Frequently Asked Questions

What is CUOC? 

Christians United Outreach Center.

How long has the center been in Asheboro? 
The CUOC opened its doors in uptown Asheboro February 1, 1994. The center is located at 930 S. Fayetteville Street. The mailing address is P.O. Box 784, Asheboro, NC 27204. The telephone number for the center is 625-1500.

What is the history behind the CUOC? 
For about twenty years, ministers throughout the community had discussed the possibility of the churches coming together to form an urban-ministry type program for Randolph County. In 1993, the Greater Asheboro Ministerial Association called a town meeting to determine if there were unmet needs within the community and if such a center was needed. About 100 people representing approximately 40 churches gathered for this meeting. It was determined that a center was needed and in fact, there were several unmet needs in the community. From this meeting, a committee was appointed to develop the center's mission and to secure a suitable site for the center.

Who do we help? 
Our target population is the working poor, temporarily unemployed, disabled, elderly, and other residents of Randolph County that are in crisis due to circumstances beyond their control. Will help from CUOC alleviate the problem?

When is the center open? 
Client services hours are Monday - Wednesday 10:00am - 3:00pm, and Thursday 10:00am - 6:00pm.  We do work by appointment with clients on Friday that need additional time.  The staff and volunteers involved with client services work Monday - Wednesday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, Thursday 9:00am- 6:00pm, and Friday 9:00am - 2:00pm.

What do we do? 
The CUOC is able to meet needs through a variety of programs:

  • Give food and non-food items from our client choice food pantry;
  • Provide clothing, furniture, household items, bedding, and appliances from our thrift store;
  • Loan medical equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and bedside commodes from our medical supply closet;
  • Paying utilities, rents and mortgages, buying gasoline and paying for repairs through our financial assistance programs;
  • Provide financial literacy training
  • Offer a prayer ministry with volunteers at the center & available to clients on Wednesday or giving clients an opportunity to write a prayer request and leaving it for the prayer team to pray over;
  • Provide limited homeless assistance (See Project Independence below)
  • Provide assistance locating and acquiring RX's for ongoing needs through our medical assistance program and purchase prescriptions and medical supplies for emergency needs.

Provide assistance locating and acquiring RX's for ongoing needs through our medical assistance program and purchase prescriptions and medical supplies for emergency needs.

What is Project Independence? 
Project Independence serves single parent families (parties of related persons) in Randolph County, who have lost their housing due to economic distress, crisis due to death, abandonment or abuse by the head of household or a member of household, and other causes yet to be identified. Project Independence is a long-term solution with supportive services. The program is designed to assist a person(s) for a period of 6 months to 2 years. Participants are evaluated on a regular basis to determine whether or not they show progress in meeting goals and need to remain in the program. To be eligible, the participant should be desire driven to become self-sufficient, be willing to work with a program manager develop a plan of action to reach such goals and be willing to "work the plan”.  Although it is a small program, the difference it makes in the lives of these families is HUGE!

How do we determine whether to help? 
To determine if the CUOC will be able to assist a client's request, we ask these main questions: 1) what help is the client asking for (is it a basic need). 2) What situation led to the need for help? 3) Will "help" help or prolong the problem? And 4) what can we do to help?

What items are needed in the food pantry? How many items are used monthly?                                                                                                                     We accept fresh/commercially frozen produce when available, any shelf stable food items, hygiene items, cleaning items, and paper products including diapers.  Any type of food your family consumes, we can use it.  We have limited opportunity to receive commercially packaged meat products which are frozen and distributed in a frozen state.


Do you give away food other than what has been donated? 
Yes, since July of 2012 CUOC has distributed commodities known as TEFAP that we receive from the NC Dept. of Agriculture. These items had previously been distributed through a program at Randolph County Department of Social Services. With the new arrangement, a greater number of families are receiving this food and it is accessible every day we are open rather than at three-four times per year. In addition to the TEFAP, the center often purchases food to supplement the donated items.

