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July 20, 2023 | 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:

 

Opening Reflection


I see no stranger, I see no enemy Wherever I look, God is all I see I don't think of us and them No one do I hate or condemn I see God's image – each one a friend. Of any religion, caste or race All I see is God's shining face His smiling face, His gracious face. Accept as beautiful all His design I learnt this truth in sangat divine One Word resounds in me and you Waheguru ... Waheguru ... In him, in her, in me and you Waheguru ... Waheguru ... Beholding in every being His light I bloom like a flower in joy and delight.


adi granth - guru arjun dev ji - ca. 1604 ce.1.



1. MeckMIN Updates


A NOTE ABOUT THESE MEETINGS


These meetings are open to anyone or any group interested in promoting the common good in our shared Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.


We do not allow announcements from for-profit groups promoting their businesses or campaigning from political candidates. Beyond that, we don’t have rules for who can speak or what they can share as long as they support our commitments to respectful conversation and the dignity of all people.


Because we have a very wide array of beliefs and understandings within our membership and because we want to keep these meetings open as an open forum, we’re going to add this disclaimer to the minutes: "The views and opinions expressed here are those of the speakers/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the MeckMIN board or our member organizations."




MECKMIN YOUTH SUMMIT

August, Friday 18 | 12:00 - 9 PM August, Saturday 19 | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM


We are excited to host an Interfaith Youth Summit this August! Every year we hold experiences for middle and high-school aged youth in Mecklenburg County. The purpose of these activities is to bring youth together from different faiths, races and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn more about each other’s traditions and to serve our local community. Participants will experience and visit various social agencies and houses of faith for worship, dialogue, fellowship, food and fun! Upon completion, attendees will be awarded with a certificate in religious-diversity.


Register HERE


We would LOVE your help in sharing the word about this great opportunity. Please download and share one or more of these social media announcements with middle and high schoolers you know and those who work with them.



MeckMIN Youth Summit (Flyer)
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.41MB


NC MEDASSIST WAREHOUSE FAMILY-FRIENDLY SERVICE PROJECT

Sunday, July 30 | 1 - 4 PM



Join us on Sunday, July 30 from 1 to 4 pm at NC MedAssist (4428 Taggart Creek Road, Suite 101, Charlotte, NC 28208) for an afternoon of sorting, organizing, and packing over-the-counter medicines, and other duties as needed.

Please note the following:

• There may be some heavy lifting.

• Dress comfortably but modestly - no tank tops or flip flops

• All shoes must be closed-toe

• Volunteer 12 years and older are welcome


Register HERE




Thursday, September 21 | 6:30 PM | Baha'í Center of Charlotte


At an Open Tables gathering, diverse congregations come together for fellowship and dining; with the goal of building relationships based on our shared humanity that go beyond the divides of tribalism. Register HERE



TEXT MESSAGING

MeckMIN is trying to expand its reach via Text Messaging. If you would like to receive MeckMIN announcements through this means, please email your first and last name along with your mobile number to meckmin@meckmin.org.



SAVE The Date: COMMUNITY-WIDE THANKSGIVING SERVICE Tuesday, November 21 | 7 - 9 PM | Trinity Presbyterian Church


This is always a meaningful community wide event. Please share with your community so they can save the date.




HINDU CENTER LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WITH A BUS to help with a one-time transportation need in October

We want to request if any church with bus service can rent us bus with driver for one day one way 6 hour journey to Jacksonville Fl , we will pay for all expenses. 26th October 5:30 am start time from Hindu Center charlotte. We have seniors and need this support, the outside bus services are very expensive please. If you can help, please contact Nimish Bhatt, 704.491.1186



FIRST IN FAMILIES Needs masks and hand sanitizer for kids with Cerebral Palsy, Downs and Autism


Keiba Young | kyoung@inreachnc.org | 704-536-6661 ext 437

Collecting through July 28th for backpack distribution on July 29th.


2. Non-Profit Updates


The views and opinions expressed below are those of the speakers/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the MeckMIN board or our member organizations.



PROJECT OUTPOUR

Laura Gorecki | Chief Dignity Officer | 704-275-5540

Do mobile showers in six locations. Their services are free. It is first come first serve. They need volunteers and would love to be adopted by congregations. Volunteers help guests get supplies and more. They also need supply drives if your congregation is interested.


Social Media: follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Make a tax-deductible donation today!




