Non-profits

Growth in the Midst of a Pause

By Jock Lauterer

February 13, 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic brings many organizations and plans to a halt, one Durham organization uses the opportunity to expand its reach. East Durham Children’s Initiative and Partners for Youth Opportunity are excited to announce their merger to form Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI). This merger has allowed for a significantly expanded capacity to help Durham […]

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Spreading December cheer: Durham Children’s Initiative reimagines “Holiday Zone”

By Jock Lauterer

December 23, 2020

Story by Madison Reese DCI Intern  The Durham VOICE Photos by Khadijah McFadden Teen Editor-in-Chief Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI) created “Holiday Zone” seven years ago to provide Christmas gifts for Durham families who need them. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, the traditional way Holiday Zone is executed had to change. The Holiday Zone […]

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East Durham Children’s Initiative and Partners for Youth Opportunity merge to become Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI)

By Jock Lauterer

July 28, 2020

By David Reese, DCI President   July 1 marked a monumental day in the history of the Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI). Not only have we officially changed our name to reflect our county-wide work with families and our support of the development of the Durham County Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP), but we have also signed […]

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Following the yellow brick road towards Durham Children’s Initiative

By Khadijah McFadden

May 6, 2020

“The yellow brick road with a pot of gold at the end,” are the words that David Reese, President and CEO of East Durham Children’s Initiative, uses to describe the upcoming merger between two local NGOs dedicated to helping Durham’s children have a better life.  On July 1, Partners for Youth Opportunity, led by Julie […]

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Two youth-based Durham nonprofits join forces in announced merge

By Celia Farmer

April 2, 2020

Two local nonprofits have announced exciting news: Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO) and Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI) decided to merge as one nonprofit to scale their impact in Durham. On March 5, PYO held their annual Rise and Shine Breakfast fundraiser. During the breakfast the group discussed its report from the previous year and then […]

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StepUp Durham offers career services to community

By Brooklyn Brown

“StepUp Durham connects people with hope,” Tim Wollin, 39, of Minneapolis, program director for StepUp Durham, said. StepUp Durham is a nonprofit that offers services for job seekers in the Durham community. Located at 112 Broadway St., Suite B, Durham, StepUp Durham is a resource for free employment readiness training, personalized job coaching, employer referrals […]

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Durham community kitchen offers free meals and smiles

By Julia Masters

February 27, 2020

Beneath the faded New Visions of Africa sign, inside the unassuming barred building, Karen Santoro-Abdullah put a hand to her heart and choked back tears. “I love helping these people because it makes me feel good to give them respect,” Santoro-Abdullah said.  “Respect gives people hope; if people are treated with respect and a smile, it could encourage […]

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Preview of PYO’s largest fundraiser of the year: Rise and Shine Breakfast

By Celia Farmer

The local nonprofit, Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO), that serves Durham youth impacted by systemic injustice will hold its largest fundraiser of the year on March 5: the Rise and Shine Breakfast. PYO organizes the annual event to celebrate its accomplishments with attendees and to announce its plans to scale the nonprofit’s impact for the […]

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Coworking space creates a network of community groups in Durham

By Sophia Wilhelm and Gianna Tahan

ReCity unites various organizations to fight against social issues within the city ReCity Network, a coworking social impact space, unites 47 organizations and over 100 community leaders to serve Durham.  The Durham-based network, located at 112 Broadway St., began in 2016 after a group of faith leaders found research indicating that shared space can increase […]

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Documenting Durham’s Voices: Everybody eats at Zweli’s

By Jazmine Bunch

This is a video series produced and reported for The Durham VOICE. “Documenting Durham’s Voices” will elevate the voices of and put a face to community members in Durham who are working in the community. The video series will also feature notable events that truly define what Durham is. Following the carbon monoxide crisis at […]

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Durham dreamers and readers celebrate MLK Day with donated books

By Sasha Schroeder

January 30, 2020

With over 1.2 million books donated since its founding, Book Harvest continues its dream of promoting reading and learning Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream — and so does Book Harvest, a Durham nonprofit that hosted its ninth annual Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration last week. “The Book Harvest dream is a […]

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Hayti Heritage Center celebrates jazz drummer Max Roach

By Victoria Johnson

Jazz legend Max Roach’s drums beat again Saturday night when five local musicians interpreted his rhythms to about 50 listeners at the Hayti Heritage Center. The concert, called “Freedom Day: A Tribute to Max Roach,” celebrated one of the most important drummers in modern jazz history, the Hayti musicians said. A North Carolina native born […]