Why does the center have a Thrift Store? 
The Thrift Store is a very important part of Christians United Outreach Center. The store provides an opportunity for the staff and volunteers to come together with the community and clients for a common goal - good stewardship. By offering items at a thrifty price, anyone can come to purchase those items that "make a house a home." Members of our community who cannot resist a bargain or love to shop for that one "treasure" enjoy the challenge of the hunt. Many in our community may need our assistance, but are too proud to ask. We see families in this category that benefit from shopping at the Thrift Store. We also see those who come out to support the CUOC and check on business! Clients can come to shop and purchase additional items for their family and home that may fall into the "want" category as opposed to a "need" that we meet through client services with our voucher program. This is also a good "budget" decision for a struggling family. In addition to the “Thrift” type items available in the store; we have collectibles, antiques and Hersey Ice Cream! All sales support the programs and help with the overhead of operating Christians United Outreach Center.  The store is located at 135 Sunset Ave.

 

How do I donate? 

  • To donate money please visit the center during our regular business hours or mail a donation to PO Box 784, Asheboro, NC 27204
  • On our website click the “donate” button to use a credit or debit card
  • Drop off food and merchandise donations at the 930 S. Fayetteville St. location from 9-5 Monday – Thursday, 9-2 on Friday and 10-4 on Saturday. Call the center during regular business hours to see if special arrangements can be made if these times will not meet your needs.
  • To arrange for a large item pick up or a large quantity that you can’t bring to the center yourself, please call 336-625-1500 during administrative hours and ask to be placed on the pickup schedule.  Please be aware that pickups are scheduled in advance and we may not be able to accommodate your need if you have not called in advance. Our drivers are part time and are work hours that have been previously scheduled. We will work with you as much as possible to get your items in a timely manner.

What donations will the center accept? 
We accept any good used or new items of clothing, furniture, household appliances, tools, hardware, sporting equipment, and the like - items with life in them! Remember, DONATE DON'T DUMP! CUOC has to pay for the removal of items that are not usable! In addition to items for the thrift store, we accept food both perishable (please call ahead to be sure we will be able to distribute right away) and non-perishable food. Health and beauty aids, diapers for children, cleaning products and paper goods are also greatly appreciated.

Who supports the center financially? Where does the money come from? 
CUOC is a partner with the United Way of Randolph County. The center receives financial contributions from churches, businesses, individuals, and grantors.  We receive some pantry funds through Randolph County Dept. of Social Services and commodity food from the NC Dept. of Agriculture.  Short-term financial crisis funds are sometimes available through FEMA.  Many give to the CUOC on a monthly basis, while others may give periodically. We are happy to accept memorial or honorary gifts. Project Independence is funded through a partnership with the faith community.  The medical assistance program receives support/funding through the NC Department of Rural Health and Sandhills Center. A large amount of our budget comes from the items we sell in the Super Thrift Store and our own fund raising efforts.

Does the center loan money to people? 
No. Families and individuals that receive financial assistance do not see nor receive the check themselves. The center pays directly to the mortgage holder, landlord, utility company, pharmacy or the source of the bill.

What is the size of the staff? 
Currently, the CUOC has a staff of fourteen. Four are full time; the other ten are part time.  We also partner with NCBA and other employability programs to provide job skill training to interested persons and occasional have some temporary employees working to become staff.  In the area of administration there is an Executive Director, Administrative Assistant, and Financial Coordinator. In client services there is a Programs Coordinator who works with staff and volunteers to be sure all programs are running smoothly, a client services coordinator, a case manager for homeless intake/Project Independence, and a Medical Assistance Program Manager. In the Thrift Store there is a Store Manager, an Assistant Manager and three part-time assistants. We have two part time employees working in the warehouse. The staff is incomplete without the efforts of our volunteer force. Last year over 20,000 volunteer hours were donated to assist with the Thrift Store, benevolence and homeless programs.

How can I support the center's efforts? 
First, we ask for the prayers of the people. Through the outreach family, we are able to affect the lives of many in our community. Clients, volunteers, social workers and so many more come through our doors on a daily basis. Pray for God's blessing and direction as we strive to meet the needs of our community.
 

