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International Civil Rights Center & Museum gets visit, and cash, from state treasurer

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro.

RALEIGH — The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro is one of the most iconic landmarks of the Civil Rights struggle. Its mission to preserve and expand its role in educating the public about one of America’s most profound cultural movements got a boost from State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, who presented officials with a check for money that had gone missing for years.

Folwell met with John Swaine, museum CEO, at the former F.W. Woolworth’s store on Monday, March 14, to present the $1,000 check, which had been located by Department of State Treasurer staff in the Unclaimed Property Division, commonly called NCCash.com. It is the repository for approximately 18 million properties valued at roughly $919 million under DST’s custody awaiting return to the rightful owners.

“On Feb. 1, 1960, the Greensboro Four staged a sit-in at the all-white lunch counter of the F.W. Woolworth’s store, peacefully protesting for an end to segregation. The brave actions of those N.C. A&T State University students in seeking equal rights, fairness and a place at the table sparked a turning point in making America a more inclusive nation,” Folwell said. “I am deeply gratified to be able to help the museum sustain its activities and to keep that memory perpetually alive.”

“It was a pleasant surprise that the State Treasurer would be here to present this check. The occasion also presented a welcome opportunity for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum to host visits by other North Carolina officials, as well, in our role as a hub for bringing together leaders from different agencies and levels of public service in government,” said Swaine, museum CEO.

State Reps. John Faircloth and Jon Hardister, members of the Guilford County legislative delegation, attended the event.


“I am thankful for the work that the Department of State Treasurer did to identify us as the recipient of these funds and to deliver the monies to their proper owners. This, in itself, is good evidence of the considerate integrity and careful attentiveness to the interests of citizens on the part of the Department’s staff,” Swaine said.

The missing money came from an old phone account deposit that was unable to be delivered because a post office box was closed after the museum moved into the old Woolworth Store and changed telephone service providers, he said. The money was then escheated to the state.  

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. More information, including how to find out if you are owed money, can be found at https://www.nccash.com/.

“Needless to say for our operations, there are financial challenges all around, but our overhead costs press on in any case,” Swaine said. “We will use the extra $1,000 to support the operations of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, maintaining a viable platform for the expansion of our educational role.”  

For the 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 claims totaling nearly $19.1 million.