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Durham Kidznotes tunes up for benefit concert at DPAC

By Molly Weisner and Landon Bost

While most Durham public schools remained quiet last Saturday morning, Fayetteville Street Elementary School’s parking lot was full.   Out of cars ambled K-12 students from Durham and Raleigh, some shouldering black instrument cases nearly half their height.  As the sunlight warmed the January nip in the classrooms, young musicians in the Kidznotes program warmed up for a full afternoon of practice.   […]

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MLK Play Days give displaced children a place to be kids again

By Julia Masters

MLK Play Days, hosted by The W.G. Pearson Center and The Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, gave the displaced children from the McDougald Terrace community a place to play last Monday through Wednesday. Beginning Jan. 3, over 300 families from the McDougald Terrace community were evacuated indefinitely due to dangerous carbon […]

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‘We want to be a resource’: SEEDS aims to serve Durham community

By Gianna Tahan

As South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) rings in the new year, Interim Executive Director Abby Goodman hopes to make their urban gardening programs more meaningful to all members of the Northeast Central Durham community. Founded in 1994, SEEDS is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen space located at 706 Gilbert St. The organization […]

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Durham’s StudentU builds a legacy of success stories

By Brittany Cowan

December 12, 2019

By Brittany Cowan Education is a complex, often controversial topic for discussion, as the viewpoints of teachers, legislators, and community leaders can sometimes result in bitter conflict. In Durham County, the non-profit organization StudentU has been on a mission since 2005 to shift the conversation towards educational equity and serving student populations that may otherwise […]

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NARAL NC petitions for a pro-choice voice in the presidential debate

By Aaliyah Bowden

November 17, 2019

Abortion, women’s reproductive rights, and gender equality will be on the ballot in the 2020 presidential election.  With that in mind, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, located in Durham, has joined 10 other participating organizations in launching a petition to make affordable reproductive health care an important topic on the debate stage. “The petition is asking […]

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Women do Trap Yoga to benefit Autism

By Heaven Gullate

July 30, 2019

Katrina Hayes, an Autism advocate, is passionate about bringing her craft into the streets of Raleigh and the surrounding areas. Hayes is a mother of a child with Autism and has occasionally hosted fundraising events to help the cause.  “As the mother of a child with Autism, I have to be very cognizant where my […]

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Don’t Waste Durham engages the community to seek sustainable alternatives to plastic and Styrofoam

By Celia McRae and Natasha Townsend

April 10, 2019

Between 2010-2011, Crystal Dreisbach wrote 200 letters to businesses throughout the Triangle. Her mission toward a more sustainable Durham was just beginning. The restaurants Dreisbach wrote to used Styrofoam, and she wanted to talk to distributors about sustainable alternatives, she said. She was working in public health research at the time, and Styrofoam takeout containers […]

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Foster dogs find forever homes with Durham nonprofit

By Johnny Sobczak

The sun shines down on the picturesque spring afternoon of April 6 at Durham’s Bull City Ciderworks, and Independent Animal Rescue (IAR) is gathering nine of its foster dogs for its latest adoption event. The outdoor space includes a deck and large grassy area. Dozens of Durham residents are spread out across picnic tables, donning […]

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Urban Ministries changes policy to remove barriers to shelters for Durham residents

By Spencer Carney and Hannah McClellan

Urban Ministries of Durham, the largest downtown homeless shelter in the city, connects more than 6,000 people each year to food, shelter and other opportunities. Due to policy changes made in the last year and a half, people seeking shelter will no longer be turned away because they are under the influence of alcohol. Instead, […]

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ECWA aims to conserve Durham’s creeks, reverse century of water mismanagement

By Diane Adame

March 27, 2019

As a 9-year-old, Kriddie Whitmore took a field trip to Ellerbe Creek that sparked her interest in preserving and removing invasive plants. She often relives this fond memory by preserving areas near her childhood home as a nature preserve steward with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA). “It’s a very volunteer-centered organization, and they always […]

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24th annual Great Human Race raises funds and awareness for Triangle nonprofits

By Johnny Sobczak

It’s the crisp Saturday morning of March 23, and nonprofit groups are slowly setting up tables on the sidewalk outside of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park for the 24th annual Great Human Race, hosted by the Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center (TNVLC). Many of the tables are covered in posters, pamphlets and brochures to […]

