United Christian Ministries of Jackson County, Inc., was founded in 1989 ago by a consortium of local churches. The purpose of United Christian Ministries is to help to people with urgent physical, economic, social, or spiritual needs so that they can move toward relative independence. We provide a food pantry, personal items, and household items, as well as assistance with necessities (temporary shelter, utilities, heat, rent, medical copays) to residents of Jackson County. We collaborate with many local supportive agencies in order to help our neighbors. We are staffed by three employees and a cadre of over 40 volunteers.
UCM is fully funded through the generosity of donors - churches, businesses, individuals, and grants. We receive donations of money as well as pantry items. We serve about 10,000 clients per year and distribute thousands of bags of food each year. In 2020, we gave out over 20,000 bags of food, an almost 50% increase from the prior three years. In 2021, we distributed over 21,000 bags of food - about 76,000 pounds. In 2022, we gave out 36,806 bags of food (over 128,000 pounds).
Grantors include Jackson County, Dogwood Health Trust, Great Smokies Health Foundation, Nantahala Health Foundation, North Carolina Community Foundation, WNC Bridge Foundation, Rotary Club of Sylva, Church of the Good Shepherd (Cashiers), Food Lion Charitable Foundation, WNC Community Foundation, Balsam Mountain Trust, and more.
Many local businesses, civic groups, and churches support UCM in two ways: with monetary support, and by collecting donations of items to give to clients, such as canned food, shampoo, etc. Additional funding comes from local businesses such as NAPA, Peoples Golf, and more. The support of our community is crucial to our success.
A large expansion project was begun in 2021, with the addition of another pantry space and renovation of the building & grounds. View the photo album of our pantry expansion here!
Executive Director: Ann Selby (email@example.com)
Director of Outreach: Joyce Pope (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Support Specialist: Andi Green
Board of Directors
United Christian Ministries is overseen by a board of directors. An annually elected board of directors representing 15 local congregations and agencies provides oversight and support of our ministry. Each member serves a three-year term. It is the hope and goal of UCM to have wide representation from local churches and agencies to guide the vision of our ministry.
Current Board of Directors
Officers: Frank Royce, Chairman; Frances Hess, Secretary; Cyndie Royce, Treasurer
Board Members at Large: Deborah Blazer, Scott Carter, Kathey Clemmons, Randy Crawford, Jacke DeLeeuw, Margaret Duppstadt, Frances Hess, Karen Johnson, Joe Rigdon, Fannie Roper, Tim Jones, Emily Taylor