10/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 15:02
Hebron Colony Ministries has been using a faith-based approach in working with people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions for nearly eight decades, relying entirely on donations from individuals, churches and interested parties. State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, has worked faithfully to return lost money to its rightful owners. On Monday, Oct. 2, the two were aligned in common purpose.
Treasurer Folwell met with Hebron Colony officials to present a check for $2,554.05. The money had been diverted into the Unclaimed Property Division (UPD) of the Department of State Treasurer (DST). Money that has become undeliverable for a variety of reasons is safeguarded at UPD until the rightful owners claim it. During a review of data in UPD, commonly called NCCash.com, DST staff identified the money belonging to the recovery facility.
"Hebron Colony Ministries is a shining light for those in the darkness of addiction. It is one of the oldest and most successful recovery centers in North Carolina, helping those trapped by the chains of addiction to break free and to become the best version of themselves," Treasurer Folwell said. "I am pleased that our hardworking staff was able to find this money and to return it where it belongs so this vital ministry can continue to flourish."
According to Hebron Colony's website, the center opened on a snowy day in March 1947 when its founders, the Rev. E.A. and Eva Dillard, and five alcoholic men traveled from Charlotte to Boone "in a borrowed station wagon, with bedding and groceries loaded in the back, to a home with a coal furnace, an oil stove, and frozen pipes." From that meager inception the recovery center has grown in physical size and scope to offer free 10-week residential programs for up to 39 students, and launched a women's facility in Santee, S.C.
"We've never charged a man a penny in 76 years, so that means the money has to come from somewhere," said Pastor Bryan Wright, Hebron Colony assistant director. "When we get a check for $2,500-plus … we appreciate that gift. We take every gift that's coming to the Lord, and he keeps this ministry going. It is just astounding to see how this place has been set apart and used."
While he has been a pastor at several posts in the U.S. and abroad, he said, "In my first six months here, I've seen more men transformed by the power of the gospel than I did in all of those 34 years. You see the most astounding miracles you could ever imagine."
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.
NCCash.com is currently the custodian of nearly $1.09 billion in escheated funds, representing 17.7 million properties statewide. The money is awaiting return to the rightful owners after being lost, misdirected or overlooked. More than 19 million owners are associated with those properties. There is $7,700,708.29 in unclaimed funds for Watauga County. That represents 112,114 properties and 126,892 owners.
Unclaimed property can result from a person or entity forgetting they are due money, or from a move of location and forgetting to provide a new address. It also could result from a typing error in a house number or zip code in an address, a name change, or data loss from a business converting its computer system. As society becomes more mobile and steadily moves to electronic transactions, the risk of having unclaimed property has increased.
State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, far left, presents a check from NCCash.com to officials at Hebron Colony Ministries, from left, Pastor Bryan Wright, assistant director; Becky Martin, Board of Directors member; and Betty Hodges, accountant.