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February 17, 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 subscribe to our newsletter.

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


Click Here to Access Zoom Recording:


In this Issue:


Important Dates:

  • 2/21-2/24, 10-2pm: BRCA event at the Children & Family Services Building at 601 E. 5thSt. Charlotte, NC 28202

  • 2/22 7-8pm: Comparative Religion class 4

  • 2/26, 8-4pm: Bridgebuilders and MeckMIN Interfaith build with Habitat

  • 2/28: Essays due for Optimist International Scholarship contest.

  • 3/3, 11 am: MeckMIN Faith Community and Non-Profit Leader meeting. Email LeDayne for zoom link

  • 3/7: Deadline for National Fund for Sacred Places grant letter of intent

  • 3/8, 6 pm: Habitat Building Futures Symposium at Halton Theatre

  • 3/17, 11 am: MeckMIN Faith Community and Non-Profit Leader meeting. Email LeDayne for zoom link

  • 5/12, 7:30 am: MeckMIN Awards Breakfast

  • 6/23-26: In Our Own Backyard Camp

  • 7/18: Applications due for National Fund for Sacred Places grant

  • 9/11, 1-6pm: Sacred Threads Conference


Special Need

A family who lost everything in a fire is seeking help in getting clothes and toiletries – Please see the list below – If you can help, contact LeDayne at Gift cards are also welcome.

Female (65) Shoe size 7w. Nurse uniforms (XL) any color Bra size 38dd or 40 dd

Cotton briefs size 7 L Socks Size 7 Blue jeans size 14 stretchy Top L Jacket/Coat XL Belt XL Pajamas/Slippers Deodorant dove Toothpaste Colgate Soap dove

Female (86) Black and blue sweater, compression socks size medium, housecoat and night gown, pants stretchy(L), long sleeve (L) pullover shirts, mattress pad for your bed. Elder pull-ups (L).

Female (29) Shoe size 7y or 8.5/9w Socks L Shirts women's L or men's M

Sweatshirts L Pants any color Ladies 14/16 Jacket/Coast XL Pullover L Underwear L Belt XL White long sleeves for work women's L or Men's M Khaki pants for work Women's 14/16 Storage containers Toothpaste Colgate Deodorant Suave Vaseline Eczema cream Cold wear accessories (hats, scarves, gloves, etc) Bookbag and lunchbox


1. MeckMIN Updates

Awards Breakfast

Thanks for your help with nominations – we got a GREAT list.

Save the date – May 12 at 7:30 a.m.

Comparative Religion Series

Every Tuesday in February MeckMIN and Temple Beth-El are presenting the 25thAnnual Comparative Religion Series. This year’s series examines religious origin stories, not just of how the world came to be - but of how the faith, culture, and beliefs came to be.

All sessions are held on Zoom. You will receive the Zoom link when you register. There is no charge to attend.

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Zoom

In Our Own BackYard (IOOBY) | June 23-26 | Applications Open

SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 23-26, 2022 we will once again host our acclaimed interfaith youth camp.

Every year we hold our interfaith summer camp experience for high-school aged youth in Mecklenburg County. The purpose of the camp is to bring youth together from different faiths, races and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn more about each other’s faith traditions and to serve area residents in need. Participants visit various social agencies, travel by city bus, visit different houses of faith for worship services and develop their own interfaith service on the last evening of the program. Attendees are eligible to join the MeckMIN youth council.


Please help us spread the word by sharing the webpage on your social media accounts and within your personal networks

Sacred Threads

September 11 from 1-6, Queens University and Myers Park Baptist Church

Join people from all faiths to explore the history of dialogue between Jews, Muslims, and Christians during the past 60 years. This conference was inspired by several major documents issued by these Abrahamic religions regarding the need to reach out to one another and begin to build bridges of understanding. We will hear from scholars in the field, discuss with one another in small groups, and enjoy music, poetry, and art. As our society grapples with the effects of division along so many lines, the vision for this day is to create beauty from the many threads of our sacred traditions. More info to come.

Volunteer T-shirts

Come out to a volunteer event and get a great MeckMIN Volunteer Shirt.

Suggested donation -- $20 (1) or $15/each for 2 or more

Crisis and Compassion Videos Showing in Salisbury

From our friend and collaborator Kendal Mobley:

I’m writing to invite you to the Center for Faith & the Arts in Salisbury for the screening of "Making a Shidduch," on Sunday, February 27, from 3 to 4 p.m. It is the first episode of my documentary video series, "Crisis and Compassion." These videos tell a very positive and under-reported story about religious diversity and cooperation in a time of need. Episode 1 is about 20 minutes long. I will introduce it briefly, then we'll watch the episode and use the rest of our time to discuss what we've learned.