REDEFINING COMMUNITY SAFETY


Lee Ann Slocum | slocuml@umsl.edu | 314-516-4072

Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Missouri - St. Louis



I am a researcher at the University of Missouri St. Louis, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department recommended that I reach out to local houses of worship for assistance with some ongoing work.

Everyone wants to live in a safe community. To help move towards the goal of safety for all, my colleagues and I are working on a project examining how people with a wide range of perspectives think about community safety. The information that is produced will contribute to national and local conversations about the meaning of community safety and provide a foundation for future collaboration and action. You may have completed a survey related to this project in fall 2022.

Please consider helping by taking a brief survey on your community safety priorities and sharing it with members of your congregation. The survey, which is for people 18 or older who live, work, or go to school in Mecklenburg County, takes approximately 10 minutes. It contains questions about community safety as well as some questions about demographics and prior life experiences.

The survey can be accessed HERE

The survey provides an opportunity to reach people with a broad range of perspectives and identify what they think is most important when it comes to community safety. This information can be used locally to get an idea of what types of reforms and policy changes are favored by people in the community. Identifying local priorities is critical given the variability in how people define community safety and the issues they prioritize.


If you or members of your congregation would like to learn more about the project or would like to be more involved, we would love to set up a time to speak with you. In addition, we are committed to sharing the results with the community so if you would like to stay updated about the project findings, please let us know.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me, Lee Ann Slocum (slocuml@umsl.edu), or call me on my office phone number (314-516-4072). Thank you for considering this request!




UNPRECEDENTED NEED @ LOAVES AND FISHES


Lindsay Houser | lindsey@loavesandfishes.org


At Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, we are seeing unprecedented need - during the month of June, through our Mecklenburg Co. network of food pantries, we provided a week's worth of groceries to 10,850 neighbors - the highest June in our 48-year history. Historically, our numbers rise in the summer months but these numbers are unprecedented.

We are facing a food insecurity crisis. To match that, we need a crisis response from the community. So far this fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023), we have spent $727,478 on food purchases which is $480,000 more than the prior year. And we still have 3 months to go in our fiscal year.

How can you help?

  • Financial donations are needed to purchase much needed food items. Donations can be made at loavesandfishes.org

  • Food donations - especially canned fruit in juice, canned meat, low sodium canned vegetables, canned pastas, and fresh produce. Drop off food donations at the Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays warehouse located at 648 Griffith Dr., Charlotte, 28217. Or hold a food drive at your work, in your neighborhood, swim club, house of worship, etc. Visit loavesanfishes.org to find information about holding a food drive.

  • Volunteer! We are currently in desperate need of volunteer drivers to deliver groceries through our grocery home delivery program. We can also always use volunteers to deliver meals through Friendship Trays, our Meals On Wheels program. To volunteer, visit loavesandfishes.org/get-involved.

For more information on holding a food drive, donating food or funds, visit www.loavesandfishes.org.


Unprecedented Need News Release
.pdf
Download PDF • 440KB



THE LIVING ARCHIVES PROJECT UPDATE


Sarah Gherghel | sgherghel@cmlibrary.org | 980-666-8603 Living Archives Program Coordinator

Debbie Rubenstein | drubenstein@cmlibrary.org | 704.998.9579 Project Consultant


The Living Archives (www.livingarchivesclt.org) is a collaboration among the CM Library, JCSU, The Levine Museum and the Duke University CDS. Our goal is to collect the stories of pandemic survival and loss in Mecklenburg County with a focus on marginalized communities, specifically Black, Hispanic, Asian and Indigenous communities and we identified 11 identity, economic and family structure factors within those communities that often led to increased impact from COVID. We have been collecting stories for about a year and our initial goal of 200 stories has been surpassed by 50%. Though we have over 300 stories to date, we will continue to collect through August after which we will move to the next project phase.


We believe that keeping these powerful stories only in the archives would be a missed opportunity. You can go to our YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/@livingarchivescharlotte to see and listen to the stories yourself. To share these stories more broadly, however, we need your help. You helped us design a collection process that respected the voices of our storytellers and offered them ways to share their stories in their own voice and through the medium of their choosing. We hope you will help us imagine the best ways to share these stories in ways that continue to support your work. We have initial ideas of our own but these are subject to change as we talk with partners like you.


We know that we want to work with local artists as part of our exhibit. Our ideas include potentially creating a permanent mural somewhere as well as commissioning songs, poetry, dance and more. We hope this work will be featured, along with the stories, by our community partners in their own spaces and in service of their own missions.


