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.
Click Here to Access Zoom Recording: Passcode:q64fXA+@
In this Issue:
3/25, 12:00pm: Samaritan House Virtual Fundraiser
3/27-28: Mental Health Expo
3/30, 7pm: Crisis & Compassion Episode 4 "That they all may be one" REGISTER HERE!
3/31, 9-9:30am: Augustine Literacy Rise & Read with featured speaker, Kelly S. King, Chairman and CEO of Truist Financial
4/2: Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation’s Children and Youth Grants Program grant applications close
4/7, 8:00 am: MeckMIN Community Awards Breakfast
1. MeckMIN Updates
Save the Date! Wednesday, April 7, 8:00 a.m. The MeckMIN Community Leader Awards Breakfast will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 7at 8:00am. This is a very special event where we honor inspiring local leaders and organizations by presenting The Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader award and The Bridge Builder Award. Tickets will be available to purchase soon.
Please support this event through ticket sales and sponsorship if you can.
$250 for a half “table” with four tickets to the virtual event.
$500 for a full table of 8 tickets
$1,000 to become a sustaining sponsor
$3,000 to underwrite an award winner
$5,000 to be the event’s presenting sponsor
BECOME A SPONSOR: In addition to honoring inspiring local leaders, the breakfast is the biggest MeckMIN fundraiser of the year. Individuals, groups, congregations, and businesses who choose to sponsor the breakfast are supporting all the work we do all year to foster understanding, compassion and justice. If sponsoring is not within the budget of your non-profit, please consider whether others in your circle might support this important work and share this opportunity with them.
Please encourage those within your network to buy a ticket and attend the event!
CRISIS AND COMPASSION EPISODE 4
“That They All May Be One,” will premiere March 30, at 7 PM, REGISTER HERE!
Episode 4 tells a story of vision and persistence. Despite the pandemic, the Chapel of Christ the King followed through with a plan that was a year in the making—to transform the church’s under utilized property into an edible landscape, an orchard that would address food insecurity and provide an outdoor space where longtime residents and new arrivals can come together as neighbors in Optimist Park.
In Our Own Backyard (IOOBY) Interfaith Youth Summer Camp
We are planning our interfaith youth camp this summer – “In Our Own Backyard” – may need to have to change the dates. We had a good conversation with several youth leaders and the dates that we have chosen conflict with some pretty big events that involve multiple congregations. So we are looking more closely at dates and will know more about that later.
SPECIAL EVENT WITH MECKMIN DISCOUNT
The Charlotte Center for the Humanities is a fairly new group in town and they are presenting The Forum featuring Pádraig Ó Tuama. The MECKMIN network is being offered half price admission.
Discount Code: MECKMIN
LInk to the event; https://theforum_padraigotuama.eventbrite.com
About this Event
The Forum is a new conversation and speaker series that brings the humanities and civic imagination to bear on the challenges and opportunities of public life.
Please join us for the March 2021 gathering of The Forum featuring Pádraig Ó Tuama, Irish theologian & poet. We will talk to him from Belfast about telling the truth about power and the complicated art of reconciliation.
Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centers around themes of language, power, conflict and religion. He is the author of four books of poetry and prose: Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community, In the Shelter, Sorry for your Troubles, and Readings from the Books of Exile. He presents the podcast Poetry Unbound with On Being Studios, where he also has responsibilities in bringing art and theology into public and civic life. From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community.
Connect. Consider. Ignite. The Forum has a three-part structure: during the first third of the event audience members will connect in small groups prompted by a question; the middle third is a discussion with our guest speaker ending with a question posed to the audience for consideration; the final third is the audience discussing the question and igniting ideas. The program runs from 6 to 7:30 PM with extra time afterward for conversation, connections, and Q&A. Event ticket is $25.
2. Nonprofit Updates
HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATE
MCPH is now scheduling appointments for individuals who fall in Group 4 and meet the following criteria:
16-64 years old with one or more of the below high-risk medical conditions for severe disease from COVID-19 and people living in close group settings, specifically shelters and detention centers. The remainder of Group 4 will be eligible beginning April 7.
Asthma (moderate to severe)
Cerebrovascular disease or history of stroke
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Diabetes type 1 or 2
A heart condition such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, including Down Syndrome
Liver disease, including hepatitis
Neurologic conditions, such as dementia and schizophrenia
Overweight or obesity
Sickle cell disease (not including sickle cell trait) or thalassemia
Smoking (current or former, defined as having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime)
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from: immune deficiencies, HIV, taking chronic steroids or other immune weakening medicines, history of solid organ blood or bone marrow transplant
Mecklenburg County residents who are homebound, may fill out this survey to request vaccination in their homes.
