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Jan. 28, 2021 | 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:


  1. MeckMIN Updates

  2. Nonprofit Updates & Volunteer Needs

  3. Job Opportunites

  4. Covid Vaccine Resources

Click Here to Access 10/15/20 View Zoom Recording: Passcode: B357.JS8

Important Dates:


February:

Opening Prayer


Chosen by Florence Bryan. A contemplation from the 14th century mystic, St Theresa of Avila.

I used to be tormented by this turmoil of thoughts… I (didn’t) understand why, if the mind is one of the faculties of the soul, it is sometimes so restless. Thoughts fly around so fast that only God can anchor them, and when he does, we feel almost as if we were disconnected from the body.


It was driving me crazy to see the faculties of my soul calmly absorbed in remembrance of God while my thoughts, on the other hand, were wildly agitated…


Can we stop the stars from hurtling across the heavens? No. We cannot stop the mind, either. Off it goes, and then we send all the faculties after it. We end up blaming ourselves for wasting precious time in the presence of God.


But it could be that the soul is fully present with him in the innermost chamber while the mind stays on the periphery of the palace, grappling with a thousand wild and dangerous creatures and gaining real merit from this kind of struggle.

- Theresa of Avila, from The Interior Castle -

So I pray for all of us that our God, the true source of love and grace, to help us in our struggle to remember the words of Psalm 62: Let all that I am, wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. In the days ahead, may we quiet our anxious minds and trust in God’s pace. Amen


Remembrances:


It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of two great community leaders this week. It is with joy that we celebrate all that they contributed and their commitment to their community:


Angie Forde: of you will know Angie from her years of action for ALL people in our community. Others of you will have met her recently on our East Charlotte Leader Calls where she frequently called herself a "troublemaker at large," focused, in particular of late, on the issue of affordable housing. Angie was a bright light -- a deeply passionate, fully committed woman with a lovely smile and a wonderful laugh. She would let you know with directness when she disagreed with you and would just as readily step up with a word of encouragement or a helping hand. Not needing to be in the limelight (though she'd do that when needed), Angie was willing to take on tedious tasks -- she spent hours when I first started at MeckMIN helping us clean out and organize years’ worth of paper files. She was a great gift to our community and will be deeply missed.


Barney Offerman : Barney was an ever present force in organizing Charlotte around principles of equity, fair housing and compassion. To learn more about him, visit his online obituary.

1. MeckMIN Updates


Open Tables brings congregations together! Last week Covenant Presbyterian and the Islamic Society of Greater Charlotte met for a wonderful conversation. We are looking for additional committee members for Open Tables to help us make more connections.


Open Tables : Dinner and dialogue sessions hosted by local congregations. Through fellowship and food, Open Tables aims to build substantive relationships among our diverse congregations based on our shared humanity, reaching beyond the divides of tribalism. MeckMIN will connect congregations willing to host with congregations of other faiths and/or racial/ethnic make-ups willing to attend. Learn more, visit our website.

Comparative Religion Series: 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 include rich discussions from a diverse group of faith leaders with opportunities for Q&A. Presented by Temple Beth El and MeckMIN.


REGISTER HERE! Tuesdays at 7:00pm:

  • February 2 - Healing of the Body

  • February 9 - Healing of the Soul more weeks to go. See Calendar above for dates. These take place on Tuesday evenings.


Temple Beth El, MeckMIN, Comparative Religion Series

East CLT Leaders Meeting, February 10


East Charlotte Leaders, MeckMIN

The East Charlotte Leaders meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors in this time of crisis. Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 3:00pm-4:00pm.



Register Here to receive Zoom access!


February Food For Thought

MeckMIN offers monthly Food for Thought presentations as a way to gather persons from different faith groups and ethnicities, to break bread together, and to share in relevant issues of common concern. Join a presentation and discussion about a wide range of issues that affect our community.

February 18 "Using Story to Shape Community"Helms & Greg Jarrell and Hannah Hasan featured. Save the date –registration will be available soon.


Click Here to view valuable resources featured from past Food for Thought presentations!

Compassion and Crisis Video Series - Episode #3 - Doing The Work Premiers Feb 23 @7pm


Crisis and Compassion Series, Episode 3, Doing the Work, MeckMIN

Visit Here to find previous episodes and study guides


Telling Charlotte's Interfaith Story: Helping people recognize the value of religious pluralism for the Charlotte community is the aim of the JCSU Bridge Builders project. Their team has produced a series of short documentary videos that capture how diverse religious communities are responding to the pandemic--often through virtual efforts. Watch for the release of films highlighting MeckMIN's efforts to mobilize our diverse faith communities to meet critical needs during the pandemic.

