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Dec. 17, 2020| Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Covid-19 Check-In Meeting

Our weekly check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors in this time of crisis. Meetings are held online every Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. In addition, if you would like to receive notification when these minutes are posted, please subscribe to our newsletter.


In this Issue:


Important Dates:





Opening Reflection

Offered by Deb Blackwood. Creator of all, we come before you as humble servants. We crave your guidance, your inspiration and your caring for the world you created and all therein. Help us to make this world you created better for all. We ask this in the name of the Creator of all.


1. MeckMIN

Crisis and Compassion Video Series - Telling Charlotte's Interfaith Story

Helping people recognize the value of religious pluralism for the Charlotte community is the aim of the Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Bridge Builders project. The team, led by Kip Mobley, will produce a series of short documentary videos that capture how diverse religious communities are responding to the pandemic--often through virtual efforts.

During Thursday's meeting, Kip Mobley presented a brief overview of the 15-20 minute videos produced by Johnson C. Smith University. More than 40 interviews have been conducted so far. The first video highlights MeckMIN's efforts to mobilize our diverse faith communities to meet critical needs during the pandemic. You can access video and study guide here.

The second video, entitled The Muslim in the Room: A Conversation with Hannah Hasan, premieres January 5 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Registration is now open!

The Muslim in the Room: A Conversation with Hannah Hasan

Kip Mobley, Crisis and Compassion Producer

Kendal P. Mobley (aka Kip) serves as Assistant Professor of Religion and Coordinator for the Spiritual Life Center at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). He joined JCSU’s faculty in 2014. He is an ordained minister in the Baptist tradition, having served for more than 20 years as a church planter and pastor in Rhode Island and North Carolina. Recently, his research interests have focused on the intersections of race, religion, and civil religion in the US, and on interfaith cooperation for the common good. Kendal Mobley lives in Salisbury, North Carolina, wife Rhonda Brady-Mobley, his wife of thirty-two years. They have two adult children and one granddaughter.


Join scholars Dr. Hadia Mubarak, Rev. Glencie Rhedrick, and Rabbi Judy Schindler as they discuss what role gender plays in the sacred scriptures of their faith communities (Muslim, Christian, and Jewish), expounding not just on the written texts themselves, but how they have been interpreted historically.


Cecil the Puppet Learns about Hanukkah, Christmas & Kwanzaa

Cecil the Puppet was featured at the interfaith Thanksgiving service and was so well received that he has returned. Cecil interviews three friends about the winter traditions of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. We encourage you to share with you networks for educational purposes.


Comparative Religion 2021: The Path of Healing

Sponsored by Temple Beth El and MeckMIN: Mecklenburg’s Metropolitan Interfaith Network.

We live in a world where loved ones suffer, where kids struggle, where pandemics come, where hate spreads, where political differences divide, and where not everyone can move to higher ground when life’s storms come. Religious traditions must reckon with the reality of this world. We invite you to learn about how Charlotte’s Multi-Faith Communities understand individual and communal healing. The interactive evenings will be on Zoom and will include rich discussions from a diverse group of faith leaders with weekly opportunities for Q&A. We have found some wonderful speakers from the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity but we would welcome suggestions of speakers on these questions from other traditions. Please make suggestions ASAP!


East Charlotte Leaders Meetings: We have agreed to meet monthly on the second Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm. Anyone who lives or works in East Charlotte is welcome to attend. Email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom info.


Hotel Project Update: Shortly after the pandemic began, a motel was made available to individuals 60+ with identified COVID vulnerabilities who experience street homelessness. The motel is run as a partnership between Roof Above , Mecklenburg County and MeckMIN. MeckMIN coordinates volunteers to help serve meals daily while Roof Above maintains on-site staff and works to connect residents with resources and housing. The initial deadline of 12/31/20 has been extended due to the continuing pandemic crisis and the motel will continue to operate through March 2021. Volunteers will be offered the opportunity to continue or to conclude their service.

Our Role in Public Health: Jan 7 Community Meeting Topic : What can we be doing around public health issues, including ways to encourage vaccinations? The city of Charlotte needs more help in getting people to take precautions seriously and encouraging vaccination. Are there ways you can encourage good practice from a faith perspective? We’ll discuss this on our January 7 meeting.


2. Community Resources

MeckBetterTogether is a campaign that aims to maximize the efforts of child and family caring agencies and the community to support families and address safety and well-being of children, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This joint child and youth caring initiative is the result of partnerships between DSS, CMS, Smart Start, CCRI, Parks & Recreation, and the Library.

