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March 2, 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:




3/16: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Amid COVID-19: Reflection, Response, and Resiliency, March 16, 2023 | 12:00om-3:15pm,

3/21: Open Tables – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – Muslim Community Center – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths. Register HERE

3/21: How to hold a Living Room Conversation Training – 7 to 9 p.m. – Wingate University – Open to all involved in Potlucks for Pluralism

April - Latin American Coalition New Arrivals Resource Fair


5/1: Volunteer opportunity to set up for Awards Breakfast – Covenant Presbyterian Church – 6 to 8 p.m. – open to all. Sign up HERE

5/2: Community Leaders Awards Breakfast – 7:30 to 9:00 a.m – open to all

5/7: Youth Community Service Project (afternoon time; location TBD) -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them


6/15: Open Tables -- – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths. Register HERE

July - Service project, TBA


8/18/19: Interfaith Youth Gathering (previously known as In Our Own Backyard) – Friday night and all-day Saturday, exact timing to be announced -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them


9/21: Open Tables -- 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – Baha’I Center – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths. Register HERE

October - Service project, TBA


(exact date TBA) - Youth Visit the Catawba Festival -- 9am – 1pm -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them

11/21: Interfaith Community Wide Thanksgiving service – Trinity Presbyterian Church – 7 to 9 a.m..


12/19: Open Tables -- – Location TBA – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths

Opening Reflection

Great Spirit Prayer:

Oh, Great Spirit, Whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me! I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever hold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Help me remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me. Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy: myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame. (Translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)


1. MeckMIN Updates

CHARLOTTE JEWISH HISTORY TOUR at no cost for local clergy/faith leaders and educators

Through a generous grant from the Lenora Stein Community Creative Learning Program the Greenspon Center is able to offer all MeckMIN clergy, faith leaders and educators a Jacobs-Jaffa Charlotte Jewish History Tour at no cost. Note that the educators can be faith-based or secular.

Attached is the flyer with the QR Code links and dates for each tour.

If you register for April, it will automatically be free. If you want to go in March, contact us about registering via email to participate at no cost.


We've had two great Potlucks for Pluralism events this week. The Islamic Society of Charlotte hosted students from UNC Charlotte, Davidson and Queens. The Hindu Center of Charlotte hosted students from Johnson & Wales, Johnson C. Smith, and Wingate. We had great conversations about the theme of forgiving, exploring our faith perspectives and individual experiences. We’re grateful for a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Jr. Foundations that makes this work possible.

OPEN TABLES | March 21 | Muslim Community Center

Will be quarterly in 2023 and open to all. Sign up HERE for March 21st Open Tables

June 15: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Register HERE September 21: Baha'í Center of Charlotte | Register HERE December 19: Friendship Missionary Baptist


Thursday, April 27, 4 to 6 PM | Johnson C. Smith University

If you teach World Religions or a related subject at any level, you're invited to join this gathering. Our goals are simply to get to know one another and to share helpful resources.

Sign up HERE


May 2, 2023 | 7:30 - 9 AM | Covenant Presbyterian Church

Watch for today’s newsletter to find out who the honorees are!

· Table Captains are needed – Please consider signing up HERE

· Sponsorship opportunities are available HERE

· Individual tickets are available HERE

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

The Bridge Builder award goes to someone who directly promotes one-on-one relationships and bridge building across differences through their actions and daily life. This award is most often given to someone who does this work as a volunteer.


Erkam Adiguzel | | 704 305 1315

Divan Center Charlotte

Erkam and his organization want to sponsor a community Iftar dinner with live music and Turkish food and community members. The goal is to link the communities together. They are looking for a church willing to host. Reach out to if you can help.

2. Non-Profit Updates


Kim Ford, M.S., Program Director, UC Transitional Foster Care,

Bethany Christian Services of North Carolina

T: +1 (980) 498-8866 | C: 1 (980) 310-6598 | F: (704) 625-3749 |

Hi, my name is Kim Ford and I am the Program Director for Bethany Christian Services Unaccompanied Children, Transitional Foster Care program.

A little over a year and half ago we received a grant from ORR which allows us to serve unaccompanied children that have left their country of origin due to reasons like extreme poverty, gang violence, trafficking and safety reasons.

Some of our children come with siblings or a paid escort/coyote. Others come with an adult family member but are separated when trying to cross the border. When they attempt to cross into the US, they are apprehended by border patrol and ORR assumes custody within 72 hrs. ORR then sends referral requests to the programs they contract with, like ours that will care for the children until reunification. Our program is not a shelter. The children do not sleep at the program.

One of the things we do at our program is recruit, train, and license foster families. Our UCs are placed with a licensed foster family and attend our program during the day Monday-Friday. While at the program they receive medical care, therapy, education, and case management services. Case managers work with sponsors to determine safety risks before release. Children stay at our program an average of 30 days. This is give or take depending on the complexity of the case and the type of relative the sponsor is. Our grant was

recently expanded to serve 50 children, so we are in real need of more foster families. Bilingual is a plus but not required. This is a brief overview about our program. Please visit our website to learn more.