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Durham’s Communities in Schools helps students in class and at home

By Natasha Townsend

Carmen Settles remembers the first time she learned that going to college after high school wasn’t for everyone. She could venture out on her own path and be successful. Although she graduated from North Carolina Central University with a marketing degree, Settles owes her success to Communities in Schools (CIS), a nonprofit that focuses on […]

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Durham students, teachers focus on equity with help from DPS grants

By Celia McRae

    Erin Batten-Hicks finally found the community she had been missing when she transferred to Hillside High School and joined the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). “I never really had an opportunity to find more queer people and find that community while I was at my other school,” she said. “When I came […]

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Friday blessings: Free food provided by Salvation Army

By Cheyenne Beasley

February 28, 2019

Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, and Suzanne Clark openly shared that things have been very rough since she became homeless in September. Fortunately, the Salvation Army is helping her. On the morning of Friday, Feb. 22, she stood in a line outside the Salvation Army along with about 50 other people with […]

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DIG program empowers youth through urban farming

By Hannah McClellan

On a cold and rainy February afternoon, 17-year-olds Samantha Vazquee and Demonte Bolden are not hiding inside – they’re hard at work repotting dozens of plants after a day at school. Vazquee and Bolden are two youth members of the DIG program, a youth-driven, urban farming and leadership development program started by South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable […]

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iNSIDEoUT 180 hosts first adult Queer Prom

By Tianna Degraffenried

February 17, 2019

  On Saturday iNSIDEoUT 180 had their first Queer Prom for adults at Arcana in Durham. Everyone appered to be having fun in the small locale with a downstairs bar and music playing songs from the ’80s to the present. iNSIDEoUT 180 is a non-profit organization for  the LGBT community. It was founded in 2005 […]

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Durham nonprofit redefines “teen mom”

By Hannah Towey

February 13, 2019

Angel Hope’s first day of class at Hillside High School, a significant event in any teenager’s life, was supposed to be Aug. 27, 2015. But the day would soon prove to be even more important as she gave birth to her daughter, Gabrielle, at the age of 15. Four first days of school and three […]

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Amid housing crisis, Housing for New Hope ends homelessness one person at a time

By Hannah McClellan

According to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, about 1,200 homeless people are living in shelters or transitional housing in Durham. Robin, who asked to keep her last name anonymous to protect her children’s identity,  is one of them. Robin, a veteran and National Guardsman, is staying at a shelter in Durham with her three […]

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Kidznotes performance in ‘Carmen’ tests the bounds of vocal range

By Diane Adame

January 31, 2019

Kidznotes musicians used their opera voices to tell the dramatic French love story of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen.” The students performed as the children’s chorus alongside the stars of the North Carolina Opera on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27 at the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh. The opera performance featured hypnotic choreography, human drama and popular hit […]

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Durham woman’s running and biking trip places spotlight on human trafficking

By Celia McRae

January 30, 2019

On Friday morning, Liz Herron met outside of the Durham County Courthouse with staff members of the Durham Crisis Response Center and began her four-day trek to raise awareness for human trafficking. Herron started Miles for Hope last year when she ran from Charlotte to Durham with her dad to raise awareness for human trafficking […]

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Dream Big Book Drive aims to improve literacy on MLK Day

By Natasha Townsend and Arianna Swain

Marneshia Gonzales’ “Nancy Drew” books were being boxed up at the Book Harvest Dream Big Book Drive. They were her childhood favorites, and she wanted to share them. The 12-year-old, who is in sixth grade, was giving books away with her mother, Deidre Gonzales, at the eighth-annual book drive on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King […]

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Threehouse Studios celebrates community through yoga, music, dance

By Keeley Gay

The white, vine-covered building situated along Durham’s American Tobacco Trail is more than it appears. What used to be an old, small Piggly Wiggly has been transformed into a community-focused dance, yoga and music studio. Threehouse Studios opened their doors to the public on Oct. 22, 2017. The idea of a multipurpose studio was developed […]

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Nonprofit YouthBuild graduates celebrate second book publishing

By John Bauman

Donna Bennett rose, bravely, to share her story. Her truth. “Good afternoon, my name is Donna Bennett. I will be reading a piece I wrote,” she said. “Number one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own self-worth and your own somebodiness. Having a deep belief in yourself […]