The online toollkit below includes county and community partner resources that are available to residents. This list will be monitored and updated with the most current information available.

Child safety has been the area of greatest interest followed by gun safety (there has been a spike in injuries and deaths of youth due to unsecured guns in the home).

You can access information on educational resources to support your child’s education at home, recreational activities to keep everyone safe and engaged and health resources so everyone stays safe and COVID free.

Please share this resource with your constituents. If you have a program or resource you would like to be featured on the site, please email Jaqueline McKnight


Small Business Relief: For small business support contact the Office of Economic Development .Additional programs listed at Meck Cares


The city and county programs for rental assistance are largely closed out – out of funds. There is a HUD grant still available and delivering through 2021 but the funds are much smaller. The NC HOPE program is currently closed to additional applications because they received over 40K applications in the 1 week they were open. They believe there will be an additional allocation of funds to the HOPE Program in 2021 which will allow the application process to reopen. Right now, the only relief available is through nonprofits, such as the Crisis Assistance Ministry. Hotels are still available through social serve and utility assistance remains available through 211.


3. Nonprofit Needs & Volunteer Opportunities

There is an intense need for classroom supplies! Classroom Central is planning a 2nd semester re-supply campaign. They are also looking for volunteers to help staff their drive-through service (over 80 teachers/day are driving through to pick up supplies.) They follow COVID protocols with full masking and social distancing. No more than 10 people in the entire facility. Please reach out to your supporters to share the need for volunteers and supplies.


Volunteers needed to tutor in their citizenship classes beginning January 24th. It is a 10-week commitment from 1:30pm-3:00pm on Sundays. Email Erin Phelps


Loaves and Fishes: Due to the increase in COVID positive cases, they are in urgent need of delivery drivers to pick up and drop off (contact free) food for families & individuals at their homes. Email Lindsey Silliman if you are interested


Roof Above: With the increase in cases and the colder weather, there is a huge need around the support of our homeless population.

  • Winter Shelter Bag Lunches: Register to support HERE

  • Winter Shelter Cookies: Register to support HERE

  • Donate items from their Amazon Wish List to help them provide safe winter shelter for our neighbors. Amazon Wish List is HERE


HEAL Charlotte: Greg Jackson and his team are trying to close on the purchase of a motel for immediate housing needs. To learn more about their ongoing feeding/housing efforts & to financially support them, please visit their website.

HEAL Charlotte's Winter Wonderland on Wheels:Sign up to help deliver Christmas gifts!


Second Harvest Food Bank: Volunteers are needed to help pack their referral food boxes for immediate distribution into our community. more information & register, please visit HERE


MedAssist: Volunteers are needed to help unpack and sort their daily medication deliveries. To learn more information & register, please visit HERE


VoteRiders: VoteRiders works to help people get necessary IDs. If your clients or organization can benefit, please reach out to Pam Pearson, 704-641-4845,


Matching Excess and Need for Stability (MEANS) is a non-profit food recovery platform. If you are interested in food donations, non-profits can sign up and get notifications about the kinds of food you can use. When there is food near you, you will get email or text notification and you can claim it. In DC, where Sammie Paul is based, there have been a lot of restaurants with surplus food. If your non-profit has extra food, you can also post for that and it will go out to others. When more people sign up to receive, they will do outreach for more donors. Website is translated into Spanish, Urdu, Persian and Arabic. Also set up with google translate for other languages.

Current organizations include Mulberry Baptist Church, GEMZ Community Development Corporation, Loaves & Fishes, Inc., St. Mark's Soup Kitchen, Rise Empowerment Center, Inc., God Sisters of Faith Christian Sorority and Ministries. They hope to build the recipient list out first and then work to expand the donor list.


4. House of Faith Partners

College Interns Needed for Summer Youth Groups!

CROSS Missons, Myers Park Presbyterian Church , Contact Erika Funk

Myers Park Presbyterian Church ( MPPC ) hosts service focused youth groups in the summer that includes service work, interfaith weekends and alternative break programs. They are looking for college interns to help lead this program. The positions are paid and offer housing. Alternatively, if you are an organization that could use these youths to assist your summer work, please reach out.

Covenant Presbyterian, Contact Lucy Crain

Covenant Presbyterian is in process of interviewing college interns right now and they would welcome information from organizations that need or DO NOT need summer volunteer interns in the coming summer.