More information regarding the date that vaccination for homebound individuals will be available soon. Please call the hotline 980-314-9400 (Option 3)
Fahnie Stewart Shaw, Ed.D. - Fahnie.email@example.com
Director of Title I Family Engagement and Community Outreach
Click Here for Spring Resource One Stop Event
The Mount Charlotte will be the host for the March 20 event. From 11-2. The spirit of the One Stop is to make sure that families and communities can connect with everything they need all in one place. They are able to ask questions on the spot. So many organizations and resources from both the community and from CMS will be on hand.
This group is invited to consider becoming a Connected Community Partner (Dr. Shaw sending info to LeDayne). So much of the federal dollars are restricted and Connected Community Partners are needed to help with funds that are needed for which the federal money cannot be used.
Spirit of the One Stop – everyone in a family can connect in one place at one time with everyone offering resources and assistance there. It’s all about getting out of schools and getting in the community and getting people the resources they need – especially on weekends when families are more able to be present. This is an extension of service in the community. Come out and learn more and experience the process.
1520 Allagany is the address.
Community Cruiser is out there to offer basic vaccinations needed for school to all children. They are working on making it easier for families to connect and make appointments. Help with documents will be onsite.
LaTarzja Henry, Chief of Staff
LaTarzja Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org;cell 704-619-4413)– CMS rep about summer learning – number 1 question: What can we do to help?
We are two weeks away from spring break. Next week there will be a series of surveys that they need to get feedback from families. As many people as possible saying in every place to everyone – have you seen the survey and have you filled it out. Dependent on each person sharing info in this remote environment. Need our partners to help with that. The survey is like a preregistration for summer learning – “Summer Camp at CMS” – really using feedback to help craft the camp. (Not calling it “summer school.”)
Last day of school is May 28 which is much earlier than usual. They are wanting to provide learning opportunities for students in this longer-than-usual summer break. The hope is to provide learning opportunities for students, though obviously this cannot be provided for all students. Therefore they are trying to get a feel for how many students would attend 6 week camp session beginning in July. Full day camp with lots of fun incorporated too. Prioritizing students who have not had as much success in an online environment and also students who are housing compromised and those behind in learning. Therefore they are pushing people to complete survey. Though it will not be available to offer to every child, but they are trying to preregister to see the level of interest before crafting exact program. Transportation, breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Intention is to return to school in person next year. Not a given right now. But even with a full return, things will be different.
How is money being used from federal government? We have been fortunate that we received COVID-19 funding and the first of that money was used to cover much of the PPE costs and other pandemic related expenses. We anticipate receiving more funding and want to use that for helping to fund the Summer Camp program this summer. We are coming up on the budgeting planning process and hosting a series of community sessions to inform and engage help. One big area is social and emotional support for students. Students and families have expressed this as priority. (She will send dates for community sessions – they are all virtual). Encourage this group to come and share with houses of faith. The more people to participate it is a shared experience.
Inquiring and remaining prayerful for ALL students and staff. We don’t know what individuals are dealing with. What’s happening in families often shows up in our children and we need prayers to maneuver these times.
Update: access to vaccines – huge turn in last few weeks with employees are prioritized and staff is taking advantage of that. Great partnerships with Health Dept and Novant for hosting clinics for CMS staff. Chipping away at this need every day. This is really good news that vaccines are accessible. What was a challenge 3-4 weeks ago is much better now.
What will school look like next year? In the planning stages right now. So much is dependent on metrics in community and students and their ability to attend. They are finding ways to adapt and adjust knowing that we can educate remotely now. Only a couple of years ago there were long conversations about can students take Ipads home?! What seemed impossible is now working. Some students are thriving with online learning. How can we continue to adapt and adjust?
No prom. There’s just no way to socially distance, but we are looking at graduation planning. How close to traditional graduation can we have? Gathering data and ideas and hoping to share this after spring break.
Question from Uday Reddy (Serves as a board member of an organization that has created a virtual learning curriculum with the help of university faculty and are ready to provide free mentoring and coaching to kids that cannot afford tutors. We provide the services to more than 20 kids last year. These are student tutors trained by university faculty. Let me know if these kids can be of any assistance.)
LaTarzja - is CMS collaborating with other summer programs for youth to "fill the gap" for those students you cannot serve? Providing some training for others offering summer learning to help to be collaborative in covering some key academic areas. We will have more information about how can partners providing programming can support with summer learning in the upcoming days. We will share the information with our partners as soon as it becomes available. Short answer, we are exploring that possibility.
Mike Roberts, email@example.com
Site Leader at The Mount Charlotte (TMCLT). Location Leader
The Mount Charlotte – hosting the One Stop Shop – site leader in Cityview Shopping Center (close to Phillip O. Berry). Been in Charlotte almost 6 years. Their headquarters are based out of Virginia. One church in 8 locations. They have built connections with Dr. Shaw and her team. They focus on three words: Cover/Care/Connect – point of One Stop – great opportunity to accomplish this. It will be a great day of sharing – the Church is supposed to change lives – and they are excited to be a part of this with this event.
