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December 8, 2022 | Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Check-In Meeting

Our every other week check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors. Meetings are held online every other 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 email LeDayne and ask to be added to the Thursday meetings email list.

Want to learn more about we do on our calls? Watch this short video clip!


Click Here to Access Zoom Recording:


In this Issue:



12/10, 11 AM - 2 PM: Urban League Coats Giveaway

12/10, 12 - 2 PM: NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty March & Rally

12/10, 2 - 8PM: Children of the World Light Up the Winter Night

12/10 & 17, 1:30 - 3:30 PM: SpringClean Holiday Workshops

12/13-17: Giving Machines at Promenade at Providence

12/14, 10 AM – 1 PM: Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy Open Enrollment event

12/16: Canopy Realtor® Association Holiday Awards Luncheon

12/17, 5 - 7PM: BCDI-CLT Check-Up & Chill

1/7: CharlotteForUkraine New Year Celebration

Opening Reflection

“The light of God surrounds us; The love of God enfolds us; The power of God protects us; The presence of God watches over us; Wherever we are, God is!”

by James Dillet Freeman (Unity)


1. MeckMIN Updates


CONSTITUENT OUTREACH - January to June 2023

As we continue to come out of the isolation of COVID, we're excited to be having programs in person again and grateful to our members for turning out in great numbers for so many of our programs and projects.

As we move into 2023, we are refocusing our efforts on our core programs. You'll have quarterly opportunities to take part in interfaith service projects, Open Tables potluck and dialogue sessions and events for middle and high school youth. Our biweekly Faith, Community and Nonprofit Leader Zoom meetings will continue as will our new Potlucks for Pluralism dinner and dialogue events for local college students and, of course, the Community Leader Awards Breakfast.

We are also eager to hear from you. We know that many things have shifted for all of us in the past couple of years, so we want to hear from you about how best to bolster and build on the ways we are connecting people of different backgrounds and building interfaith understanding and trust.

We've set aside January to June of 2023 to engage more deeply with our constituents. We encourage you to participate in our on-line survey of community needs (available soon). We'll also be reaching out to many members to ask for one-on-one conversations -- if we reach out to you, we hope you'll agree to meet with us and share your thoughts. Your input is important as we continue to grow so that we can better meet the needs of our increasingly diverse community.

In order to free up time for this intensive constituent outreach, we are temporarily pausing some programming including Food for Thought for the first half of the year. Our surveys and conversations may support reinstating these programs and/or adding new ones in the future.

If you have questions or comments on any of this, please reach out to LeDayne at

We're grateful to have you as a part of interfaith connection, community, and collaboration!


December 20 | 12 - 1 PM | Covenant Presbyterian Church

Lunch starts at 11:30 AM.

Join us on Tuesday, December 20, at 11:30 AM (lunch) / 12:00 PM (presentation) at Covenant Presbyterian Church (1000 E Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28204) to hear Dr. Michael Stephens, Professor from Johnson & Wales discuss Food & Faith. Food is more than nutrition. It is also, as Roland Barthes says, "a form of communication". It's not surprising, then, that religions communicate their beliefs through food. Studying food and religion deepens our understanding of our own beliefs and helps us appreciate and respect the beliefs of all sacred traditions.

Michael Stephens is a Professor in the Arts & Science Dept of Johnson & Wales University. He grew up in Northern Ireland during the 60s and 70s and moved to America in 1985. He teaches World Religions and Food and Religion at JWU and is a member of the American Academy of Religion. He is currently working on a book: The Spirituality of Gardening with Native Plants. Register here

NOMINATE AN EXEMPLARY LEADER 2023 Community Leader Awards Breakfast

We invite you to nominate an exemplary person or organization for one of our 2023 Community Leader Awards. The nomination process is now open – and the deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, February 6 by 5 p.m. If you’d like to make a nomination but are unsure whether the person/group has been honored by MeckMIN in the past, visit our webpage and scroll down to find the list of past recipients.

The Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader award goes to a local leader or organization that exemplifies leadership and collaboration across differences in the community, fosters interfaith understanding to promote racial and ethnic understanding, and addresses social needs in the community. This award is most often given to someone who does this work as part of their career – such as a clergy person or nonprofit professional.

The Bridge Builder award goes to someone who directly promotes one-on-one relationships and bridge building across differences through their actions and daily life.

This award is most often given to someone who does this work as a volunteer.


THANK YOU for your support of MeckMIN’s work! We invite you to continue to share in the holy work of loving neighbors by making a financial commitment to MeckMIN before the end of the calendar year.

Through MeckMIN, you connect to other people, congregations, and organizations with a vision for a kinder and more loving city; you build community across lines of difference; and you collaborate to create the society we long for.

Through your gifts of fiscal support and active involvement, you help to sustain such programs and projects as:

· Potlucks for Pluralism

· Youth Programs

· Community Leader Awards Breakfast

· Open Tables

· Service Projects

· Thursday, Community, Faith, & Non-profit Leader meetings

Will you make all this and more possible by making a financial gift now?


NO meeting December 22. Next meeting Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 11 AM


Tamara Hawkins (she/her) |

Karina Gonzalez, RD, LDN | Latino/Hispanic Community Liaison

(980) 314-9061 (office), (704) 591-6840 (cell)

Where to Get Free COVID Tests


CDC Weekly Flu Map

NCDHHS Respiratory Virus Surveillance Dashboard


2. Non-Profit Updates


Diego Torres, Immigrant Integration Specialist |704.941.2544|

Needs: Coats, Clothes, Bilingual volunteers

Adopt a family opportunity – you can sponsor a family for the holidays

Update: Right now, we are seeing 4-5 families a week but could be seeing an influx soon.

Contact Diego if you want to help.

If you want to join the weekly LAC Zoom calls, reach out to Diego.


-Currently there are around 700 recently arrived Ukrainians in the Charlotte area

-CharlotteForUkraine – Facebook group

-CharlotteForUkraine is looking for a space for New Year celebration for families of recent arrivals for January 7th. Please respond if you have space in mind that we could use at no cost. Looking for place that would hold 300 people, 200 chairs & a sound system For more information about us please visit

-Wedgewood Church donated lunchboxes for kids and invited them to participate in the bazaar

-Takes about 2-6 months to get work permits in order for those who arrive as humanitarian parolees or who successfully submit asylum applications so activities like selling crafts at a bazaar are very helpful

-They are asking for Christmas decorations and artificial trees – contact Melba at


Buy Tamales to Support Honduran Immigrant

Melba Smith Evans from Wedgewood will also be taking tamale orders

-$5/each – to support a Honduran immigrant working to support her family

Melba’s email:


This combines an opportunity to help a great multicultural preschool with an inexpensive, “fun” family event and a chance to shop locally for the holidays with a variety of crafts and food!


Saturday, December 10 @ 12-2 pm | Central Prison; the NC Governors Mansion Raleigh, NC

Deacon Clarke E. Cochran |

Tell Gov. Cooper: No More Death Row!

Please join people from across our state for a march and rally in Raleigh demanding commutation of our states 135 death sentences. Our goal: To compel Governor Cooper to commute death sentences before he leaves office in 2024. It is time to launch our commutation campaign publicly.

For details and to register:


Kristine Arnau, MPH | | (980) 355-2971

Program Coordinator | Age Friendly Mecklenburg | Mecklenburg County DSS - SFA

Age-Friendliness of Transportation

Discussion Guide

Age-Friendly Mecklenburg (AFM) is a collective planning initiative to enhance quality of life for older adults in Mecklenburg County. AFM would like to better understand if there are any challenges with access to transportation for older adults. As many adults seek resources and support from within their faith communities, AFM appreciates the partnership with MeckMIN to gain more insight into the topic of transportation.

1. What barriers or concerns do you have when traveling throughout your community? a. Examples: No access to a vehicle, safety, limited physical capabilities, etc.