5. Covid Resources

Click Here to Access Mecklenburg County Health Department Covid Vaccine FAQ: You can also call the Public Health Hotline for any questions about the vaccine and/or COVID-19 - 980-314-9400


Million Mask Initiative: Mecklenburg County and Atrium Health, along with several other organizations and businesses, are leading a private-public partnership to supply over 2 million masks throughout the Charlotte region. For more information visit


Legal Aid Eviction Moratorium Order & Affidavit information: To review the order and how you can be an advocate, please visit HERE


CovCare: CovCare’s mission is to supply medical supplies in the fastest turnaround possible and for much lower than the market price. Our goal is to flatten the curve and save lives.Visit website to find free masks and other PPE.


Financial Navigators Program: In partnership with national nonprofit organization, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), the City of Charlotte and Common Wealth Charlotte announced a new, free Financial Navigators program to help residents navigate critical financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Navigators provide free guidance over the phone to help residents access programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns. Financial Navigators help residents one-on-one with:

  • Prioritizing daily living expenses like housing, food and insurance

  • Maximizing income through accessing benefits, emergency cash assistance and emergency loans

  • Managing debt, from credit cards and student loans to child support

  • Avoiding predatory scams

  • Budgeting for future loss of income

  • Accessing other social services such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Services

Residents can access these remote services by completing the web form at or calling 311 to sign up. The financial navigator will then send a short service agreement and call the client to begin their personal session. Services are available in English and Spanish and can be accessed Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Organizations across Charlotte can also refer clients directly to a financial navigator. Click here to learn more!


Mecklenburg County Public Health Advice

The vaccine is our future; it is not our present. While we wait for vaccine to ship and the phases of its distribution to begin, stay home except for essentials and do not gather outside of your immediate family. Doing this for one year out of our lives can save many more years in the lives of others.

We now have a 11.2% positivity rate, up from 5.4% in October.

The Department of Public Health is working 7 days a week to contact trace. Please respond to Public Health if you are contacted.


Pandemic Assistance Available to Charlotte Water Customers – December 31 Funding Deadline

Funding is currently available to help residents pay their past due water bills. The Charlotte Water Customer Care Team will work one-on-one with customers to connect them with community assistance agencies including Crisis Assistance Ministry, The Housing Partnership, Common Wealth Charlotte and other organizations that can provide help. Customers can call 311 during business hours or visit for more details. Funds will expire on December 31.


LIEAP is a federally funded program with money administered every year by the state to help with energy bills for low-income individuals/families during the winter months. Individuals/families can receive a one-time check with the payment made directly to the provider (e.g. Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, etc.).

Dec. 1st - March 31st (60+) / Jan. 1st - March 31st (All households) You do not need to be facing any disconnects or delinquencies to utilize this financial resource. Applicants can receive between $300-500 each year. For more information; email Ginny Harper.

Ginny is focusing her outreach effort this year on East Charlotte. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! She knows that there are many eligible families that don’t know about the program. This funding will free up money for needy families to apply to other expenses such as food and medicine. She’d also appreciate our help with outreach to the Latino community. This program is NOT connected to immigration authorities. We could help people to know that this is a trust-worthy program.


Department of Social Services (DSS) App Now Available! Please visit All ACCESS POINT to apply for benefits, submit documents and much more.


COVID-19 Testing

Novant Health is prepared to care for patients who show symptoms of coronavirus. If you or a family member is experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your doctor or call 877-9NOVANT, visit for an online screening assessment to see if testing is needed, or visit our screening center located at:

Central Piedmont Community College

Harris Campus parking deck

3210 CPCC Harris Campus Drive, Charlotte, NC

(Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

For any of your health needs surrounding COVID-19 from resources, self-assessment, treatments and testing sites, please visit HERE . For additional help finding a testing site or event in North Carolina, visit this NCDHHS site.


NC on Modified Stay at Home Order until 1/8/21

Governor Roy Cooper and NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will begin a Modified Stay at Home Order after a rapid increase in North Carolina’s key COVID-19 trends.

The Order requires people to stay at home between 10 pm and 5 am. It takes effect Friday, December 11 and will be in place until at least January 8, 2021. The Order requires restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and more to close at 10 pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted.

In the past week, North Carolina’s case count has broken single-day records on three separate days, including crossing more than 6,000 cases per day on two of those days. Just a month ago, cases were under 3,000 per day. In recent days, the percent of tests returning positive has increased to more than 10%. Please click here for additional information or view Executive Order in PDF format below:

NCExecutive Order 181
Download PDF • 366KB

Prayer for Non-Profit Leaders

A quote from Vincent Van Gogh: “To be good — many people think that they'll achieve it by doing no harm — and that's a lie… That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity.” A prayer for us all: May you feel the power of what you are able to be and what you are able to do.


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