FREE Organ and Pews!


Harry and Bryant funeral home is going out of business and offering their organ and pews for FREE. Contact LeDayne if you are interested.

Annual Community Awards Breakfast:


Call for 2021 Community Leader Award Nominations! Deadline to submit is Thursday, Feb 4. The breakfast is scheduled for April 7th (after Easter and before Ramadan)


Visit the Annual Community Awards Breakfast page on the MeckMIN website to find nomination forms. You can also find a list of former awardees on this page.

MeckMIN Annual Community Leader Awards Breakfast 2021

Please consider becoming a sponsor!

Support ranges from $250 to $5000.

An Artist's Day of Healing on Feb 6, Led by artists and creative professionals from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area


REGISTER HERE for a day of FREE healing-centered workshops, live performances and a virtual vigil led by artists and creative professionals from the Charlotte area. A space for our collective losses from COVID and in the community. Presented by Epoch Tribe & the Arts & Science Council. On February 6, artists from the Charlotte area will host virtual arts-based healing centered workshops throughout the day that are free and open to the public. People can sign up to attend one or more workshops. You choose.


That evening, at 7 PM, there will be a virtual vigil that will hold space for the tremendous loss that we have felt due to Covid-19 with spoken word, music, and song, and storytelling from Charlotte-based artists. Many are suffering silently in our community. Please help spread the word. This is open to anyone who can log on. Contact Hannah Hasan for more information.


An Artist's Day of Healing, Charlotte, NC

2.Nonprofit Updates & Volunteer Needs


Greater Charlotte RISE, Elaine Jahn, elainejahn@gmail.com


Greater Charlotte Rise has been working with the unsheltered community, particularly tent city.


In February we ask for your participation in our month-long campaign--writing letters, emails, and/or tweets to our government leaders every single day for the entire month of February. The preferred method of communication doesn’t matter as long as members of our local government hear from you in some form all 28 days in February.

During this time, Greater Charlotte Rise will provide updates and reminders. Please ask your friends, family, colleagues, partners, and clients to write letters, too. If you have social media accounts, please reach out to elected officials on the city, county levels and do it every day. There is a template available if that would make this easier. Please reach out to those you know in your circles and invite them to do the same. If you have content creators – young people who are on tiktok etc. they are amazing activists. Please connect us with them. Jolin said she will connect with Clergy for Justice.


North Carolina House of Representatives:

https://www.ncleg.gov/Members/ContactInfo/H


Board of Mecklenburg County Commissioners:

susan.harden@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Vilma.Leake@mecklenburgcountync.gov, George.Dunlap@mecklenburgcountync.gov, pat.cotham@mecklenburgcountync.gov, elaine.powell@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Mark.Jerrell@mecklenburgcountync.gov, ella.scarborough@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Susan.Rodriguez-McDowell@mecklenburgcountync.gov, trevor.fuller@mecklenburgcountync.gov, clerk@mecknc.gov, William.Carroll@mecklenburgcountync.gov , Dena.Diorio@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Anthony.Trotman@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Stacy.Lowry@mecklenburgcountync.gov


Charlotte City Council:

mayor@charlottenc.gov, julie.eiselt@charlottenc.gov, Braxton.Winston@charlottenc.gov, dimple.ajmera@charlottenc.gov, Larken.Egleston@charlottenc.gov, Malcolm.Graham@ci.charlotte.nc.us, Victoria.watlington@charlottenc.gov,Renee.Johnson@charlottenc.gov, Matt.Newton@charlottenc.gov, Tariq.Bokhari@charlottenc.gov, edriggs@charlottenc.gov


Suggested Handles Please add more in the comments:

@MeckCounty @Cltgov @Cltmayor @NC_Governor @joebrunowsoc9 @CharlotteTalks @PatCothamMeck thank @1perfectpeace @vote4Dunlap @LexisTV @cltecon

@RISETogetherPT @RISETogether_NC @StrongerNc @IndivisibleGCo @WeCanRISENC @chutry @EveryVoiceNC @FLIP_NC @arobotti @Triad_NOW @ncnow1

@NCDemParty @WeCanRISENC @JeffJacksonNC @CunninghamNCRep @LeilaniMunter @PowerUpNC @SAFEcoalitionNC @BPCCharlotte @GenNation @ECMcLaughlin @MeckCounty @Cltgov @lawanamayfield @BraxtonWinston @1perfectpeace @LexisTV @cltecon @DimpleAjmera @ViLyles @OnTheFrogSide @hipolitix @SBHarden @susanrodmcd @TrevorMFuller @EllaScarboroug1 @LauraBdigital


Faith leaders are requested to create short videos supporting this campaign. The goal is to have two such videos per day to share so if you want to participate, record your video and submit it to Charlotte Leader wecanrise.nc@gmail.com.

