Faith, Community and Nonprofit Leader Meeting June 11, 2020

by LeDayne McLeese Polaski / 11 June 2020 / No Comments

MeckMIN Leader Meeting Minutes

June 11, 2020

37 participants 

OPENING PRAYER  

Spirit of Life, help us to remember:

the task now is not “to find a new normal.”

Northing is normal when this many people are dying, have died,

leaving how many mourners, and how many more?

Nothing is normal in this sickness and this sadness,

nor can be normal, nor ever should.

Nothing is normal – even though it’s the norm-

when death comes first for the poor.

There is nothing normal in the miracle of budding trees and greening land

-every year we’re taken by surprise, a little shocked, and laughing.

Nothing normal in the gift of breath, the gift of bread, or kindness –

we are saved, and saved again, every hour of the day.

The task is not to normalize, but consecrate.

Place your sorrow on the altar of the day.

Place wonder, joy, compassion, thanks,

all the holy scraps of hope you’re hoarding, but could share.

Place your tension there, and all the terrors of the night,

and new resolve to help to mend your corner of a tattered world.

Normalize nothing. But consecrate.

Amen

By the Rev. Victoria Safford, White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church

GENERAL INFORMATION

Additional/alternate meetings?

  • Mental Health and Anti-Racism: 
    Recent meetings have indicated that there is a hunger from attendees for information and resources around mental health services for non-profit workers and clients and for anti-racism resources. Response to this suggestion at the meeting was strongly in favor of convening an additional meeting around these two issues. Attendees and others are invited to suggest local training for groups and other resources which are known and vouched for by recommenders. 
  • Resources for Worship:
    There was also consensus that the group would welcome a focused meeting on resources for congregations on 
    • Grief in the time of covid-19 – how to run a funeral, support a family, manage the loss and fear of loss, etc. 
    • How to manage a church in the time of COVID-19: When and if to open up, support a choir, have meetings, what are the rules and what are the guidelines, what are others doing, etc.

Consensus is that these conversations could be part of the regular Thursday morning meeting beginning on the 18th.

·     Opportunities for youth 
Please email LeDayne with the names and contact information for the person or people who work with high schoolers in your congregation/organization. MeckMIN will not be hosting their camp this summer, but we will host several volunteer opportunities which will also have interfaith relationship-building as a focus. 

·     If your organization could host a group of high schoolers for meaningful work one time this summer, please let us know.


  • COVID-19 REMAINS A SIGNIFICANT AND GROWING THREAT
    From Director Gibbie Harris: Our numbers as well as the trends we are paying attention to are increasing, which is of concern. Now is not the time to relax. We have the virus in our community and most of the citizens in Mecklenburg County are still susceptible to infection. We must remain diligent in our efforts to implement the efforts we know slow the spread of the virus, allowing our hospitals to have the capacity to care for those in need. Please continue to encourage your people with the message that they are “Safer at Home.”   Please reinforce the message of the “3Ws”. 
    • Wear a cloth mask/face covering
    • Wait at least 6 feet apart
    • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

NONPROFIT UPDATES

Roof Above:

  • Concern around the growing encampment around what used to be called the urban ministry center. 120- 150 tents there. This is NOT a Roof Above program. Folks have self-selected being there and  the CDC recommends encampment like this not be moved. Roof Above is working to allocate more staff and resources to those camps. Some folks can be diverted to hotels but the path to housing is harder for others for various reasons. RA is figuring out how to be most helpful to people living in the encampment. 
  • New Dorm: All rooms are filled. It is going very well. We have open shelter beds for the first time in this work. 
  • They do not yet know what will become of the Room at the Inn program. They are still examining it in light of COVID-19 restrictions. They will report to this group when they have made decisions. 

Glencie Rhedrick, First Baptist Church West:

  • They are looking for a partner to donate space for a camp program which begins July 7thand ends at the end of August. Spaces need to have at least four classrooms as well as a playground. They work with students who have reading and writing deficiencies. 

