Member Services Coordinators Debbie and Diiv each choose a resource to highlight in the geography they work in.

For Durham County, Debbie is highlighting an opportunity to get a free COVID-19 test at White Rock Baptist Church on Saturday, August 22 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. The church is located at 3400 Fayettevilee Stree, Durham, NC 27707. To learn more, visit onsms.org/durham.

For Orange County, Diiv is highlighting the Orange County Eviction Diversion Program. This program helps fight evictions by providing legal help and emergency housing assistance funds to people who qualify. To see if you qualify, call 919-245-2655 between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday or 12:00 am to 6:00 am Sunday through Thursday.

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July Newsletter: Safe Savings Gratitude, Office Availability, Operation Get Your Stimulus, and New Advocate Training!

Thank you for making the Safe Savings Campaign a success!

Because of your donations, CEF was able to redistribute over $34,000 to Members in under four months!

This campaign bolstered the financial stability of your fellow community members during the challenges posed by COVID-19. CEF thanks you all for participating and making this campaign a success!

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

For the time being, both the Chapel Hill and Durham office locations are open from 10 am- 12 pm and 1 pm – 3 pm Monday through Thursday with an extra time slot on Thursday from 5 pm – 7 pm. New Member Orientations are taking place at the Durham office on Mondays at 11 am and Thursdays at 6:00 pm.

The offices will each be closed in August as we say goodbye to summer interns and welcome the fall Advocates. Chapel Hill will be closed Aug 3-14, 2020 and Durham will be closed Aug 12-21, 2020. 

Can I still make a virtual appointment for these times?

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.

Will anyone be available to speak with me when the offices are closed?

Yes! CEF Members can call the Durham office at 919-797-9233 or the Chapel Hill office at 919-200-0233 and receive a call back from a staff member.

Where can I get up-to-date information about office hours?

We are consistently updating this document with information about our office hours and phases of re-opening.

Operation Get Your Stimulus

Several agencies and organizations partnered with CEF to work with Durham residents to access their stimulus checks, better protect themselves from COVID-19, and complete the Census.

This project resulted in more than two dozen people signing up to receive their stimulus check and answered several questions regarding access issues and eligibility requirements. In addition to providing information regarding stimulus funds, the various members of this project were able to distribute masks and tips on how to properly wear them to lessen exposure to COVID-19.

Along with these efforts, the project also worked with eleven households to successfully complete the Census. This allowed for Durham to be more accurately reflected in the allocation of resources and representation which is based on Census figures.CEF is thankful to the various partners in Operation Get Your Stimulus for the project’s success!

Upcoming Advocate Training

CEF is still working to ensure that we can train new Advocates this fall in a safe and supportive way.

The new Advocate training has not been scheduled yet as CEF works to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the training can be carried out as safely as possible.

Sign up here for the New Advocate listserv to get updates about upcoming opportunities to become a CEF Advocate!

Racial Discrimination in Housing and Personal Finance

CEF’s Summer Interns have been curating a series of posts about how racial discrimination has impacted housing and personal finance matters in various ways. Their research provides context on why racial justice is an important guiding principle for CEF’s work.

You can check out the great information they have put together next week on our blog or any of our social media outlets. CEF is excited to share their work with you!
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June Newsletter: CEF is Hiring, Offices are Open, Donate to the Safe Savings Campaign!

Safe Savings Campaign Update

Another huge thanks to everyone who has donated to CEF’s COVID-19 Safe Savings Campaign. We’ve already raised a total of $24,678, which is 82% of our goal!Can you help us meet our goal by donating today?

$10,117.74 has been dispersed to Members’ Safe Savings Accounts as a 15% Match on what they had saved as of March 27. All additional funds raised will be used to partially replenish Members’ Safe Savings Accounts due to emergency withdrawals made since March 10–when Gov Cooper declared a State of Emergency due to COVID-19.

The Stewards Fund is graciously matching gifts from new or lapsed donors and increased gifts from already existing donors through June 30–up to $9,500!Please use the button below to donate and directly support the financial stability of people in your community.

Donate Here!

Office Reopening FAQs

What safety precautions are being taken at CEF’s offices to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

  • All staff must answer health screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms everyday before going to the office.
  • When making reminder calls to Members, CEF Staff and Advocates are asking screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Masks are required for every person entering the office. CEF is providing masks to anyone who does not have one.
  • Every person entering the office must have their temperature checked by infrared thermometer (a type of thermometer that allows temperature to be taken from a distance with no contact) and is asked screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms.
  • In the office, markings on the ground indicate 6-foot distances that everyone is required to respect, including surrounding the reception desk, waiting room seats, individual offices, cubicles, and tables for one-on-one meetings. We have also installed Plexiglass dividers around the reception desks in both offices. The 6-foot distance requirement will be required for every person in the office, at all times.
  • In addition to the 6-foot distance requirement in all meetings, CEF installed computer monitors at each meeting station so that Members and Advocates can view the same screen at a safe distance.
  • Hand-washing with soap and hand sanitizer is highly encouraged with signs around the office and in bathrooms.

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.

Can I donate supplies to support CEF in reopening?

Yes! CEF is still collecting donations for the following items: masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and infrared thermometers. If you can donate any of these supplies, please drop them off at either office during open office hours. 

Are the hotline and COVID-19 resource sheets still operating?

Yes – you can still call the hotline (919-797-9233), someone will be answering the phone during office hours (Tue & Wed 10:00-12:00 & 1:00-3:00 and Thurs 5:00-7:00 pm). The COVID-19 resource sheets are continuing to be updated, with the help of Lincoln Community Health Center. You can find them on the CEF website (www.communityef.org). We are working with nccovidsupport.org to merge our lists and upload them onto their platform so that they will be more mobile friendly and searchable! This should happen in the next few weeks.

