Chatham’s already generous — but many needs still exist

Posted 11/29/19

A look at the numbers shows that, pretty much objectively, Chatham County is very charitable.

A study by SmartAsset earlier this year said Chatham was the second-most charitable county in North …

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Chatham’s already generous — but many needs still exist

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A look at the numbers shows that, pretty much objectively, Chatham County is very charitable.

A study by SmartAsset earlier this year said Chatham was the second-most charitable county in North Carolina. The research looked at charitable donations as a percentage of total net income and people who donated to charity as a percentage of the population. Chatham was behind only Wake, with 30.7 percent of county residents’ net income given to charities and 72.8 percent of the population making donations at some point in the previous year.

Additionally, Chatham residents volunteering with partner agencies of the United Way of Chatham County worked 81,179 hours. According to Dina Reynolds, executive director of the United Way of Chatham, said that “astounding” number led to more than $2 million in salaries saved.

“Chatham County residents are extremely generous,” Reynolds said. “In my 20-plus years of nonprofit work, I have found that there is a strong sense of community in Chatham. People look out for each other and are always willing to help when there is a need.”

With the holiday season upon us, here are a few organizations and ways, in alphabetical order, Chatham residents can help their neighbors.


According to a recent press release, the food bank CORA has recently seen a 59 percent increase in people participating in its Pantry program, with the number expected to grow over the holidays. The group seeks to serve the nearly 20,000 individuals in Chatham who are food insecure, meaning they lack regular access to the nutritious food they need.

“CORA needs help to make the holiday season bright for families in need and is asking for the public’s assistance in making sure that no neighbor goes without food,” the release stated.

For a list of most needed items and additional information, visit or call 919-542-5020. Some of the specific items CORA is seeking are turkey breasts, mini hams, boxed stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, cans of gravy, pasta, canned vegetables like green beans, corn and peas and canned fruit like pumpkin, apple sauce and cranberries.

Salvation Army of Chatham County

The Salvation Army’s prime Christmas event is something you’ll hear.

The organization’s Red Kettles will be placed across the county taking donations for the nonprofit’s work. Interested people can sign up to ring the bell by calling Executive Director Jane Wrenn at 919-542-1593 or visit to fill out a volunteer sign-up form. You can also donate to the organization when you hear the bell.

Another way Salvation Army serves the community is through the Angel Tree program. A collection bin is located at the Siler City Walmart, where people are encouraged to donate new toys and clothing for children 12 and under.

Toys for Tots

During 2018, 3,574 toys were distributed to 885 children in the Pittsboro area through the Toys for Tots program. Containers across the county with the program’s logo — a red train with the words “Toys for Tots” across the cars — are drop-off places for toys. For more information, shoot an email to Stephanie Blake at

United Way of Chatham County

Throughout the year, county residents can donate to the United Way, which distributes donations each spring to “human services programs impacting the most critical needs in our community.”

Credit card donations can be made online at or by phone at 919-542-1110. Checks can be mailed to the United Way of Chatham County at P.O. Box 1066, Pittsboro, N.C., 27312. Those looking for volunteer service during the holidays can call 2-1-1. A live, bilingual operator is available to help residents identify potential volunteer opportunities 24-7.

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.


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