United Way of Rutherford County

Your gift to the United Way works here in your community. It takes everyone in the community working together to help create lasting changes. Our VISION is to be the leader in the effort to create lasting changes in people's lives and community conditions and we need your support.

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Save the Date

This is Your Brain on Opioids, This is Your Brain on Trauma

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

10 am - 11:30 am


Fred Rottnek, MD, MAHCM  Professor and Director of Community Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine  Program Director, Addiction Medicine Fellowship Board-certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine Saint Louis University School of Medicine


What are the connections between trauma and opioids (and other substances)? Learn how they can affect different age groups differently based on brain development. Can you rewire the brain after opioid addiction? What are the different types of MAT and how do you determine which treatment modalities are best for individual clients? Learn all of that and more! Dr. Rottnek has an impressive list of qualifications and credentials and brings his experience to life in an interactive session that is lively, engaging, and full of easy to absorb science.



The training will be held at Isothermal Community College, Spindale Campus, Library Auditorium. Please add this event to your calendars now!

Registration will be open soon on EventBrite and the link will be sent out.


A private session will be held in the afternoon for Rutherford County DSS. No need for DSS staff to register.


Compassion Fatigue: helping the helpers in an age of trauma and burnout

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


Feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, cynical, agitated, restless, and/or hopeless when you're at work or after your shift ends? If you're a social worker, treatment counselor, healthcare provider, first responder, human services, provider, educator, or any other "helping" type job you could be experiencing compassion fatigue.

As a 'helper' it's important to recognize the warning signs and learn how to assist yourself and develop coping skills to avoid complete burnout.

In this interactive workshop participants will:

     • Identify the definitions and symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue.

     • Apply compassion fatigue theory and statistics to personal and career experience.

     • Assess risk factors, preventive factors, and coping skills for compassion fatigue.

     • Rate the community impact of the opioid epidemic and identify support systems to address the effects of compassion fatigue on service providers.

The registration link for next week's "Compassion Fatigue: Helping the Helpers in an Age of Trauma and Burnout" is now open. This workshop is free. We encourage everyone who works in human services and/or is a first responder to attend. We're working with MAHEC to confirm CEUs for this session. Please share with your staff and with colleagues.


Rutherford County DSS staff will have a private training session in the

afternoon-- no need to register. Thank you.


Register Here.


About the instructor:

Pam Kuras, MSW, LCSW, GC-C is a licensed therapist and certified grief counselor. Pam owns Johnston Integrative Counseling (https://www.jococounseling.com/) in Benson, NC, and completed advanced training in Complicated Grief Therapy. Pam provides individual grief therapy and facilitates grief support groups for a variety of specialty populations, including survivors of substance misuse-related death. Pam leads the HEAT Grief Support Group in collaboration with the US Attorney’s Office-EDNC Heroin Education Action Team. Pam also serves her community as a hospice and bereavement social worker and a registered yoga and meditation teacher.






Our Services



See our list of partnering agencies.



We canvassed the county to gather input from residents via surveys and focus groups that were held throughout the county



We partnered with FamilyWize to distribute prescription discount cards free-of-charge.

United Way of Rutherford County Community divided up in two focus groups:


  • $25 a month will provide the following services to a child that has been physically or sexually abused: an interview in a child friendly environment by a trained child forensic interviewer, counseling for a licensed therapist to assist in the healing proces, and support throughout the court process for the child and non-offending caregivers.
  • $31.25 will provide a daily meal for a week for a home bound senior.
  • $3.30 per week will help with rent or heating assistance for a month for a family with minor children.
  • $4 per week will allow a mentally challenged child to attend one week of summer camp.


  • Volunteers are at the heart of the United Way decision-making. As a result, fundraising and administrative costs are held to a minimum, making your gift work as hard as you do.
  • We're Effective - Each year United Way touches the lives of more than 30,000 Rutherford County residents. Clearly no other organization helps so many people in so many ways.
  • We're Accountable - Independent audits of United Way and its agencies are conducted and analyzed annually. In fact, everything we do is governed by an active board of directors.

Upcoming Events

Employer Lunch and Learn:
Second Chance Initiative 
How it Can Help You Fill Jobs

January 22, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


kick off