United Christian Ministries of Jackson County, Inc., was founded over 30 years ago by a consortium of local churches. The purpose of United Christian Ministries is to serve Christ by being a voice for and a help to people with urgent physical, economic, social, or spiritual needs so that they might become 'whole' persons in body, soul and spirit.
UCM provides 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 coordinate with other agencies to prevent duplication of services.
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.
UCM is fully funded by grants and donations. 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. We are staffed by two part-time employees, and a cadre of over 40 volunteers.
Founded in 1989, UCM has grown from a store-front office to a full-size pantry and office. 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!
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, Mary Brown, Scott Carter, Kathey Clemmons, Jacke DeLeeuw, Margaret Duppstadt, Jeff Goss, Donna Mason, Joe Rigdon, Fannie Roper, Annette Sutton