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Race 4 Change: North Carolina Communities Lace Up to Fight Poverty

PHOTO: The North Carolina Community Action Association's Race 4 Change fundraising effort is intended to give a voice to the needs and concerns of North Carolina's 1.6 million vulnerable and low-income citizens. Photo credit: NCCAA.
PHOTO: The North Carolina Community Action Association's Race 4 Change fundraising effort is intended to give a voice to the needs and concerns of North Carolina's 1.6 million vulnerable and low-income citizens. Photo credit: NCCAA.
April 7, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Community Action Association reports there are $1.6 million vulnerable and low-income citizens in North Carolina, and this weekend the entire state is invited to participate in what's being called North Carolina's Poverty Race.

The 5K walk-run route through Raleigh on Saturday is a fundraising event for the state's 38 community-based anti-poverty organizations, but organizer Tiffney Marley says anyone can participate, regardless of what part of the state they may live in or whether or not they run in the event.

"Poverty is everybody's business, so we want to raise that issue as a part of our effort at the race," she says. "We regard it as North Carolina's 'poverty race.'"

Money raised this weekend will benefit the thousands of North Carolinians who receive assistance from the state's community action agencies. The race also will include a nonperishable food drive. Those interested can donate online or register at The Race 4 Change website at www.therace4change.org.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the poverty rate in North Carolina is slightly more than 17 percent, about two points higher than the national percentage of more than 15 percent.

Since April is Financial Literacy Month, the North Carolina Community Action Association is also reminding residents about the importance of financial planning and education, so families can get ahead with the resources they do have.

"It's about educating the unbanked," says Marley. "It's about providing basic information about budgeting, managing expenses and then also making sure to tap into all of the available resources that could increase a household's bottom line."

Free financial empowerment seminars will be held at PNC Arena in Raleigh on Friday on sustainability, asset management and financial modeling. The event is free to the community, but there is a charge for service providers to attend.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC