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:
MeckMIN Crisis & Compassion Video Premiere Now Available, Youth Interfaith Service Project, East Charlotte Leaders Wanted, Gender Roles In Scripture
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Season of Giving & Attestation forms
Nonprofit Updates: Diapers needed before Dec. 10, Winter shelter info for Roof Above, ourBridge featured in NY Times, Samaritan House needs an Executive Director, Loaves & Fishes, MedAssist, Second Harvest Food Bank
Understanding Affordable Housing
Low-Income Families Can Still Apply for Extra Credit Grants to assist with virtual school and child care costs
Charlotte Future 2040
12/5, 1pm - 3pm: MeckMIN Youth mission project supporting the YWCA of Central Carolinas Families Together Program. Register Here
12/5 -12/6, 5pm - 8pm: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Drive Through Nativity Festival, 5897 Hemby Rd, Weddington, NC
12/9, 3:30pm-4:30pm: East Charlotte Leader Meeting (Zoom) Email LeDayne
12/10: Deadline to deliver diapers for Migrant Assistance Project : (Size 4, 5 or 6) to 2017 Meadowood Lane, Charlotte, NC 28211
12/10, 6pm-7:30pm: Understanding Affordable Housing Register Here.
12/10, 11am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting. Register Here.
12/10, 10:30am: Augustine Literacy Project info session via Zoom. Register Here
12/12, 11am-1pm: Community Holiday Meal boxed meal distribution at Ascension Lutheran Church
To everyone who attended the 45th Annual Community-Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and to everyone who took the time to share encouraging and kind words, we offer Thanks!
"I just wanted to let you know that I thought you did a great job with the message and the variety of modalities last night. It was a great way to keep my heart focused on the season, thank you!"
"Just when I thought there was no way last year could be topped, you did just that. No better yet, you blew it out! Inspirational and challenging, touching and tough, educational and spiritual... "
"The worship service last night was spectacular! Amazing production, and good content too. Kudos on a wonderful community service!"
We are deeply grateful to the planning committee, especially our spectacular chair, Cantor Mary Thomas.
We're also thankful for every person (and puppet) who participated, especially since we know many of you had to go outside your comfort zone to record and upload your pieces.
We're grateful to Temple Beth El for their hospitality in hosting us and for stepping up and leading the way when we had to go virtual.
We appreciate everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe Campaign to help cover the extra costs of the virtual platform.
And we lift up our generous sponsors who made the event possible:
Covenant Presbyterian Church
Myers Park Baptist Church
The Bockenek Family
IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR OFFERING!
As always, the offering supports both MeckMIN's work to cross boundaries to work together for understanding, compassion and justice and our good friends at Crisis Assistance as they support neighbors in need to prevent homelessness.
You can also contribute to the virtual food drive for Loaves & Fishes here.
TEXT TO GIVE: Text MECKMIN to 91999
Crisis Assistance Donation Page: crisisassistance.org/meckmin
If you missed the service, you can view below and also find it pinned to the top of our Facebook page.
45th Annual Community-Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, Nov 24, 2020
Crisis and Compassion Episode 1: Making a Shidduch is Now Available!
The first episode of our Crisis and Compassion video series, "MeckMIN: Making a Shidduch,” made in partnership with Johnson C. Smith University, through a generous grant from Bridge Builders Charlotte and the Gambrell Foundation, is now available. The video tells the story of the weekly calls MeckMIN has hosted since mid-March to coordinate efforts to lift up and meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors during this season of pandemic. It's an encouraging story of the many, many people in our community working for the common good. Access study guide here
Bridge Builders Charlotte combines the expertise and missions of religion and higher education to offer resources that inspire people to move together beyond self-interest, promote deep thought around complex societal problems and help shape the next generation of civic leaders.
Dec 5, REGISTER HERE for Youth Interfaith Service Project & YWCA Families Together Program: December 5th, 1:00pm-3:00pm, MeckMIN will host a youth interfaith service opportunity supporting the YWCA of Central Carolinas Families Together Program. The Families Together program provides safe, affordable housing and intensive support services for families with children experiencing homelessness.
