Archive | Newsletters

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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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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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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

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