Give. Your time, talent, and treasure will affect the lives of many throughout Randolph County. Volunteers are always needed. Call today for more information about how you can join our volunteer team. Check our newsletter; volunteer opportunities are often listed there or email us at
 volunteer@cuoc.org and we will send you a volunteer application, or visit our website at www.cuoc.org and download the application there.

Do seasonal changes make a difference in client needs? 
Yes. You may find it hard to believe that we give away more food from the pantry in the summer months. Children are not in school and do not receive cafeteria meals. This increased need for food may strain a family's resources during the time that school is out.
 

Those individuals who are on a fixed income will often come for help when cold weather sets in. In the late fall, we see families who need help filling their gas or oil tanks for the first time of the season.
 

Extreme weather plays a part in need as well. When plants are closed due to snow, power outages, rains from hurricanes, etc. and work has stopped or workers are placed on short time, a family's bills and need for food continue.

What is the CUOC relationship with other agencies? 
The staff at Christians United Outreach center strives to work with other agencies in Randolph County not only from a referral standpoint, but also in collaboration to make sure those who need help the most receive it. Staff at the center participates in many other community program committees so we can stay aware of where the needs really are. CUOC staff serve on various local /regional committees such as Randolph County Housing Coalition, Region 7 of the NC Center to End Homelessness Continuum of Care, Second Harvest Food Bank agency advisory committee and others as needed. We work with the social workers of local schools to make sure students and their families know what resources are available for them when they are in a crisis.

Do we use volunteers? Youngest? Oldest? 
The center relies on the talents and abilities of more than 300 volunteers. CUOC is blessed to have volunteers from all age groups. We encourage school-age children to begin volunteer service through projects in the classroom or scouts. Children 15 and under can also volunteer through the Center, in the Thrift Store or during special events with a parent or mentoring adult. Some activities may be age restricted for safety reasons. We encourage youth groups to get involved with fund raising activities as well as assist on Saturdays with the Thrift Store.

What do volunteers do? 
Through the center, volunteers work as support staff and provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Front office (answer the telephone, file client files, assist clients with paperwork),
  • Pantry - sort and put away food donations and assist clients with their food orders, pack TEFAP boxes
  • Prayer Team - Wednesday afternoons (prays with and for the clients, CUOC, the community, government leaders and more)
  • Bookkeeping and reporting,
  • Thrift Store preparation (sort, fold, hang, and straighten items)
  • Store volunteers (take money, help locate items for shoppers, bag purchases, straighten racks, and more)
  • Special events
  • Service committees
  • Board of directors
  • Special construction, cleaning or upgrade projects
  • Mentors for our homeless program participants

Volunteers, with a vast number of gifts, use their talent in service to the Lord and community.

How many hours do volunteers help each month in the pantry? Front office? Thrift store? 
Most of our volunteers work one or two, 4-5 hour shifts per week.

Pantry positions in the mornings are Monday -Wednesday 9:00-1:00
Afternoon shifts are Monday - Wednesday 12:30- 4:30 and
Thursdays 11:30 – 2:30 and 2:00 – 6:00

Reception Volunteers work Monday -Wednesday from 9:00-12:30 mornings and 12:30 – 3:30 afternoons and/or Thursday from 12:00 – 2:00 or 2:00 -5:00 evenings. 

Volunteers working with client files work Monday- Wednesday 9:00 – 1:00 mornings or 1:00 – 4:00 in the afternoons.  Thursday hours are from 12-6:00.

Thrift Store volunteer hours can be flexible any time they are open.

Warehouse volunteers can be scheduled during any hours the warehouse is operating. 
You can work with the staff picking up and delivery merchandise, sorting donated items or with food coming in.
 

Other opportunities include picking groceries up at local store each day Monday – Saturday. 
This requires about a 2 hour commitment the same day each week in the mornings.
 
Please call (336-625-1500) to speak with our volunteer coordinator if you have an interest in helping in any area or email volunteer@cuoc.org

How do I have a special event to support the work of Christians United Outreach Center 
Please request a Special Events Registration
 form and complete it. The Special Events committee will review it and let you know if it is something that will support our mission and can be approved.

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