2. What is the primary form of transportation for older adults in your community? a. Examples: Owns a vehicle, dependent on a family member, pays for

transportation service (cab, Uber/Lyft), utilizes public transportation services


3. Do older adults know about public transportation services including bus routes, LYNX

schedule, Mecklenburg Transportation System (MTS), or Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), or Special Transportation Services (STS)?


Tara Vannoy |

-Have funds to assists families with heating/cooling malfunctioning, insultation, better weatherized homes

-Free of charge

Short WAP presentation
Download PPTX • 343KB


Community Program Coordinator | Heating Assistance LIEAP 2023

-Low Income Energy Assistance Program: federal funded program that assists low-income households with heating needs

-Application Dec 1 – March 31

-60+ apply now

-Below 60 apply after December

-In order to apply, 1 person in the household has to be documented

-This program is not connected to ICE

-Payment goes directly to heating supplier

-Minimum starts at $300

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP)

-Assist low-income individuals w/ heating or cooling costs when they are behind on payments

-Help prevent disconnections


April C. Turner | | 704-594-0386

Dec 10th – winterfest! There will be food and fun and we will do winter health readiness as well. We will give away 400 brand new coats donated by Macy’s and over 1000 pair socks donated by Bombas. There will be service providers and free covid and flu vaccines. It will be at DICE – 3118 Milton Road.

The Urban League of Central Carolinas will present Winter Fest 2022 on Dec. 10 at the new Digital Innovation Center East location on Milton Road (in East Town Market) and we need YOU to volunteer!


ULCC Winter Fest 2022 is an outdoor mini-festival event that will emphasize winter health readiness. We are excited to have approximately 400 free new coats donated by Macy’s and over 1000 pairs of Bombas socks to distribute to community members in need. There will also be other prizes and giveaways to help the winter not feel so cold.

Mecklenburg County Public Health will be there to provide free COVID primary series vaccines in addition to free at-home tests, masks and other helpful giveaways.

Aetna is sponsoring a team of health service providers to administer free COVID boosters and flu vaccines.

Our partners at The Mount Charlotte will be present to minister joy and build community with music, games, giveaways and fun eats in the ULCC CommuniTEA tent.

Vision To Learn will also be at Winter Fest 2022 with their mobile unit offering free vision screenings and eye exams to K-12 students.

Charlotte area yoga teacher, Debra McWhirter, is coming to share “Chair Yoga” demonstrations, perfect for seniors who need to stay active --or anyone who wants to improve general fitness.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS in order to have this whole event operate smoothly and provide the highest benefit possible to the communities we serve. Please use the sign-up link now to volunteer for a shift or two--

We look forward coming together to offer a meaningful and memorable event for our partners, sponsors, staff, students, volunteers and all of the communities we serve.

Thank you in advance for joining us in this service!


Sarah Freeman |

In January we will be launching a new program for those interested in becoming a citizen. The path to citizenship is certainly not simple and we are excited to walk beside folks as they tackle such a momentous process. The program will run for 10-12 weeks and students will meet one day a week for in-person class instruction. Additionally, each student will meet with a tutor once a week to review and reinforce everything learned in class. Tutors will also help with things like reviewing civics questions and administering practice tests. We are looking for 8 tutors. It will be a weekly commitment for 10-12 weeks, starting mid January but the schedule is flexible and between the student and tutor to decide what works best. It could even be via zoom. All materials, plans, and activities will be provided! If you would like to know about this opportunity please email Sarah Freeman at


Jeff Glenn | | 704.333.HOPE (4673) ext. 237

Faith Relations Coordinator |

My sharing with the group was simply to offer our services (assisting organizations/churches/groups/etc.) where the issue of addiction is present. Exploring, understanding and providing CRM as a “healing” resource would be the goal.

We also have service opportunities here at CRM (mainly for meals) that would provide the groups contacts a way to “give back”.


