United Way FAQ's

United Way of Lee County (UWLC) is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving Lee and Harnett Counties. We've been serving our community since 1960, and we're part of a network of local United Ways under the umbrella of United Way Worldwide, which provides support services. 

United Way of Lee County helps people build pathways out of poverty so that they can be self-sufficient and provide for their families. We do this through partnerships with other local nonprofits that provide direct services such as food pantries, housing assistance, etc. UWLC provides critical funding for these and similar programs.

United Way provides other community services, too. People who need help with food, housing, utilities, and much more can check out NC 211, United Way's information and referral service, and volunteers can go to VolunteerUnited.net to find local volunteer opportunities.

For the 2022-23 year, UWLC is intentionally focusing on housing, food, and physical/mental health. In spring 2022, these issues were identified by community residents as critical needs that United Way can help address. Together, we are building a tomorrow that is better than yesterday.

United Way of Lee County serves both Lee and Harnett counties in central North Carolina. Our office is located in Sanford, NC.

We're making our community better every day! Here are just a few examples of United Way's local impact in 2021:

  • 11,000 breakfast meals were served at the Lee County Navigation Center
  • 45 people experiencing homelessness had safe shelter, food, and associated services for one week
  • 48 college students dealing with food insecurity were given a week's worth of groceries
  • 9 families received a month of rental assistance
  • 1,151 callers to NC 211 got immediate, compassionate help to access housing, shelter, food, utilities, and other immediate needs
  • 114 volunteers were connected with local opportunities for service

Simply put, there is no better way to invest in the future of our community. United Way partners go through a vigorous vetting process, so you know that your donation is being used efficiently and effectively to address challenges facing our community.

United Way's goal is long-lasting change that prevents problems from happening in the first place. When people can provide for themselves and their families, there's a lot less stress on community resources, and that means quality of life goes up for everyone. And when children aren't living in poverty, they do better in school, they're healthier, and they are much more likely to grow up to be positive, contributing members of society. That's a win for all of us!

It stays here! It is the policy of United Way of Lee County that donations are used to support programs in Lee and Harnett Counties only, unless the donor specifically requests that the donation be sent elsewhere. So you can rest assured that what you give here stays here to help neighbors right here at home.

Yes. United Way of Lee County accepts designations of $50 or more to any 501(c)(3) organization, whether it is local or not. However, we encourage donors to make undesignated gifts so that United Way can meet the most urgent community needs.

An undesignated gift allows you to help more people than a gift to a single agency ever could. Because community problems are interrelated, and because families often need help with more than one issue, a gift to United Way’s Community Impact Fund is the best and most efficient way to help these families. Also, undesignated gifts allow United Way to be responsive to emergent needs in the community and to meet those needs quickly.

Volunteers like you! Each spring, local volunteers serve on Community Investment Teams, which thoroughly review funding applications and make funding recommendations to the United Way Board of Directors. The Board (also all volunteers) makes final funding decisions. If you're interested in serving on a Community Investment Team, click the Contact Us button at the top of the page and let us know!

We want to help! Click the Contact Us button at the top of the page to send us a message. We'll get back with you as soon as possible.