Isaac Sturgill , IsaacS@legalaidnc.org
Eviction deadline set to expire end of March which means all protections for tenants expire the end of the month. The only protection right now is the CDC Eviction Moratorium – gives tenants chance to protect themselves. Read a form called “CDC Declaration” and sign and give to landlord. If they take these steps they legally cannot be evicted. This has been in place since September. Many have used this, but many others have not known about this. If something doesn’t happen to extend or replace the moratorium there will be a lot of evictions coming. Eviction protections were not included in last plan. Hoping Biden makes Executive Order. Going to be a huge surge in evictions in April without this.
Last Covid bill had a lot of rental assistance, but without moratorium that stays in place many families will fall through the cracks before available assistance can kick in.
Question about the declaration to sign: www.legalaidnc.org/cdcem or google cdc eviction declaration to find the form. Protections are not automatic without signing this form
Question about RAMPCLT: not sure what has happened to them – not sure if they will be a part of distribution of funds.
Pro Bono Help for Nonprofits working on affordable housing:
Legal Aid is trying to increase the amount of “community lawyering” we do as opposed to just individual advocacy. One of the things we can do is represent nonprofit organizations who are trying to create affordable housing. This may mean giving advice on a grant or contract or helping identify policy goals. Our representation would be free of charge for anyone who qualifies. Faith communities and organizations involved in affordable housing work – they can help with this to advise and review. If you know of agencies/groups that need help – free of charge advice/legal consultation – get in touch.
Sharing flyers to get info in people’s hands that Crisis Assistance is here and there are funds to help. Flyers are in English and Spanish. Now able to help with past due notices and full payment balance of any deferred payment plan. They may be eligible for getting current on bills. Want to get this info out to the people that need it.
Project Home Warriors
Action on affordable housing (view full presentation below)
James Lee – initiative to help 5 families with upward mobility by doing some innovative things – planning a gofundme page to raise $75,000 to get into pilot program – infusing families with housing and jobs – infusing the work force with workers. Divide $75,000 between 5 families to move from homeless to housed and employed. Can’t do something for everyone, but wanted to start with 5 families and do something for a few – at least start somewhere. (Roof Above, Promise Resource Network, Crisis Assistance, Women’s Shelter) There will also be a veterans component as well.
There is a long-term sustainable component too – working with corporate America and entrepreneurs, esp construction industry – hoping for permanent homes and independence. Looking also for land for more permanent housing for the homeless.
Freedom School Partners
Freedom School Partners is hiring for summer internships and seasonal positions! Visit freedomschoolpartners.org/careers.
For more information and to apply online, go to: Summer Literacy Infusion Application to Participate – if you want to add a literacy component to whatever summer program you may be hosting
30 for 30
Prayer initiative beginning in May – 30 congregations for 30 days of prayer. This can be a part of your service or for a small group.
Would you kindly consider committing your congregation to be in ONE day of prayer during May for our police department, public, health, and safety workers, and our community? The prayer can be a part of a service, in a small group, for a few minutes, or even an entire day. The hope is to have 30 different congregations participating so a prayer will be offered each day for 30 days.
Thank you for your consideration. To commit to “30 for 30”, please contact Officer Antoine Patterson, Volunteer Liaison Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 619-5211. If you have questions about 30 for 30, please contact Rev. Fran Cook-Mahood at email@example.com or (704) 614-3726.
Hope Program -Register Here
Housing Justice Network
Because so many facing evictions and funds are coming so slowly, on April 1 planning a zoom for tenants in this situation covering policy on utilities and eviction moratorium. A platform for tenants to share their experience. A flyer is attached.
Loaves and Fishes
We have changed our group max from 10 volunteers to 15 volunteers. Rarely are we full on a warehouse volunteer shift so we are definitely looking for more warehouse volunteers. Minimum age is 14.
Our second largest food drive just cancelled again this year (NALC). Previously this food drive typically held every May would bring in over 60,000 lbs of food and was very helpful in getting us through the summer months that historically have high demand due to kids being out of school. We have an adequate food supply right now but may be looking to plan other food drives to make up the loss on this critical food drive.
Read Charlotte Update
Read Charlotte is excited to announce that, in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, we are offering the opportunity for up to 30 non-YMCA summer camp sites in Mecklenburg County to integrate the Summer Literacy Infusion (SLI) model in Charlotte-Mecklenburg into their camps. This opportunity is designed to equip summer camps - who would not typically include literacy in their programming - with the materials to be able to integrate 1 hour of literacy into their typical day.
If you know of a summer camp that fits this description, I’d appreciate you sharing the attached flyer. If this opportunity is applicable to your own summer camp, I hope that you will attend one of the info sessions described below to learn more.
