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. 

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 our new Barrier Busters program and also 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 2023-24 year, UWLC is intentionally focusing on housing, food, and physical/mental health. 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.

United Way is changing lives every day! Here are just a few examples of our local impact in 2022-2023:

  • 90 hard-working people got help from Barrier Busters to achieve their goals of housing, employment, and more
  • 2,283 persons experiencing homelessness and poverty received services and supports at the Navigation Center 
  • 99 college students received emergency help with groceries, educational expenses, etc., so they could stay in school
  • 100 families got help finding safe, affordable, permanent housing
  • 3,539 callers to NC 211 from Lee and Harnett Counties got immediate, compassionate help to access housing, shelter, food, utilities, and other immediate needs
  • 152 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's broad community reach and deep, long-standing partnerships and relationships facilitate inter-agency cooperation and creative problem-solving to serve clients, many of whom have needs that can't be met by a single agency. 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. And all funding decisions are made by local volunteers who know and care about our community. 

We know that 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, and your gift to United Way helps make it happen!

It stays right here! Contributions made to United Way of Lee County are invested back into the Lee and Harnett communities. What you give here stays here to help build a better tomorrow for all of us!

Yes. United Way of Lee County accepts designations of $50 or more to any 501(c)(3) organization, whether it is local or not. But we encourage you to give an undesignated gift that can be used to 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.