Dec 9, East Charlotte Leaders Group, Wednesday, December 9, at 3:30 pm
Email LeDayne at email@example.com to get the Zoom access information. This group is open to anyone who lives or works in East Charlotte and is interested in joining with others to identify community resources, lift up community needs, and work to make this area of the city a great home for everyone.
Dec 10, REGISTER HERE: Human Rights Day Event on the plight of Uygurs in China December 10 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council's 6th Annual Human Rights Day commemoration. Commemorate adoption of the universal declaration of human rights and learn about the plight of Uygurs in China. Featuring Aydin Anwar, Outreach Manager of the SAVE UYGHURS CAMPAIGN.
Dec 17, REGISTER HERE: Food for Thought: Thursday, December 17 12:30 - 1:30 pm Gender Roles in Scripture (ZOOM) Join scholars Dr. Hadia Mubarak, Rev. Glencie Rhedrick, and Rabbi Judy Schindler on Thursday, December 17, at 12:30 pm via ZOOM 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.
2. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Season of Giving: We continue to receive requests from schools that are needing gift cards for food, clothes and gas for their students and families. Please connect with Phyllis Croutch, District Partnership Specialist, to learn more about how to support a school during Season of Giving.
CMS Attestation Forms: As you know, each student on a weekly basis will be required to turn into the bus driver a completed CMS Attestation Form. 3. Nonprofit Updates
3. Nonprofit Needs
Migrant Assistance Project: Diapers Needed before Dec. 10th! The Migrant Assistance Project has decided to have a special diaper distribution in December for those we served over the spring and summer, since we have continued to get requests. If you would like to contribute in a very helpful way, you could ORDER SIZE 4, 5 OR 6 DIAPERS (a large box preferred since we're giving a one month supply) to be delivered to 2017 Meadowood Lane, Charlotte, NC 28211 BEFORE DECEMBER 10. Walmart, Target, Costco, whatever. We have about 50 families on our list.
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 Amazon Wish List
Process for this season’s Winter Sheltering: Please pass this information along, as needed. This season we will not be doing our traditional Room in the Inn through church sheltering. However, due to expanding beds through alternative sheltering options, we are able to actually serve more of our Neighbors this year by re-opening our overflow Statesville shelter and by continuing shelter through our dorms and motels.
Men will be able to receive shelter through the normal lottery process of calling Tryon Shelter or visiting Day Service Center before 9:15am, daily. Once an individual is in the Tryon Shelter, they can stay in this bed as long as there are no missing days or rule violations.
Mens Shelter Options:
Tryon Mens Shelter
King’s on Lamar dorms
Nations Ford motel
Men will also be able to receive night-by-night shelter at Statesville Mens Shelter (winter overflow) by either calling into the lottery from 11:00am – 12:30pm or signing up in-person at the Day Center (945 N. College St.) between 1:30 – 3:00pm. This is a DAILY process.
Women will be able to receive shelter by calling Salvation Army hotline or showing up for in-person Intake
Samaritan House: Samaritan House is looking for a new Executive Director
ourBridge: A December 3, 2020 article in nytimes.com has some great information about the local work of ourBridge. Below is an excerpt. Full article can be downloaded as PDF:
As Pandemic Reveals Gaps in Safety Nets, ‘You Can’t Look Away’
December 3, 2020; nytimes.com, Author Wadzanai Mhute
THE NEEDIEST CASES FUND
“Since Covid hit, the amount of people in need of food has gone up.” These organizations are providing meals and helping unemployed workers. Latinos Progresando entered new territory when the coronavirus pandemic hit Chicago. The organization, a nonprofit that focuses on assisting immigrants, suddenly needed to shift its programming.
Its founder, Luis Gutierrez, saw people who’d counted on their jobs at restaurants being laid off, as well as needs in the community for personal protective equipment and more access to food.
“Food insecurity is real in this country, and since Covid hit, the amount of people in need of food has gone up,” he said. “Organizations like ours in the cityand country have just been stepping in to fill in these gaps. A lot of these things were there but Covid exposed it. Nobody can deny it. You can’t look away.”