Please reach out to Sarah or Debbie if you have questions or want to explore partnering. Please also be sure you are signed up for our newsletter HERE at so you can continue to get updates on the project as we develop the exhibit phase further.




CHARLOTTE PRIDE INTERFAITH PROGRAM




They are kicking off Pride week with an interfaith service. They are looking for volunteers to light candles and read from a script.


They are also looking for volunteers for festival weekend as well.


The Charlotte Pride Interfaith Program seeks to create an Interfaith Resource Directory listing LGBTQ-affirming faith organizations and congregations in the Charlotte area. This long-sought-after local resource will provide LGBTQ and ally community members an opportunity to learn more about LGBTQ-affirming religious organizations. Your listing will be included online, as well as in the year's Charlotte Pride Magazine resource directory.





VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: FRUITFUL FRIENDS PROGRAM



Have you ever had homemade chai, Turkish coffee, injera, momo, saffron rice, dolma, isombe, sel roti, mohinga, etc, etc, etc?!?!?!? Similarly, have you ever gotten to share something near and dear to your stomach with a new friend who hasn't had it before? Are you interesting in establishing life-long friendships outside of your own social network? Would you like to be part of contributing to a growing culture of welcome and belonging in the greater Charlotte area? The RSS Fruitful Friends Program might be the right opportunity for you!


What is the Fruitful Friends program? Fruitful Friends volunteers are paired with program participants to establish friendships, engage in mutual cultural exchange, and support in development of increased social capital opportunities and access to community and organizational resources. RSS Fruitful Friends are single adults, married couples, and families of all sizes...everyone is welcome to participate!


What is the commitment? Volunteering as a Fruitful Friend requires a 1-year minimum commitment and a minimum of 4 hours per month. We promise you - this time will FLY and won't seem like nearly enough the more time you spend together! A completed Refugee 101 training session, a recent background check, and a Fruitful Friends training session are all required before you are matched so that you are prepared and ready to go.

What if I am interested but I have questions first? We are holding two informational sessions for you to come and meet me (Mentor Programs Coordinator Sarah Stubbs!), learn about the program, and ask questions.One of the sessions will be held at our center and the other will be remote. You can pick the session that works best for you

o On-site Session: Wed. July 19th, 6pm, 3925 Willard Farrow Dr., 28215

o Remote Session: Mon. July 24th, 6pm, Zoom

I'd like to get started right away as a Fruitful Friend! Awesome! We are 2 holding onboarding sessions soon, one in person and one remote. It is required for volunteers to attend an onboarding in order to be matched with program participants. Please sign up for the one that works best for your schedule!

o On-Site Session: Wed. August 2nd - 5:30pm, 3925 Willard Farrow Dr., 28215

o Remote Session: Thurs. August 3rd - 5:30pm, Zoom


It is a commitment, at least 4 hours month is the minimum and the average is 8 hours a month. You commit to a year. There are some pre-requisites as well. But please reach out to find out more. There is a great article in Charlotte Magazine with more information: https://www.charlottemagazine.com/refugee-support-services-surrounds-new-residents-with-people/




TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY WAIVER BEING OFFERED BY ALLIANCE HEALTH

John Giampaolo | jgiampaolo@alliancehealthplan.org | 704-677-9676

Community Engagement Specialist


We offer health plans for North Carolina residents in Cumberland, Durham, Johnston, Orange, Mecklenburg and Wake counties for Tailored Plan members, state-funded recipients, and Medicaid Direct beneficiaries.


They wanted to be sure that all knew about the TBI Brain Waiver available to those who have had blunt force head trauma that causes is change in brain function. The waiver does not covered acquired brain injury like lack of oxygen. This waiver allows you to receive Medicaid at 300% of the poverty level rather than at the usual level.

Eligibility:

o Injury sustained at age 18 or older

o You must go through Alliance Health

o There is a level of care requirement

Services provided: Adult health care, Life skills training, day supports residential supports, respite, crisis services, resource facilitation supported living remote supports and more. There is currently no wait list.


You can call John with questions or call the service line : 800-510-9132 or visit www.Alliancetailoredplan.org.


Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver
.pptx
Download PPTX • 7.36MB



MORAL MONDAY RALLY - CHARLOTTE JULY 24TH


Samantha Turner | samanthacltppc@gmail.com | NC Poor People’s Campaign



This Monday there will be a Charlotte Moral Monday rally, July 24th at 6:30 at the Government Center. It is in support of the 3rd Reconstruction Amendment (see here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-resolution/532/text)

There will be speakers and they are looking for someone to speak about unions and union organizing still. They ask that clergy wear religious attire.