Organizations considering applying to participate in the Summer Literacy Infusion are highly encouraged to first attend one of the following optional information sessions:
These virtual information sessions will be offered on Zoom. To attend a session, please click on one of the links above to register.
Applications are due by 12 pm on April 11, 2021. Participants will be announced by April 19, 2021.
Thank you for considering applying and/or helping us share information about this opportunity within your networks.
Participants will receive up to $4,500 worth of materials and up to a $500 stipend to integrate the literacy components into their typical programming.
For more information and to apply online, go to: Summer Literacy Infusion Application to Participate
March 14 - April 11, 2021 at noon: Applications to participate accepted
April 19, 2021: Participants announced
April 21, 2021: Signed and dated acceptance due from participant
International House -Volunteers Needed for Rising Readers Resource Fair
Did you know the average cost for professional tax preparation services is more than $250!? Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont wants to make tax preparation and filing more affordable for individuals and families. In partnership with Community Link, Goodwill is offering FREE tax assistance for those who qualify through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
FREE TAX ASSISTANCE AND PREPARATION ELIGIBILITY
VITA provides free tax assistance to individuals and families with an adjusted gross income in 2020 of $57,000 or less. If your household income in 2020 was less than $57,000, you could qualify to have your tax return prepared and submitted free of charge to the IRS by an IRS-certified volunteer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VITA services in 2021 will be fully virtual, meaning you will meet with your VITA volunteer via video conferencing. You will need a valid email address to access Zoom or a smartphone with video conferencing capabilities in order to complete the tax return process. If you’re married and filing a joint return, both individuals must be present to complete the return.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
You must make a virtual appointment to have your taxes prepared and filed. With the tax filing deadline only a month away, time slots are filling up fast! https://goodwillsp.org/newsevents/vita/
Free COVID-19 Home Disinfecting for Seniors
Mecklenburg County, NC - Mecklenburg County's Department of Social Services (DSS) has partnered with Bio-One to offer a free, one-time COVID-19 professional disinfecting service to residents who are 60 years of age or older. Bio-One will apply a CDC/EPA-approved chemical to all surfaces, doorknobs, handles, light switches and high traffic areas of the home. The chemical is safe for pets and children.
Participants must be:
A resident of Mecklenburg County
60 years of age or olde
Able to leave their home for approximately one hour while services are rendered.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 980-314-6800 or email SFA- Events@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Appointment slots are limited. Services will be provided until funds are exhausted.
While there is no cleaning method that guarantees total elimination of the virus, Bio-One's cleaning protocol can help reduce the spread and threat of coronavirus.
Take Action: Help Eligible Community Members Get Vaccinated
Nonprofits are trusted messengers, and many North Carolinians are more likely to take important public health actions if the message comes from a familiar nonprofit organization rather than a government official. Your nonprofit can make a big difference in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing information about the availability, safety, and importance of vaccines and about the continuing importance of wearing masks and social distancing when in public.
Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolinians with high-risk medical conditions (includes a list of the many eligible conditions) can begin receiving vaccinations next Wednesday, March 17. Vaccinations will also be available next Wednesday for individuals living in group settings, including people experiencing homelessness and people living in correctional facilities. As of last week, frontline essential workers – including social workers, public health workers, clergy, homeless shelter staff, veterinarians, college and university instructors and support staff, and workers in stores that sell groceries and medicine – are eligible to receive vaccines. North Carolina is also currently vaccinating educators, school personnel, child care workers, health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and people 65 and older.
Here are four things your nonprofit can do to help ensure that people you serve get vaccinated once they are eligible:
Share the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS’s) online Find My Group tool to help North Carolinians know when they will be eligible to get their vaccine.
Share the DHHS Find My Spot search tool to help North Carolinians locate vaccine providers near where they live and work.
Help the people you serve and others in your community get appointments for vaccinations. Many North Carolinians are struggling with the technology required to get an appointment to receive a vaccine. Nonprofit staff and volunteers can help people navigate the online appointment systems to ensure that technology is not a barrier to vaccinations.
Share highlights of the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals as incentive for people to get a vaccine when they are eligible. Notably, the CDC recommends that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to get together with other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or social distancing.
In another 10 days, people of the Jewish faith around the world will begin to celebrate Passover, remembering how the Hebrews in ancient times were freed from slavery. The theme of liberation from slavery is certainly a universal one.
The institution of slavery may have changed through time, but has certainly not disappeared. In our own day, many are still enslaved by poverty, hunger, discrimination, drug addiction and unemployment. These are all challenges which we, in the most prosperous country in the world, perhaps the most prosperous in all history, should have solved long ago.
Help us, God, to reach inside ourselves, and to reach out to our neighbors. Help us to remember the words of President John F. Kennedy: “Here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.” Inspire us to do that work with energy and determination. We ourselves may not see all those challenges resolved, but we must never stop trying.