To meet the community’s needs, Latinos Progresando gave financial help to people who’d lost jobs. The organization also began to distribute masks and groceries to those struggling. On the first day of one pop-up stand, in August, 40 people were in line at 6 a.m. for a food distribution that started at 10 a.m. When these challenges suddenly arose, Latinos Progresando received support from the Hispanic Federation. The Hispanic Federation has given $14 million in emergency assistance grants to help more than 200 organizations coping with immediate needs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund was among the organizations to support the emergency grants. The Hispanic Federation grants also supported ourBridge in North Carolina, which provides food
and tutoring for children in the community. Ruby Orduna credits ourBridge with helping her and her family onto a better track. A single mother and immigrant from Mexico with no family in the United States, Ms. Orduna learned about the program three years ago, when she was working late hours and her children would stay with a sitter for long periods.
Sometimes it was hard for her to pay her bills and see to her children’s needs. The program has been a lifesaver, she said, especially for her younger children.
Loaves & Fishes: Thanksgiving volunteer needs; drivers / warehouse & packing needs.
Second Harvest: Volunteers are needed to help pack their referral food boxes for immediate distribution into our community.
MedAssist: Volunteers are needed to help unpack and sort their daily medication deliveries.
4. Understanding Affordable Housing
REGISTER HERE: Understanding Affordable Housing (12/10 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.) This webinar will take place via Zoom. All registrants will receive login information via email prior to the webinar.
Join the City of Charlotte Housing & Neighborhood Services, Mayfield Memorial Community Development Corporation, Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, and local residents in an informational webinar about the effects of affordable housing on neighborhoods. The presentation will address concerns about the addition of affordable housing in communities across the city of Charlotte by using research, statistics, and personal testimonials to dispel pervasive myths and to illustrate the true impact that affordable housing in its various forms can have on the Queen City. The presentations will be followed by a Q+A opportunity for viewers to ask our guest speakers any questions they may have.
5. COVID Resources
Legal Aid Eviction Moratorium Order & Affidavit information: to review the order and how you can be an advocate, please visit HERE
Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services: Financial Energy Assistance
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) 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. For more information; email Ginny Harper
6. Low-Income Families Can Still Apply for Extra Credit Grants to Assist with Virtual School and Child Care Costs
Thanks to the effective advocacy of the nonprofit Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, many low-income families in North Carolina will get a second chance to apply for the Extra Credit Grant Program. In September, the NC General Assembly approved the Extra Credit Grant Program, which provides $335 payments to help taxpaying families with children pay for virtual schooling and child care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While most taxpayers received these payments automatically, low-income families that did not file a 2019 state tax return had to apply to the NC Department of Revenue (DOR) to receive their $335 payments. The original deadline for applications was October 15, but low-income families now have a second chance to apply through December 7 at 2 p.m. Families can check their eligibility and apply for grants at www.335fornc.com. Applications are relatively simple, only requiring taxpayers to list their names, SSNs, contact information, and their children’s names, ages, and SSNs.
The Center strongly encourages nonprofits serving low-income North Carolinians to help spread the word to ensure that those who did not file a 2019 tax return submit their applications by mail or online before the December 7 deadline.
7. Charlotte Future 2040 Information
Thank you for being a part of the CLT Future 2040 Community Conversations! We appreciate you taking the time to share with us your ideas on what could make Charlotte more equitable in the future. Please find the PDF of the feedback from your session here: 12.3.20 COMMUNITY CONVERSATION EXIT SURVEY : We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to complete a brief exit survey. This survey helps us ensure that we are providing equitable engagement citywide. We appreciate your time. Click HERE to complete the survey. DEMOGRAPHICS: The CLT Future 2040 Team is committed to listening to the voices of all Charlotteans. If you have contacts in West Charlotte, East Charlotte, Latino, Non-English Speaking, Youth, Senior Service, or Disability Service communities and are willing to share them, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON THE DRAFT PLAN: If you would like to learn more about the draft Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan and how to provide feedback on the E-plan, please visit our website at cltfuture2040.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and updates. CLT FUTURE 2040 COLORING SHEETS : Click the links below for the Spanish and English versions of the CLT Future 2040 coloring sheets created by Charlotte native Marcus Kiser.