COMMON WEALTH UPDATES

Yuly V. Rodriguez, MPA, | yrodriguez@commonwealthcharlotte.org

Buenas Finanzas Program Director


Buenas Finanzas is a financial literacy effort. I would like to remind folks about our services and also share the results of VITA Latino: https://www.vitalatino.org/, engage potential partners for 2024 season, and also share about our upcoming Generacion 2080 cohort for Latinx members. VITA Latino is the only one that focuses on tax prep for Latinos. Thank you to all of you who supported this effort. This is the second year. They served $99K in refunds into the community. This year they serviced over 500 people and had a 300% increase and put $300K back into the community. Community also paid $100K into the tax system. See more here: https://www.commonwealthcharlotte.org/stories/common-wealth-charlotte-returns-310627-to-the-pockets-of-latino-taxpayers-in-second-year-of-vita-latinonbsp


They are gearing up for year 3. Volunteer with them as a host, spread the word, have them do workshops and more. This is entirely volunteer run. You do not need to speak Spanish so please reach out if you are interested.


Commonwealth has additional initiatives that may be of interest including:

· Generation 2080 is an effort that focuses on getting the next generation financially stable: https://www.g2080.org/

· MyAffordableHome https://myaffordablehome.org will provide a combination of financial counseling and education with a matching savings program to help pay for home maintenance and fill in occasional gaps on mortgage payments. Homeowners who make $2,500 per month or less will be eligible, aligning with what is about 30% of area median income for a family of four ($28,250).


Read more HERE



VOTE RIDERS

Pam Pearson | pam@voteriders.org | 704-641-4845


VoteRiders is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their freedom to vote. VoteRiders informs and helps citizens to secure their voter ID as well as inspires and supports organizations, local volunteers, and communities to sustain voter ID education and assistance efforts. They provide all the training and all the out of pocket expenses.

· Need volunteers to help with the ride ordering program on Uber on Thursdays. This work would be done remotely from your home.

· They have been working to provide service at Roof Above but need volunteers at the former winter shelter which is now full year overnight. We could use 2-4 volunteers to go between 6-8 in the evening.



REIMAGINING AMERICA PROJECT

Jennifer Roberts | jenniferdwroberts@gmail.com

They are doing a tour of the Courthouse with Tim Emry July 26, 8:45 am and a Voting Rights event at Caldwell Hope Hall on Aug 17 at 6:30 pm. Feel free to email for more info.

COGNOSANTE


Rita Dominguez,NC Community Outreach Specialist. Helping consumers and their families transitioning from Medicaid or CHIP due to Medicaid Unwinding navigate the Healthcare.gov application process and make informed health coverage decisions. For free appointment visit EAP website:https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/CMS_EAPNC@cognosante.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/ or by email at: CMS_EAP-NC@cognosante.com


 


3. General Information



OUR STORY IS ONE: HONORING THE LEGACY OF 10 IRANIAN WOMEN

Saturday, July 22 | 6 PM | Baha'í Center of Charlotte




FREE CAREER FAIR

A new career fair is coming to Charlotte, organized by Insight Global, a national staffing and services company dedicated to empowering people. The BE THE LIGHT TOUR is a FREE job skills experience that is set to take place on Saturday, July 29th, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the AvidXchange Music Factory.


If this sounds like something you will benefit from then come enjoy free professional headshots and free interview skills and resume writing workshops. Network with employers and participate in one-on-ones with recruiters.


Learn more HERE





NORTH AMERICAN INTERFAITH NETWORK IS HIRING


As we continue to build the North American Interfaith Network, we are currently looking for a young adult, between the ages of 18 to 30, to assist with membership registrations through internet research, emails, phone calls and data entry. Coordination with NAIN board member(s) will help with any necessary training and oversight for the selected person. This position will pay approximately $15 USD per hour, with a total allocation not to exceed $5,000 USD from a special fund and wishes created by Teja Singh. It is anticipated that the person will work up to 15 hours per week.