Daniel Valdez (he/him/his) | |

Senior Director of External Affairs | Welcoming America | Building a nation of neighbors Phone: 704-591-6951| Based in Charlotte, NC

Manage a network of 350 members which are organizations and civic governments to welcome immigrants and refugees when they arrive. We work closely with the City of Charlotte. They have an extensive list on their website of topics and tools that intersect with immigration.


Save the date" for an upcoming HIV/AIDS conference at JCSU. Our target audience is faith leaders and their congregations. It will be on the campus of JCSU and it is an invitation to faith, lay leaders and organizational leaders. Empower people to offer informed and compassionate care to those experiencing HIV/AIDS. They will provide data and insight as well as models of care. See the QR code on the flyer to register.


DeAnne Wingate | | 312-399-3211

Promise Resource Network ( a non-profit that has been in Charlotte for nearly 20 years) utilizes peer support to guide individuals with mental health and substance use challenges to recovery. Watch an intro video from our founder, Cherene Allen-Caraco, as well as information about our programs and the Respite HERE

They have three main tools:

  1. Peer Support line. Please let DeAnne know if you want some magnets promoting this resource.

  2. Respite: A place for people in mental health crisis where people can stay for free for up to 7 days

  3. The Hub – a central location for resources and more around mental health.

A recovery café is in the works.


Lauren Rogers, Lauren Rogers |

Nohemy Barrientos is the new community connection representative

  • IH has a new Community Engagement Associate, Nohemy Barrientos (

  • We’re currently registering adult students for our next session of ESL classes which start March 20th. You can find the full calendar and the registration links on our website here:

  • We’re still looking for 2 more PAID TUTORS to support our afterschool tutoring program at Lebanon Elementary school for ESL children in grades K-5 (Mon/Tues/Thurs from 2:30-4:30 PM)

  • We are thrilled to offer Cultural Sensitivity Training workshops for professionals, service providers, and community members that work with foreign-born or foreign-rooted families. The training addresses cultural bias, cultural differences, navigating differences, best practices for utilizing translation services, a review of case studies and real-world examples, and more. We have 4-hour in-person sessions available, as well as virtual options over Zoom. Our next session is March 10th from 12-4:30 PM at International House. You can register for a workshop here:

  • We’re planning a Healthcare Research and Resource Fair during the first week of April. The event will feature the All of Us research initiative, and we’ll have community organizations tabling to share information, items to give away, the Living Archives will be there to collect interviews, kids’ games and activities, and more! Participants will have the opportunity to receive FREE genetic testing, swag bags, and more. The event will take place at International House April 3-6 from 10AM-3PM.


Ammara Ghani |

They have clothes and other things that are culturally specific for newly arrived immigrants. They are looking for Support and volunteer Help.


Rebecca Bross |

Development Manager

704.553.5352 | m: 704.654.1233 | 1.800.227.2345

Looking to get information out about prevention and treatment to underserved communities. Health equity is an important aim for them and they have programs for all. They serve the Cancer patients and survivors as well as families and caregivers.

  • 1-800 patient support line always available for anyone to call and find financial and other resources as well as patient navigation and emotional support.

  • Offer free hope lodging and patient lodging for patients and a caregiver. Here in charlotte that includes a partnership with Extended Stay America

  • Ride program where patients can get free rides to treatment.

  • Education and prevention programs.

April 1 event – Relay for Life festival. Bringing everyone together in the evening to eat, listen to music, and a luminaria ceremony to honor those whom we have lost.


Associate Director of College Counseling, P 704.815.2434, E

The Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC) is excited to reintroduce our free, one-day college admission workshop. The workshop is designed to reach high school students and their families that are typically underserved in higher education and its recruitment. Attendees will receive information on conducting a college search, how to complete applications, and how to pay for college. The presenters have a range of advising and admission experience and will be available to answer questions for each family.

Saturday March 18th – partner with Sugar Creek Charter ½ day workshop to hear from college reps and counselors to answer questions about college. The next day is a college fair. Both events are free but registration is required. Reach out to Haley if you want her to share the information more broadly.


OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION (presented on the call)


Jane Shutt | Jane Schutt is retiring at the of April, new ED is Staci McBride. Both were on today’s call.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

​6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

5th Annual Fundraiser Dinner

Pineville United Methodist Church

110 South Polk Street

Pineville NC 28134

Once Upon a Time
Download DOCX • 156KB


Chief Executive Officer

The need for food support is great, especially now as many Covid-era programs are ending. SNAP benefits are being reduced in NC and Loaves & Fishes expects demand to grow even more.

Food drives are not bringing in as much as they have in the past. We have budgeted to spend 850K on food this year. Spent 74% in the FIRST QUARTER of the year. We really need additional support.


Supports Trans and gender diverse youth 12 and under. The only organization in the region that supports this population at that age. First in -person fundraiser on March 18th at UU from 2-5 in the afternoon. Festiv-all. Games, entertainment and raffles. We hope all will come. There are also sponsorship opportunities (100, 250 and 500 dollars).