Coalition for Cultural Compassion , Becky Schisler, culturalcompassion@gmail.com


CCC runs a number of programs to connect people across cultures and ease poverty. Recently they opened a free closet where clients can go online and fill out form with needs and then arrange for pick up or delivery of clothes and/or furniture. It is run off donations from the community. They have been able to help @200 families since last May.


Right now they need volunteers to help deliver and move furniture as well as storage space for clothing and furniture. Ideally the space would be large, in the realm of 15x20 or 20x20, for clothing, indoors and easily accessible. They receive clothing donations almost every day and average about 30 family requests for clothing per month (usually 4-5 people per family). The inventory is in constant flux as new items come in to be sorted into the correct bins and as orders are filled for delivery.


For furniture, again, an easily accessible large space like a garage, or two or more smaller spaces, would be wonderful. Our largest items tend to be sofas, mattresses, and dining tables. We also store smaller furniture and household items.


Here are the links to our clothing and furniture request forms so you can get an idea of how our system works and what items we try our best to offer.

A space near Concord, where Becky lives, would be ideal but deliveries are in Charlotte mostly so a space anywhere in town would work as well.


The most immediate needs for donations are:


  • Bedside tables (9 needed)

  • Dressers (6 needed) on the smaller side is best

  • Living room end tables (5 needed)

  • TV tables for larger TVs (4 needed)

  • TVs (not the old style)

  • Microwaves (2 needed)

  • Toaster/ toaster oven (2 needed)

  • Queen box spring (1 needed)

  • Laptop computers (2 needed for work at home)

  • Diapers of all sizes 2,3,4,5 (constant need)


If you are able to provide any of these goods, please contact Lori Walker, furniture coordinator, 704-490-2023. (Texting is best or a phone call- emails get lost)

Beds for Kids , Jordan Tolman, Logistics Director, jtolman@bedsforkids.org. Kevin Warren-Outreach Coordinator, kwarren@bedsforkids.org, 2519 South Tryon St. Charlotte 28203


Beds for Kids has been around since 2011. Their main focus is to provide beds for children but they also provide them to the adults in the home. Delivered around 14,000 altogether since they began and last year alone they delivered over 2000 beds. They work with referral agencies like Pineville Neighbors. One of the main components is that when provide bed we also try to provide sheets, pillows, etc. We struggled to raise funds last year.


Request is if you know of anyone with new sheets etc, they could use them. They need sets primarily for twin beds though also some toddler beds. They are located at 2519 S Tryon on Remount. M-F 8:30 -4 pm and select Saturdays.

You can drop off sheet sets there during business hours. Check in with Jordan before coming to ensure that someone will be there and not out delivering beds.

Mis Amigos Project (MAP) Marsha Kelly, marshakelly2003@yahoo.com


We have pivoted to a rapid response group due to needs created or worsened by Covid. We have provided food referrals and we have about 450 clients.

Our name is changing to the Mis Amigos Project and we are more broadly trying to connect those in the Latinx community with resources.

Becky has been enormously helpful. They have connected with the A Tu Lado movement which is a group that connects faith communities to accompany local asylum seekers as they go through the process of applying for asylum. There are about 60 asylum seekers on their list who would like to be connected to a faith community. This is a longer-term commitment, not as in-depth as Refugee Support Services but a plan to accompany asylum seekers through the process.


We are still collecting and delivering diapers. As people ask, diapers will be delivered to families in need.

Christ Episcopal Church made a very generous gift to help continue the diaper distribution. To help, reach out to Marsha Kelly, marshakelly2003@yahoo.com or join the Facebook group (use Marsha’s name to get approval.)

Refurbished Computers Waiting for Good Home, Todd Peterson, todd.k.peterson@gmail.com, 704-340-7996


Mr. Peterson is not an organization. He works on his own to refurbish old computers and tablets to give away.700 refurbished computers and laptops were given away last year. They all come with cameras, zoom, etc.