Loaves and Fishes

  • New email for Spanish speakers. Throughout the COVID 19 crisis, we have seen food insecurity needs among the Latinx/Hispanic community explode. To better assist our Spanish speaking neighbors in need, we have created an email account for inquiries in Spanish. Questions or comments can be emailed to: AyudaEnEspanol@loavesandfishes.org. We currently have a Social Work/Spanish Major intern from UNC Wilmington, Nicole Fortoso, who will be helping answer any questions this summer for our Spanish speaking clients. 
  • Farm Produce boxes are available without referrals. Food Share program – it is different than a mobile pantry. You can register yourself on loavesandfishes.org. Scroll to the bottom and you sign up to get a produce box and a dairy box at a location. 1 hr. time frame, checked in and load you up. Not a whole week of food for each person, but still, extra food. 
  • Looking for locations with a lot of foot traffic. 100+ people with needs. If you know of a good place to host one of these, contact Tina@loavesandfishes.orgor Angie@loavesandfishes.org to schedule a FoodShare event; They would be happy to schedule a food share at an apartment building or neighborhood with high section 8 numbers. website for upcoming FoodShare locations/dates/times: https://loavesandfishes.org/food-share/
    Dilworth Soup Kitchen and Covenant committed to reaching out to Angie
  • We can use some help with volunteer delivery drivers for our home delivery program. Would love to have you connect with our volunteer coordinator Danielle@loavesandfishes.org

Freedom School PartnersNikki Keith:

  • Moving forward with summer pop-up sites. Moving forward and will distribute books, take-home enrichment kits and food to engage with folks. We need volunteers at Latrobe for preparing those items and getting things ready to distribute in the community. Contact Tommy@freedomschoolpartners.orgif you can help. 
  • Still looking for sites for the pop-up program. 
  • Final sites will be listed on web, social media sites when finalized.

MedAssist

They provide lifesaving prescription medications, patient support, advocacy and related services to uninsured North Carolina residents. They have a warehouse and tons and tons of stuff. People just come and pick up stuff. Online application giving a list of what you need and if they have it they will give it to you. Get in touch with Elena to learn more: elenasepulveda@yahoo.com

  • They need volunteers to help sort. Elena can put you in touch with the right person. https://medassist.org/volunteer/
  • They have a large donation of reading glasses right now available.

Galilee and Charlotte Community Kitchen

They are continuing to work together to provide 1600 meals per week. Many of the families they help are found through a partnership with OurBridge. If you run into someone who needs a hot meal, takeout, you can send to 3601 Central Ave.Galilee Center, Tuesday dinner between 5-6, Wed-Fri lunch between 11:30-12:30, no charge, all carry-out. 

Crisis Assistance

Not here but Elena handed out flyers at Loaves and Fishes. She will do again on Monday. They are also open on Saturdays to give out packages. Do not wait to get eviction letter or shut out notice. Turnaround should be quick if clients have what they need. 

OTHER

What do we know about what the larger community needs from us right now? What can we do to meet those needs?

  • Housing: what is going on with that, who can address the needs. Glencie will call Rose directly to discuss the specifics.

PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS – Val Rosenquist

Dates

June 12:                     United Way COVID fund deadline

June 18, 11 am:       Next meeting 

For follow up:

  • Resources for training on Grief in the time of COVID-19. Please send ideas to LeDayne@meckmin.org
  • Resources for congregations on operating during COVID-19. Please send ideas to LeDayne@meckmin.org
  • Names and contact information for people who work with high school youth so we can let them know about youth opportunities this summer LeDayne@meckmin.org
  • Referrals to organizations that work with domestic violence. Please contact LeDayne@meckmin.org
  • First Baptist Church Westis looking for partners to donate space for their program which begins July 7thand ends at the end of August. Spaces need to have at least four classrooms that can be used as well as a playground. Glencie Rhedrick <revg4mecmin@gmail.com>
  • Loaves and Fishes is looking for locations with a lot of foot traffic. 100+ people with needs where they can distribute their food share boxes. Contact Tina@loavesandfishes.org
  • Loaves and Fishes needs help with volunteer delivery drivers for our home delivery program. Connect with volunteer coordinator Danielle@loavesandfishes.org
  • Freedom School Partners needs volunteers at Latrobe for preparing items and getting things ready to distribute in the community. ContactTommy@freedomschoolpartners.orgif you can help. 
  • Freedom School Partners is looking for sites for their pop-up program this summer. Contact them if you have somewhere with classrooms, outdoor space and a separate entrance that the children could use. 

General volunteering suggestion: 

About the author:

LeDayne McLeese Polaski