Qualifications:

o Good data entry knowledge

o Proficient computer skills

o Excellent communications and interpersonal skills

o A friendly attitude

o Committed to promoting interfaith understanding

If you are interested in this position or have any questions, please contact Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia at tsbutalia@gmail.com. To apply, please send the following in your application package in one pdf document to tsbutalia@gmail.com:

1. Resume (which includes your Full Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, and Email Address, Faith Tradition, & Qualifications, etc. for this position)

2. Statement of Interest (for this position and your interest in promoting interfaith understanding)

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and continue until the position is filled. We thank all those that apply but only those qualified will be contacted for this position.




JOB OPENNING: JCSU'S NEW COORDINATOR OF SPIRITUAL LIFE & COMMUNITY SERVICE


The link above will direct you to the position description for JCSU's new Coordinator of Spiritual Life and Community Service. Please help us to get the word out about this position so that we can find the person of excellence who is called and qualified to lead this work.




Tuesday, August 1, 11 - 11:30 AM | Online


Join us for a webinar alongside Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the oldest refugee agency in the U.S., to learn how faith communities and people of faith can become sponsor groups and support refugees in building new lives in the U.S. Participants will learn about private sponsorship through Welcome Corps with HIAS. This program enables groups of 5-8 everyday Americans to form private sponsor groups with the goal of welcoming refugees and helping them become self-sufficient over a six-month period. The group supports the refugees by securing housing, greeting them at the airport, enrolling children in school, helping adults find employment, and learning to navigate life on their own.


Discover how your faith community can provide a sense of welcome and inclusion to refugee families, embracing them as valued members of our society. This webinar will empower you with the tools you need to become a sponsor group and support refugees in building new lives in the U.S. Click here to register.



HELPING OUT MECKLENBURG HOMEWONERS WITH ECONOMIC SUPPORT (HOMES)

Apply by November 17

County homeowners may qualify for an assistance grant of up to $660. HOMES, or Helping Out Mecklenburg’s Homeowners with Economic Support, is a County created seasonal program designed to help Mecklenburg County residents reduce the cost of annual homeownership. The grant will be used towards reducing the cost of annual homeownership. There is no age requirement to participate in the program, and the home does not have to be paid off! Mecklenburg County homeowners who may qualify for a HOMES grant are those who have lived in their home for at least the last three years and it is their primary residence, have no more than one delinquent tax bill in the last three years and meet a qualifying total household income level. Please see www.mecknc.gov/4HOMES for more details and other program considerations.

The application period runs from July 1, 2023 to November 17, 2023. Applications and verifications must be submitted and postmarked by November 17, 2023. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Applications are available in English and Spanish online, by mail or email. For more information on the HOMES program, please visit mecknc.gov/4HOMES; email 4Homes@MeckNC.gov; or call 980-314-HOME (4663).



JOB OPPORTUNITY: AMERICAN RED CROSS


American Red Cross is hiring. This full-time, salaried position will support diverse volunteer recruitment - specifically focused on building volunteer partnerships within the African American and Latino Communities. This position will be based from a home office but will support the whole state (plus four counties in South Carolina) and require travel. I have included a link to the general job posting below. Specific to NC, we are looking for someone who is bilingual and has established relationships across the state.




ROSENDIN FOUNDATION ANNUAL GRANT APPLICATION

The Rosendin Foundation cares about the well-being of our communities by partnering with community-focused non-profit organizations to support health, including emotional, nutritional, and occupation programs.


The Rosendin Foundation has one grant annual cycle for financial grants up to $50,000. The deadline for these grant applications is August 15. The Foundation will issue grants in November/December annually.


For questions about the Grant Application, please contact Jolsna Thomas (President) at jthomas@therosendinfoundation.org.





FAIR HOUSING TESTER RECRUITMENT




LATIN AMERICAN COALITION / IMMIGRANT WELCOMING CENTER Volunteer Opportunities






GUARDIAN AD LITEM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Mecklenburg Guardian Ad Litem office is in need of volunteers to help be an advocate for children who have been abused or neglected!






IMMUNIZATION HEALTH FAIR - Immunization opportunities for children




OVERCOMING RACISM: THE ROLE OF RELIGION & FAITH COMMUNITIES

Sunday, August 27 | 2 PM | Baha'í Center of Charlotte



 

PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS


We have to believe that we are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are. I've learned that there is no better way to invite more grace, gratitude and joy into our lives than by mindfully practicing authenticity. Even when it's hard, and even when we're wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we're afraid to let ourselves feel it. It's these moments in life that demand we show up—that we let go of who we think we're supposed to be and embrace who we really are.


Brene Brown



Next meeting:


August 3rd - Thursday at 11 a.m.






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