Mr. Peterson needs help getting refurbished computers into the hands of those who need them. He has hundreds ready to go. He also has laserjet printers available. In addition, he would welcome financial donations to pay for power cords and parts. Donations can be made at www.makerspacecharlotte.org/donate. Makerspace is contributing all donations to him at this time.

He cannot really use a desktop donation because folks don’t want them with the exception of occasional organizations. In addition, Mr. Peterson offers beginner to advanced computer training for FREE. Classes have been held for seniors on zoom for the Harris YMCA and elsewhere.

ActionNC/TORC ,Jessica Moreno, Jessica@actionnc.org. 980.339.9139


CALLING ALL FAITH LEADERS!


We are calling on faith leaders to sign onto a letter (embedded link and attached) that will be sent to President Joe Biden, Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to take bold steps to protect our communities from evictions and rent debt during COVID-19, and to guarantee our communities have a Home to Thrive for years after the pandemic.

We are asking that they pass H.R. 6515, The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act (H.R. 6515) sponsored by Representative Ilhan Omar. We'd like to be able to get enough sign-ons to release on Sunday. Can folks share with their networks and try to finalize sign-ons by COB Friday?

International House, education@ihclt.org


International House on Central Ave is hosting a food drive on Feb 6th from 11-1.


Souper Bowl of Caring Canned Food Drive- Feb 7, 2021


The Souper Bowl of Caring is a yearly nationwide drive to collect canned goods and monetary donations to fight hunger.


St. Peter Catholic Church will be participating on Feb. 7th and you can donate items or money at 507 S. Tryon. This effort will directly benefit Roof Above’s Soup Kitchen, where over 100,000 lunches were served last year.

Roof Above is home to the only soup kitchen in Charlotte that is open every day of the year, serving everyone – no questions asked. Your support goes a long way. Every $1 raised provides the food for three lunches. The St. Peter Pre-Confirmation class thanks you for your support. The best times to drop by are likely 10 am and 12:30 after the masses have ended. Drive up will be available and there is no need to park or leave your car.

Loaves and Fishes


All February volunteer opportunities are listed now on the website. Scouts are collecting food the week of Super Bowl so keep your eyes open for that opportunity to donate.

Wedgewood Church


Wedgewood hosts a food pantry on Wednesday nights from 5:30 -7:30 at 3520 DeWitt Lane, the HeartsBeatAsOne campus.

They continue to need help restocking the pantry after the Christmas rush. They are open to all donations but diapers are most desirable.

The food pantry is drive-through, no contact with food placed directly in the trunk. There is no paperwork or sign up required. If you show up, you get food.

Augustine Literacy Project (ALP) , hkimbrough@alpcharlotte.org


Charlotte (ALP) builds strong foundations in literacy and reading. More than ever, we need tutors to teach foundational reading skills to students in 1st and 2nd grades using a multisensory, explicit, and systematic method. We offer intensive tutor training on how to work with a student and customize a lesson plan to a student's specific needs. We offer our community of tutors ongoing education in the form of workshops and relevant monthly presentations. ALP tutors and students typically form bonds that build literacy skills & facilitate confidence that carries over to the students' performance in other subjects. Upcoming trainings are posted on the website.

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County (SSMC) Invites Applications for Funding


Smart Start of Mecklenburg County (SSMC) envisions all children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg entering kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed.


SSMC currently has funds available for local, community-based nonprofits and government agencies and is inviting the community to submit applications for funding for fiscal year 2021-22.

Applications must address one of the following goal areas in SSMC’s strategic plan:

  1. Children are healthy and developmentally ready for kindergarten success.

  2. Children have access to high quality, nurturing early learning environments.

  3. Families of young children provide supportive home environments and live in safe and supportive communities.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library is in the process of developing a Facilities Master Plan that will guide the Library over the next 10-15 years. Part of that process is getting feedback from the community regarding what is most important to you regarding Library locations.

We’d appreciate your thoughts and opinions on topics such as:

  1. Does your neighborhood need a Library?

  2. Is your current Library branch serving your needs?

  3. What is the biggest gap in how your Library branch is serving your needs?

  4. How do the Library buildings themselves support your community needs?

  5. What opportunities exist for the Library to better serve Mecklenburg county residents?


Sessions are 60-90 minutes in length and held via Zoom. The information shared will be visual so it will be best to have access to a computer, but the audio portion of the meeting may be accessed using a computer or a phone.

Registrations are required, so sign up to participate in one session - use the links below. Each session is limited to 80 participants. All sessions will be offered in English and Spanish.


We also encourage you to participate in a short online survey - click for