Please refer to the attached documents that outline the services offered by the North Carolina Ombudsman. These resources are available to offer assistance to those individuals on Medicaid who may need assistance in navigating the changes involved with NC Managed Care. Please feel free to share this information with your community contacts and/or list serves, especially to those who work directly with the Medicaid population.

The NC Medicaid Ombudsman is an advocate for beneficiaries to educate and empower people with Medicaid. They offer assistance to navigate the change to NC Medicaid Managed Care. They provide FREE, CONFIDENTIAL ASSISTANCE to help people with Medicaid understand the change in their benefits and resolve problems, so they can access high-quality health care when they need it.

-Helps people navigate thru Medicaid changes, understand the changes, manage their care, they can call and ask questions about bills, procedures

-Free services

-Refer & Connect people to resources

NCMO October 2022 Webinar FINAL- Ombudsman PowerPoint Presentation
Download PDF • 1.16MB


Founder and Creative Director

Springclean is focused on eliminating waste and promoting reuse and recycling. They provide job training and offer family-friendly creative workshops. For details email

Mission: once you’re done with clothes, donate them to someone who needs them – if they cannot be donated, then we upcycle them and sell the new creations – if it cannot be donated, we sell them to fiber makers

-Textile Recycling, understand the life cycle of the clothes we wear every day

-CLT Hornets t-shirts are made into teddy bears

Volunteer Prep dates : Friday 12/9 from 10 am - 2 pm Friday 12/16 from 10 am - 2 pm Holiday Market dates: Saturday 12/10 from 1 - 4 pm Saturday 12/17 from 1 - 4 pm


We are basically reaching out to vendors for assistance with cleaning and hygiene products for customers in our housing programs that do not have income and cannot afford those items. Any assistance that can be provided would be beneficial even if not ongoing but one time.

Business Manager | CSS Administration

Office: (980) 314-8980 | Cell: (980) 240-3303 | FAX: (866) 579-4807


Natalie Marles | | 980-202-7339 Health Insurance Navigator Project Manager |

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy will host our Open Enrollment event

This email serves as a reminder that Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy will host our Open Enrollment event next Wednesday, December 14th, at our main office from 10 am-1 pm! We are excited to have you all here as we share the massive success of this open enrollment and provide you with information on important changes to the Affordable Care Act. We welcome you to bring a partner organization as well!

After that event, navigators will have an "enroll-a-thon" event from 2-8 pm to enroll and renew as many consumers as possible before the December 15th marketplace deadline. If you know anyone in need of coverage or anyone who needs to enroll, feel free to send them our way!

OTHERS ON THE CALL (as time allows)


-Tues-Saturday (12/13-17) Open 9AM - 10PM parked near the fountain in the center.

-Promenade at Providence

-100% of the $$ you donate goes to the charity you choose

Come check out the Light The World Mobile Giving Machine at the Promenade on Providence. A reverse vending machine where you buy items for local and global charities



The Ms. Foundation for Women's Ms. South strategy supports the leadership of women and girls of color (WGOC) and strengthens their ecosystem of leaders in 14 key states in the U.S. south: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. In this round of grantmaking, the Foundation will invest over $1,500,000 in support of WGOC-led groups across the spectrum of movement building and organizing. The goals are to strengthen the organizational and financial sustainability of an ecosystem of WGOC-led organizations, increase connectivity between WGOC-led organizations, and position WGOC leaders as key experts and decision-makers in shaping policy and culture change. General operating support grants of $20,000 to $50,000 per year for up to two years will be provided. The application deadline is January 13, 2023. Visit the Foundation's website to download the request for proposals and read the FAQs.


3. General Information


Camino organization is specializing on helping Latino refugees. They have everything in place, including the social worker, clinic, and clothing.


I am Phyllis Lazenby from St. Andrew’s UMC. We will have our service of Las Posadas on 12/18 at 1:00 PM - all are welcome to attend



For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love. This is an unalterable law. – The Dhammapada

We are thankful for all the ways that the people and organizations on this call pour love into the world and our community.

Next meeting – Four weeks from today – Thursday, Jan 5th at 11 a.m.


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