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Habitat for Humanity works to offset gentrification in Durham

By Hannah Towey

The Habitat for Humanity building site on the corner of Dowd Street and North Elizabeth Street felt surprisingly quiet for an active construction zone. Not for lack of activity — three volunteers along with the site supervisor were busy building a sizable shed in the backyard of the soon-to-be home of five. But between the […]

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Durham nonprofits collaborate to strengthen services for youth

By Carlton Koonce

January 27, 2019

  A pair of Durham nonprofits have formed a strategic alliance to extend services to local youth and their families beyond each organization’s individual capacity. The new partners are the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) and Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO).  Under the plan PYO, which focuses on services to high schools students, will offer […]

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Meals on Wheels fights hunger and loneliness

By Deja Finch

November 14, 2018

With the holiday season approaching, many look forward to their once-a- year rituals, but this may not be accessible to everyone. For 40 years, Meals on Wheels  has been combating food scarcity among Durham’s  senior population. Community Outreach Director Arnette Read explained, “Usually clients are homebound, living alone, unable to cook, and unable to shop.” […]

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ConnectED 2018 Conference introduces Durham teens to professionalism

By Qaadir McFadden and Khadijah McFadden

October 9, 2018

  Normally when people hear of professional or business conferences, they immediately think of an adult event. However, the Emily K Center, Durham Youth Commission, Made in Durham and Partners for Youth and Opportunity, all youth-serving non-profit organizations in Durham, decided to switch up the old format by hosting a youth conference earlier this fall […]

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Durham Rescue Mission: The Domino Effect

By Isaiah Ball

October 3, 2018

  The Durham Rescue Mission has been doing its part by serving the community longer than any other outreach center in North Carolina. The devastating effects of Hurricane Florence have dramatically increased the Center’s efforts. “You never know how it feels to go without, until a disaster hits home,” said Jalil Lewis, a volunteer at […]

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After Hurricane Florence: Healing with CAARE

By Christina Gordon

September 28, 2018

Local community-based, non-profit Healing with CAARE, Inc. was prepared for Hurricane Florence ahead of time. With the help of the Inter-faith Food Shuttle, they managed to provide plenty of food to about 40 senior citizens. They were the emergency shelter for the medically fragile, homeless participants who have substance abuse, and veterans. Those participants were […]

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After Florence: the Food Bank is making a difference

By Cheyenne Beasley

When some school kids hear news of a hurricane, they might be glad because they may get out of school. Similarly, some adults may view the approaching storm as an excuse to take a day off. But for some people, a hurricane means more work — especially like the people working at the Durham branch […]

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An after-school success program: a look into the Boys and Girls Club

By Wade McCreary

September 10, 2018

  The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club on Alston Avenue in Durham has been serving the community since 1933, and since then, the program has contributed to major accomplishments for local children. The programs at the club have helped the children reach their full potential effectively. The goal of the Boys and Girls Club […]

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LGBTQ Pride set in Durham for Sept. 29

By Isaiah Ball

  “Pride to me is a day where we recognize there is not just one way to live.” Helana Cragg is the executive director of the LGBTQ Center of Durham. Her vision began in 2014 when she recognized a need to establish a center in heart of downtown. She recognized the center in Raleigh could […]

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The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People: Ignited by legacy

By Jennifer Maxwell

  The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People continued its legacy celebrating the eighty-third Annual Founders’ Day Gala at the Durham Convention Center on Aug. 25, honoring local community members who demonstrate black excellence. The mission of the DCABP, according to a statement from Chairman Omar S. Beasley, is to promote the welfare […]

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Rebound for Youth Alternatives gives suspended students another chance

By Kenzie Cook

May 8, 2018

  Maesa Al-Amin, 17, is a senior at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability. She is a competitive dancer on the school’s dance team with dreams of owning her own dance company and dancing in music videos. She has performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center for “An Evening of Entertainment” and at Hillside High […]

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Women’s Empowerment celebrates working women of color

By Tenley Garrett

April 16, 2018

  Hard work deserves recognition. But more than that, it deserves celebration. This year’s Women’s Empowerment VIP breakfast held at the Raleigh Renaissance Hotel on Saturday, April 14, provided the perfect platform for such festivities. The breakfast was set to begin at 8 a.m. in the Renaissance Hotel’s ballroom. The room was reserved exclusively for […]

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