I produced Crisis and Compassion for Bridge Builders Charlotte. My team included LeDayne McLeese Polaski, Executive Director of Mecklenburg Metropolitan Interfaith Network (MeckMIN), and JCSU students Exodus Moon and Iyanla Parsanlal. The videos show diverse religious communities in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region working with local service providers and other faith communities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Episode 1, “Making a Shidduch,” highlights the key role of MeckMIN in swiftly bringing diverse faith communities and nonprofits together to meet needs and adapt to the new realities of the pandemic

Admission is free to the public. The Center for Faith & the Arts is located at 207 W Harrison Street in Salisbury, NC. (Behind Haven Lutheran Church)


2. Non-Profit Updates

Habitat Charlotte Region's Annual Building Futures Affordable Housing Symposium

We just opened invitations to our (free) Building Futures event on March 8th at 6pm at CPCC. Keynote speaker is Andre M Perry, author of “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities”.

-Free and hybrid event, an intersection of housing and racial equity

You're invited to Habitat Charlotte Region’s annual Building Futures Affordable Housing Symposium! Author and scholar Andre M. Perry will focus on the rampant devaluing of assets in Black-majority communities – which includes both personal and business properties – and how overcoming racist policies would enable massive financial and social gains for families and businesses in these areas, as well as our entire country.


RAMPCLT in now RAMPCharMeck and will be reopening March 1 with $22 million in new funding.

-Has helped over 19,000 families

-Ramp application program is reopening March 1st. Will go till March 15th

-$22M be available to administer to the Community

Available for:

1) People who have served an eviction notice and have an eviction notification

2) People who are vulnerable and in danger of being evicted

For Them Too Campaign

Cameron Pruette |

For Them Too campaign, which seeks to care for and reduce harm against youth, regardless of their gender identity or expression. We're making a brief ask for folks who are interested to pledge a commitment and join us on this conversation and journey.

-Over 40% of trans youth struggled with suicide thoughts last year

-Please consider signing the pledge to Advocate For Them Too at:

If you're interested in learning more or partnering, contact Cameron at


Kate Bolkin

Community Arborist |


-Nonprofit aimed at planting CLT canopy trees

-CLT is losing 100,000 trees a year due to development

-Trees are so important for society, economy, climate change, trees make life safer & increase quality of life

-TreesCharlotte wants to increase Tree canopy across poor communities

-Have given & planted 45,000 trees across CLT

-Apply to our neighborhood program through & schedule a planting event

-2 City wide tree adoption events in March

-They offer TreeAdoptions where a person is given 2 trees, planting services and have Volunteer opportunities

TreesCharlotte is a nonprofit with the mission to grow, diversify, and steward the city’s iconic urban forest. We believe that all Charlotteans should have access to the environmental, social, economic, and health benefits that trees provide. We host family-friendly tree planting events in neighborhoods, schools, and houses of faith, we offer free trees for Charlotte residents to take home and plant, and we engage community members with educational activities.

Find out more at:

Email me at:

Cleaner air. Fresher water. Cooler Communities.

Refugee Support Services February 2022 Volunteer and Donation Opportunities

Madison Bishop

-Non profit helps newly arrived refugees by promoting refugee self sufficiency and empowering them to thrive thru a Help Center, Educational Program, and Special Events

-Volunteer Opportunities: An application must be filled, a Refugee training must be completed and a commitment of 1 day a week for 6 months

Hope for Minds and Hearts @ Matthews UMC

Hope for Minds and Hearts, at Matthews UMC

Monica Aquilera Co- Chair

-Starting 2 new Support Groups on Feb 28 at 7 pm

-Starting a Mental Series Program on March 22: Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety

-You can find more information about Hope for Hearts and Minds at This ministry is open to the community

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century

Lois Johnson |

Saturday, April 2, 10 AM to 12 PM Christ Church, Charlotte

The Episcopal Church Women of the Charlotte Convocation invite you to attend their spring program. It will take place in Charlotte at Christ Episcopal Church (1412 Providence Road). The gathering will, with the guidance of the authors of "From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century," focus on the ideas put forward in the award winning book. This is part of the ongoing effort to build the Beloved Community in the Diocese of North Carolina. It is our sincere hope that you will join us.

For more about this opportunity for learning, inspiration, and fellowship, and to register, visit our website,

-$30 includes breakfast & materials

-African American 11 yr-old boy invented a device attachable to car seats that monitors seat temperature in car seats

League of Women Voters Advocacy for Education Funding

Louise Woods <>

-Jeanne Smith – promoting teacher retention through the Comprehensive Remedial Plan

-Covid has underscored the necessity of high quality teachers

-Teachers are leaving the profession, In CMS 10% of teachers have left.

-Speak up, write to your legislators & listen to our teachers

Urgent action needed - Teacher Retention
Download PDF • 162KB

Welcome Home

Welcome Home- great interfaith opportunity

February 26 – Please see the attached flyers and come out to support this Muslim-led agency supporting resettling families

Loaves and Fishes

Need to sort 200 M pounds of food need volunteers

Loaves & Fishes needs Volunteers!! Warehouse volunteers to sort food donations and pack food relief boxes. Individual volunteers or group volunteers. Email me at for more information

Dr. Blanche Penn

I have a book signing on March 4, 2022 at 12 noon at the Oak Street Health, 3250 Freedom Drive. My books, Shift Happens, and Stay Focused Chronicle- comic book for parents, students, teachers and community. Hope you can come out to support me. Thanks, Dr. Blanche Penn

Alliance Health – J Giampaolo

John Giampaolo, Community Engagement Specialist with Alliance Health. Phone# (704) 677-9676. Alliance health Access number (800) 510-9132. This resource is available 24/7 and offers assistance in need of services related to Mental Health, Substance Use/Addiction and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. I would love to connect with anyone needing additional information. Thank you.

