Heart prints run deep

by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside

Welcome to our newest “storefront!”

We are very excited to unveil, after eight years, a refreshed, spiffed up, lovely new website.

While our entire staff had input, leading the charge on our newest creation were Noel McLaughlin and Louis Duke of our Communications and Marketing team. They would want me to mention our appreciation of New Media Campaigns, our website partners for both the old and new sites.

The new site is not only bolder, fresher and more modern, but it will serve as the “front door” to expanded technology, including additional online grants and scholarships, the introduction of a donor portal early in the new year and more dynamic news and information outlets.

Digital communications are only increasing, and nothing brought that home more dramatically than some of our recent experiences with disaster.

We are not newcomers to disaster philanthropy, and in fact have decades of experience. Founding Executive Director Elizabeth Fentress talked about the national fax campaign that kicked off our very first activation of the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund in 1999 during the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd and the devastating floods. Fax was the fastest way to get out the word to a broad audience at that time.

All subsequent disasters have relied more and more on technology, and not just from our foundation’s standpoint. National news reported people seeking and getting rescued via Twitter and Facebook. Up to the minute information about the hurricane, floods and tornadoes saved many, many lives.

The power of technology to carry information was illustrated clearly through the support of our NCCF Disaster Relief Fund -- so far we have received donations from every state, as well as several other countries. Some donations included notes of hope and support for the victims of the hurricane.  

But despite the power of technology, the human element is what truly touches us and often galvanizes us into action. 

A website can help answer questions, can paint a picture, can offer an example or a model. It is an invitation to learn more.

What is harder to show through technology is that we are at our core about relationships.  Our connection with people in communities across North Carolina who are trying to do the right thing, who are working hard to meet the needs in their communities, who are ambassadors for philanthropic work. 

Through our statewide network of local leaders we see the needs and can respond locally.

Our people footprint, handprint and heart print are wide and deep. 

I couldn’t be prouder of the work we do.