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Union County, North Carolina

Volunteer Services

The Volunteer Services Coordinator locates and facilitates the provision of resources and services for the benefit of client and agency by individuals or groups who contribute their time and skills. She coordinates community efforts to provide assistance for low-income families via the Christmas Bureau, food distribution, transportation services for medical and foster care needs, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and other programs. Opportunities to assist with volunteer programs, or make donations are available.

Donations

DSS accepts donations of money, clothing, household items, personal care products and various miscellaneous items. Please make checks payable to Union County DSS Donation Fund, P.O. Box 489, Monroe, NC 28111. On-going needs are: school supplies, socks, undergarments, cleaning supplies, smoke detectors, diapers, and baby formula.

Easter Baskets

Easter baskets can be purchased or created by individuals or groups. These fun-filled baskets are delivered to children being served by our agency. Interested persons may call-in commitments to participate 4-6 weeks prior to Easter. All donations need to be delivered to DSS on the Monday and Tuesday prior to Good Friday.

School Supplies

Getting ready for back-to-school can be an exciting time for a child – but not if they don’t have the supplies they need. Each year, we have a back-to-school supply drive for the children our agency serves. Items needed include book bags, pens, pencils, rulers, calculators, 3-ring binders, loose-leaf paper, composition books, crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks, pocket folders, color pencils, tissues, etc. We would be glad to tailor a drive to suit your group’s need. Please call us in May or June to let us know if you or your group would like to participate.

VITA Program

Our newest volunteer program at DSS is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. This program provides free tax assistance to families with less than $38,000 per year in income. Volunteers are required to complete an IRS tax course and successfully pass an exam. The certified tax preparers are then able to complete income tax returns and electronically file those returns for the taxpayer. This program generates thousands of dollars for the Union County economy and saves the tax payer the cost of tax preparation.

Christmas Bureau

The Christmas Bureau is a collaborative effort of:

  • The Union County Department of Social Services
  • H.O.P.E. for the Christmas Bureau of Union County
  • Marine Corps' Toys for Tots
  • Council on Aging
  • Union County Goodfellows
  • The Union County Health Department
  • The Salvation Army

Financial Donations

With the generous support of many in our community, the Union County Christmas Bureau made Christmas a special time for 8001 individuals in 2010. The monies received were used to purchase toys, gift certificates, and food for families to enjoy over the holiday season. To the single working parent struggling to provide their children with a Merry Christmas, you've helped lift part of the burden off their shoulders. For the many of Union County's less fortunate children, the donations we received let them experience the joy and warmth of the Christmas Season that every child deserves. Your donation helps ensure that everyone can experience the warmth and joys of Christmas. To make a donation please contact Gloria Haney at 704-296-4312 or stop by if you would like to make a financial contribution.

Food Drive Sponsorship

More than 2,000 families apply for Christmas assistance each year. Many of those are adopted by other groups or businesses and they receive their food and gifts items directly from the donors. Of the remaining families that do not get adopted, they will come to the Christmas Bureau to select their gifts and receive a box of food for their family. In 2010 through donations and food drives by local schools, businesses and organizations the Union County Christmas Bureau was able to provide a box of food for more than 300 families which had applied to receive Christmas assistance. It will take the efforts of many groups to provide enough food for our families this year. If your group or business would like to sponsor a food drive, please contact the Gloria Haney at 704-296-4312. Thank you!

Gift Tree Sponsorship

Churches, business, and other organizations sponsor Gift Trees for us each year. Our goal is to be able to place every child that applies for assistance on a gift tree somewhere in our county. During the 2010 Christmas season, 68 gift trees throughout the county provided 1,215 children and adults with Christmas gifts. These gifts were donated by individuals, families and businesses. If your church, business or group would like to sponsor a gift tree: Call Gloria Haney at 704-296-4312. Thank you!

Sponsor a Family

There are over 2,100 families that will apply for Christmas assistance. Our families are as small as single parent homes with one child and as large as two parents and up to 12 children. There is a family that is just waiting to hear from a sponsor that would love to help them make their children’s Christmas holiday just a little brighter. To sponsor a family, you can call Gloria Haney at 704-296-4312. The first step in sponsoring a family is determining what size family you would like to sponsor. This depends on the amount of money you are willing to spend in order to make a family’s Christmas brighter. We ask that you provide one new clothing outfit per child and at least two toys for each child. For the family, you will need to provide food for their Christmas dinner. You can do this by purchasing the food yourself, or by purchasing a grocery store gift card so that they can do their own shopping.

Stocking Sponsorship

The perfect complement for a child’s Christmas gifts would be a stocking filled with small toys and goodies just for them. Our organization can provide empty stockings to you, your group or organization, and you can fill those stockings to make a smile light up a child’s face. After you have filled the stocking with items for a specific age child, we ask that you complete the label we will provide to you with the gender and age that is most appropriate for the items you have included in the stocking. Then, you bring your beautifully filled stockings to the Christmas Bureau before the distribution dates so that our volunteers can be sure to give a stocking to every child that receives assistance from the Christmas Bureau. If you are interested in filling up a stocking, please contact Gloria Haney at 704-296-4312. Thank you!

Volunteers

Each year the Christmas Bureau must rely on hundreds of individual, group, and family volunteers to help us meet the needs of serving the families that apply to receive Christmas assistance. Our volunteers are very important to the success of our program and we rely on them to help in many ways. Our volunteers perform basic office tasks, accept donations at our location, match clients and donors, schedule other volunteers, and sort toys or food for gifts. During the distribution, our volunteers will organize the gift tree items for scheduled pickup.

If you would like to volunteer with us during the Christmas season, please register online to sign up for one or more shifts!

Wish Lists

  • adult art supplies
  • adult backpacks
  • footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, bats
  • board games, electronic games
  • bicycles, skates, skateboards
  • jewelry
  • needlepoint
  • hair accessories
  • make-up
  • hair dryers, straighteners
  • new and gently used books for infants through teens.
  • hats & gloves - girls and boys - all sizes
  • shirts, jeans, skirts - all sizes