From Nimish

Exciting news Super G Mart is opening 110K sq. Ft super market making Charlotte World class city ! Please stay tuned as it bring world taste in back yard with fresh produce keeping char-Meck healthy community! Our children are learning about international food, culture and educational exchanges to become competent citizens.

300 plus jobs will be offered and place to visit and learn about nutritional option to stay healthy away from pharmacy slavery!

Heart Math Tutoring

Hi everyone, I'm Greg from Heart Math Tutoring and we're looking for math tutors to help our students in Charlotte. You can sign up here if interested:

Job Training is looking for Refugees candidates ready to learn trade and skills like plumbing, carpenter, electrical and other small certification including forklift driver’s license.

Reach us 7044911186

Navigator certification is our polit project with incentives if there are any leaders from ethnic group to step forward.

FREE Tax Assistance

VITA will provide tax assistance to folks outside of the Latinx community. They won't turn anyone away who qualifies for their program, they just specialize in providing bilingual volunteers. Those outside of the Latinx community can get more information and register for an appointment here:


3. General Information

Dear Friend of Charlotte Preparatory School -

On behalf of the Prep's 2nd Grade students, it's our honor to extend you an invitation to the 2022 Virtual Lunch & Learnevent on March 11 at 1:00 pm.

During Black History Month, Charlotte Prep Tigers across all grade levels are busy exploring, celebrating, and documenting US history and culture through the lens of notable Black figures. 2nd Grade students have been inspired by Detroit's Beans & Cornbread "history in a box" lunches, and will be designing lunch boxes that will be used to educate guests about the significance of the time period and their individual research subjects.

Participants in Lunch & Learn will receive a hand-delivered, student-designed lunch box, complete with a pre-packaged meal and event guide. Each guest will have a unique QR code to gain access to a 2nd Grade student's presentation, as well as a menu of options to explore other grade-level projects across our Lower School, plus a link to a live closing session that begins at 1:00 pm.

This is an exciting time for Charlotte Prep students! Black History is our history, and they are looking forward to connecting with Charlotte community members and sharing their hard work and knowledge.

Please RSVP via this formby February 28 - there are limited spots for this exciting event! We will then provide detailed instructions for the virtual event day.

We look forward to your attendance and encourage you to follow our Tigers as they write their own story at Charlotte Prep.

I Am QUEEN CHARLOTTE is a citywide, multi-platform experience that centers and celebrates the lives, stories, and contributions of Black Women in Charlotte.

The program is built around a gathered history of narratives from women in our community, by poet and master storyteller Hannah Hasan. These stories are the foundation of a whole week of activities honoring Black Women, which kicks off March 6th with a storytelling extravaganza in the Belk Theater. Music will be provided by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the show will be directed by Broadway veteran Benjamin Endsley Klein. The week following will be filled with art, curriculum, and engagement opportunities with our partners: The Blumenthal, The Levine Museum of the New South, the Arts & Science Council, & more. The week closes with the Queens of the City musical performance in the Knight Theater.

Summer Service Opportunity

Does your congregation have a space to cook and feed children over the summer? The NC Department of Public Instruction works with the US Food and Nutrition Service department within the Department of Agriculture to locate hosts for Summer Feeding Programs across the state. The lunch meals are offered free to children who are eligible and the group is reimbursed for the expenses. Learn more about this opportunity to provide food for those in need:

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) Summer Internships

My name is Clare Bradshaw. I am a first-year fellow with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR). I am reaching out today to ask you to please help us share this important and exciting information with eligible college and university students across North Carolina, who are looking to learn more about the nonprofit sector! ZSR is still accepting student applications for its Non-Profit Internship Program (NPIP) until Monday, February 21, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). Through NPIP, eligible college and university students are awarded an eight week, paid summer internship with a North Carolina nonprofit organization. ZSR established NPIP in 2011 to diversify the pool of aspiring, young nonprofit professionals and to remove financial barriers that might prevent talented young people, who otherwise could not take an unpaid position, from gaining valuable experience in the nonprofit sector.

HopeWay and Novant Health

HopeWay and Novant Health announced on Thursday a partnership to expand psychiatric services to the uninsured. With $150,000 in financial support from Novant Health Foundation, HopeWay will now offer mental-health services at the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinic at 3149 Freedom Drive and the Hope Community Clinic of East Charlotte at 3646 Central Ave., with plans to serve additional clinics in the future. According to a release, the partnership with HopeWay is part of a larger effort by Novant Health, with additional funding from The Duke Endowment, to increase access to in-person and virtual mental health care in underserved communities. The expanded scope of mental-health services at both clinics will feature an integrated model of care including a combination of in-person and virtual services. Each patient will receive a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation followed by a treatment plan based on the individual’s needs. Treatment will include medication management (if necessary), therapy and collaboration with the respective clinic’s medical team.



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