By Chris Day Mulitmedia Editor Monday, October 7, 2019
Officials hope a new faith-based program will help the Albemarle Area United Way to more efficiently assist residents who face unexpected crises. The Community Care Collaborative, which was announced last week, is formed primarily of several churches in Camden and Pasquotank counties. The purpose of the collaborative is to pool volunteers with various experience to find the resources to better assist residents faced with a sudden crisis. “This is truly a game changer as the Albemarle Area United Way launches our first community impact program” Bill Blake, executive director for AAUW, said in a prepared statement. “Many other United Ways around the country have launched similar impact programs that strive to leverage the network of partners and efficiencies of a central repository of resources.” The Community Care Collaborative, or CCC, will operate in addition to the other many organizations the Albemarle Area United Way already works with throughout its nine-county service area. A program similar to the CCC is Interfaith Community Outreach in Dare County, Blake said. That program began in January 2004 and has since assisted more than 19,000 people, according to the ICO website. “If it works in other places, it can work here,” Blake said. The program will serve Camden and Pasquotank counties, but could grow in the future. There are about 100 churches in the two-county region and so far about 20 have joined the collaborative, Blake said. The agency is limiting the CCC to just Camden and Pasquotank counties, at least for the time being, he said. To manage the Community Care Collaborative, the agency has hired Elizabeth City resident Monica Oakes. Oakes holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Carolina University. She has taught in the public schools and has experience serving families and their children. Oakes currently serves as the family ministries director at First United Methodist Church. Volunteers are now being sought for the CCC. According to the United Way, volunteers must pass a background check, successfully complete training and orientation and be able to work with a diverse population, while maintaining client confidentiality. Anyone interested in volunteering for the CCC can contact Oakes at the United Way at 252-333-1510.