We’re Hiring!

CEF is looking for an Administrative Assistant for Development & Finance

Applications are due by June 30, 2020.

Working closely with CEF’s Director of Development & Finance, the Administrative Assistant for Development and Finance (AADF) will support development efforts as CEF continually grows its reach in the community–including maintaining necessary files and records, planning for and implementing fundraising events, and supporting the donor thank you process. The AADF will also manage CEF’s social media presence, support other external communications–including a monthly e-newsletter and annual report, and support administration of CEF’s Safe Savings accounts. The AADF will have a combination of on- and off-site work; some tasks and duties will be performed in both CEF’s Chapel Hill and Durham offices, and other tasks will be completed remotely. When working in either office the AADF is expected to comply with all safety policies associated with COVID-19. The AADF will report to the Director and Development & Finance and may work with program staff, other administrative staff, and volunteer Advocates on specific tasks. 

For more information and application instructions please visit www.communityef.org/hiring

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May Newsletter: Plans to Reopen, Graduating Advocates, Donna on WRAL

Safe Savings Campaign Update

Another huge thanks to everyone who has donated to CEF’s COVID-19 Safe Savings Campaign. We’ve already raise a total of $19,670, which is 66% of our goal!

The money is already being dispersed to Members’ Safe Savings Accounts: $10,117.74 has been distributed to Members as a Savings Match, and $9,552.26 has replenished Members’ Safe Savings Accounts after emergency withdrawals.

To meet our goal of $30,000 by June 30, we need to raise an additional $10,330. With the Stewards Fund match, donations are doubled through the end June, which means your gift will have 2x its impact on our community during this crisis.

Please use the button below to donate and help CEF achieve our goal!
Donate Here!

Office Reopening FAQs

Given changing COVID-19 guidelines, CEF is initiating a reopening plan for both offices. Please read the following FAQs for information regarding office reopening.

When will CEF’s offices reopen?

The Chapel Hill office will reopen on Tuesday, June 9. The office will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am – 12 pm and 1 – 3 pm.

The Durham office will reopen Tuesday, June 16. The office will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am – 12 pm and 1 – 3 pm, and Thursdays from 5 – 7 pm.

How can I schedule an appointment?

CEF Members can schedule appointments beginning Monday, June 1. Members can call the Chapel Hill (919-200-0233) or Durham (919-797-9233) offices to schedule an appointment. Please leave a message requesting an appointment at a specific date and time, and a CEF Staff member will call you back in 1-2 business days to confirm the appointment.

Will appointments be available for non-Members?

At this time, appointments are only available for current CEF Members who have attended a Member Orientation. CEF will not be offering Member Orientation at either office location at this time. We will send another update when we begin to offer Orientations again.

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.

What safety precautions will be taken at CEF’s offices to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

When making reminder calls to Members, CEF Staff and Advocates will ask screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms.

Masks will be required for every person entering the office. CEF will provide masks for anyone who does not have one. Every person entering the office will have their temperature checked by infrared thermometer (a type of thermometer that allows temperature to be taken from a distance with no contact) and will be asked screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms.

In the office, markings on the ground will indicate 6-foot distances that everyone is required to respect, including surrounding the reception desk, waiting room seats, individual offices, cubicles, and tables for one-on-one meetings. We will have Plexiglass dividers surrounding the reception desks in both offices. The 6-foot distance requirement will be required for every person.

In addition to the 6-foot distance requirement in all meetings, CEF is installing computer monitors at each meeting station so that Members and Advocates can view the same screen at a safe distance. Hand-washing with soap and hand sanitizer will be highly encouraged with signs around the office and in bathrooms.

Can I donate supplies to support CEF in reopening?

Yes! CEF is still collecting donations for the following items: masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and infrared thermometers. If you can donate any of these supplies, please drop them off on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 11 am and 1 pm at IFC Community Kitchen (100 W. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516). CEF Staff will be present during this time. For questions about donations, please email Zach at zachm@communityempowermentfund.org.

Are the hotline and COVID-19 resource sheets still operating?

Yes – you can still call the hotline (919-797-9233), but hours are reduced to 3:30 – 5:30 pm every weekday. The COVID-19 resource sheets will continue to be updated. You can find them on the CEF website (www.communityef.org).

We are excited to see our community again, and safety is our first priority as we reopen. Any changes in the above FAQs will be communicated via newsletter.

A Bittersweet Good-Bye to Graduating Advocates

Due to quarantine measures, CEF was unable to host our annual Spring Graduation for senior Advocates in Chapel Hill this year…so we celebrated them from afar!Durham’s Advocate Program Coordinator, Leah, coordinated a good-bye Zoom call for graduating Advocates to share reflections on CEF, college, and all the incredible communities they’ve build over the past few years. Chapel Hill’s Advocate Program Coordinator Kristina compiled a thank-you video for graduating Advocates, with video clips of Staff and Advocates wishing personalized good-byes to all graduating Advocates.To our graduating Advocates: we will miss you so much, and we wish you the best of luck in your next steps! Know that you always have a home with us at CEF!
Check out the full video HERE!

Donna Carrington, Executive Director, Featured on WRAL

CEF Executive Director Donna Carrington spoke to WRAL last week about CEF’s partnership with the City of Durham and their efforts to ensure that everyone has the information and resources they need to receive their $1,200 stimulus check. She describes CEF’s work in connecting “non-filers,” who do not file taxes and who therefore do not automatically get a stimulus checks, to the application to receive their stimulus check.
You can view Donna’s interview with the WRAL team HERE!
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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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

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