Chapel Hill’s EMPOWERment Inc. Makes Critical Building Repairs With Stipend From United Way and Band Together
“EMPOWERment is such a better organization because of our relationship with United Way,” said Delores Bailey, Executive Director of EMPOWERment Inc. in Orange County, NC.
Delores knows this well because as the Executive Director for more than 16 years and one of United Way’s inaugural 10 to Watch leaders, she has watched how her organization has been able to grow with support from an established funding organization. It’s been the gift that keeps on giving and Delores says the end of 2021 is a good example of this in action.
“Going into the end of 2021, we were just covering bases with what we had coming in. We had gotten PPP money in the past year. I knew we weren’t going to get that same amount in 2022 and we were going to struggle to come up with the money,” she said.
So when EMPOWERment Inc.’s property manager recently turned to her and shared that EMPOWERment Inc.’ affordable community apartments in the historically African American neighborhood of Pine Knolls needed approximately $7,600 in structural repairs, her heart fell. The building consists of two 4-bedroom apartments and two efficiencies. Families have made their homes there.
“I was thinking ‘Lord, where are we going to get $7K?’ I was thinking about what we weren’t going to pay so that we could get this done.”
That conversation happened at 11 am and just two hours later, Delores got an email from United Way and Band Together sharing that an additional $9,134 stipend — from the funds raised for the 2021 Band Together concert — was now in EMPOWERment Inc.’s bank account.
Those additional funds means that EMPOWERment can make those crucial structural repairs without taking away from other areas they need to invest in.
“From our lips to His ears and bless United Way,” said Delores. “It was so timely. There was no way United Way knew we needed money. It’s just marvelous to me. I have to take a big breath and remember that I’m not in this fight by myself.”
EMPOWERment Inc.’s mission is to empower individuals and communities to achieve their destiny through community organizing, affordable housing, and grass roots economic development. They are one of United Way of the Greater Triangle’s 90+ nonprofit partners to receive a stipend through the 2021 Band Together partnership. To learn more about the organizations that were supported through that partnership, visit Band Together’s website.