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Bank of America gives $1 million

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bank of America donated $1 million to address priority community needs in Charlotte, with half the gift going to United Way of Central Carolinas and half to the Critical Need Response Fund at Foundation for the Carolinas.

With the gift, United Way exceeded the $22.7 million goal for the annual fund drive for its Community Care Fund and earned a $1 million challenge grant from The Leon Levine Foundation.

As a result, United Way will distribute $2.8 million more than the nearly $12 million it distributed last year to its 96 partner agencies in five counties.

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And the Critical Need Response Fund, which previously received $1 million rom the Leon Levine Foundation and now has raised $3.5 million, last month distributed $1.7 million in emergency assistance to area nonprofits focused on providing aid to the needy.

Fundraising and grant distribution for the Critical Need Response Fund will continue throughout the spring.

United Way and Foundation for the Carolinas say data on community needs paint a stark picture.

In December, for example, the unemployment rate for the five-county area United Way serves total 11.5 percent, or 82,654 people, an increase of 24,538 people from December 2008.

Over 182,000 individuals in the region received food stamps in Decmeber, up 26 percent from December 2008 and up 57 percent from December 2006.

And 3,656 people in the region filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, up 32 percent from 2008.

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