(Raleigh, N.C.) — The United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has committed to helping local school districts ensure students receive an education that prepares them for success in careers and life. State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, who is a member of the State Board of Education, helped the community-based network of volunteers and advocates further that goal with an unexpected financial windfall.
Treasurer Folwell met with United Way officials on Friday, April 1, to return $2,593.04 in missing money that had landed in the Department of State Treasurer’s (DST) Unclaimed Property Division (UPD), commonly called NCCash.com. It was one of three check presentations the treasurer made that day. He also delivered $5,222.92 to the town of Montreat and $5,230.19 to the city of Asheville.
“It was a pleasure to meet with Treasurer Folwell, and we greatly appreciate the purpose of the visit,” said Kevin Montgomery, the United Way chapter’s vice president of resource development. “During these very challenging times, nonprofits at a very basic level rely on two things; 1) human resources, great staff, great volunteers, and great donors, and 2) financial resources such as these. This is what helps us to move our mission.”
Montgomery said the funds will be used to support students and families through the United Way’s Community Schools Strategy, which he called “the framework for everything we do.” The program operates in Asheville, Enka, Owen, Erwin and A.C. Reynolds middle schools, North Buncombe and Asheville high schools. It is designed to provide students and families with the resources, opportunities and support systems they need to succeed and live free of poverty and injustice.
“Hopefully, more organizations and individuals can learn about the Unclaimed Property Division and become grateful recipients of these unclaimed funds like us,” Montgomery said.
Treasurer Folwell said returning money to where it belongs is a priority, and knowing it will help students to be better equipped for life is a plus.
“We are breaking all records at the treasurer's office as far as getting money back in the rightful hands,” Treasurer Folwell said. In 2021 UPD paid 125,134 claims totaling $70,447,815, both historical records, and the department is on track to break those records. For the current fiscal year through Dec. 31, UPD has paid 86,106 claims totaling about $50.1 million from NCCash. Part of that total has been disbursed through the new NCCash Match program, a no-hassle, expedited system that eliminated paperwork processing. As of Dec. 31, DST paid 54,960 match claims totaling nearly $19.1 million.
Under state law, UPD receives and safeguards funds that are escheated, or turned over, to DST. The unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, wages, utility deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. There are approximately 18 million properties under DST’s custody awaiting return to the rightful owners. More information, including how to find out if you are owed money, can be found at https://www.nccash.com/
“There's nearly $1 billion sitting in NCCash.com and we're very grateful to be returning some of that back to your town this morning,” Treasurer Folwell told Montreat Mayor Tim Helms. “With the price of gas, the price of electricity and everything going up, $5,000 doesn't hurt.”
Mayor Helms said he was appreciative of the money. “It'll go a long way in Montreat,” he said.