Tickets and sponsorship packages are available HERE:

You can learn more about Gender Education Network at


Originally conversations around sex trafficking and LGBTQ and more. Aim to have conversations around issues that are not often fully discussed. Have moved into supporting around these issues as well. Worked with Salvation Army and their battered women program. Working with the Cooperative Christian Ministries coming up. On April 1st they are doing a career fair with the homeless. Inviting them to do resume building, coaching support, interview, donations of business attire. Collaborating with higher dynamics which is a concord placement agency.

3. General Information

Deadline to order is March 10th, Palm Sunday is April 2nd. PC(USA) congregations join thousands of Ecumenical houses of worship in ordering Eco-Palms! Even as worship and gathering looked much different, sustainable palms provided through this project were used in so many creative ways on Palm Sunday over the last few years. Working together, we do make a difference!


Elyse Berrier |

Library Program Coordinator, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

C. 704-607-5912 O. 704-416-0553

The Library is in the process of planning for future Homework Help in our Library branch locations. To help with this process, we have put together a survey that we are distributing far and wide throughout this month to gather as much feedback as possible to aid in our planning.

Please share this link widely. We would welcome K-5 teacher feedback, and feedback from parents of children in K-5th grades.


March 31: Applications due from nonprofits and other groups for grants of $1,000-$10,000 for “projects and programs addressing societal disparities experienced by African Americans.” Begin applications here under “grant program name” pulldown of Foundation for Black Philanthropy.


March 24: Delta Sigma Theta online applications due for annual scholarships award to Mecklenburg-resident female and male high-school students and nontraditional students 25 and older. Online application here


Pandemic emergency allotments that gave households an extra $95 or more each month end in February. Starting in March, you will only get your regular food stamp payment loaded to your EBT card in the first half of the month. There will be no second payment later in the month.

What should I do?

1. Review your current Food Stamp Benefit amount.

2. Compare your information to the maximum monthly amount.

3. Contact your local DSS to report changes that may help you increase your benefits.

Visit our website to learn more about how to check your current amount and review what changes will impact your benefit amount.

What other food resources are available?

· WIC: If you have a child under 5 and/or pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be eligible for WIC. Learn more:

· Dial 211 or visit to be connected to community food resources.

· Find food and other helpful resources.

If you have contacted DSS and think something is wrong with your Food Stamps, we are here to help. Call 704-376-1600.

EA Ending Flyer 2023_English DIGITAL
Download PDF • 768KB

EA Ending Flyer 2023_Spanish DIGITAL
Download PDF • 765KB


Starting in April 2023, DSS can begin Medicaid terminations. Don’t miss your renewal letter! If your contact information has changed in the past 3 years, make sure DSS has your current phone number and address so you get your renewal letter. Find your local DSS office.


Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, 5535 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28212

We assist low-income elderly, disabled, and/or disabled veterans prepare their NC property tax relief applications.

Who is eligible? The applicant must;

  • Be at least 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled, and

  • Have an income, including any spouse in the household, of $33,800 or less for 2022.


  • Be a disabled veteran (there is no income limit).


March 29, 2023


To determine your eligibility and reserve a time slot at the clinic, please call 980-256-7952. Virtual appointments will also be available March 1, 2023-May 19, 2023. For more information, please call 980-256-7952.


Tax filing season for 2022 Federal tax runs through April 18, 2023. Here is what we think you need to know this tax season:

1. Your refund this tax season may be lower.

Many of the pandemic-era and American Rescue Plan Act credits expired at the end of 2021, so many tax credits have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Impacted credits include:

• Child Tax Credit (CTC)

• Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

• Child and Dependent Care Credit

2. The Premium Tax Credit is still available – and may be available to more taxpayers.

The premium tax credit– also known as PTC – is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families cover the premiums for their health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

For tax years 2021 and 2022, the American Rescue Plan Act temporarily expanded the premium tax credit eligibility, eliminating the rule that a taxpayer with household income above 400% of the federal poverty line cannot qualify for a premium tax credit.

3. Gig workers, small business owners, and those accepting virtual payments need to start preparing for filing their 2023 Federal Income Tax Return now.

In March 2021, Congress decided to change that rule that required Third-Party Settlement Organizations (TPSOs), such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App, to provide you and the IRS 1099-K forms. While that rule has been postponed until 2024, if you are a gig worker, a small business owner, or receive payments from TPSOs for business purposes, it is smart to start preparing for 2024 now by logging your transactions.

HEALING RECONNECTION Looking to Reconnect with local clergy after three years of an isolating pandemic?

Attend the Tony A. Biles Clergy Convocation March 9, 2023 | Programming 9:30am - 3:00 pm | All Saints Episcopal Church Parish Hall (525 Lake Concord Rd NE, Concord NC 28025) Breakfast starts at 8:30 am, Lunch provided

In person and live stream option available

We will reconnect over great food, fellowship, a viewing of the All the Lonely People documentary, and discussion with writer/director Stu Maddux.

Join us for a time of reconnection, community resources, and brainstorming.

Register HERE by Friday, February 24

Sponsored by the Atrium Health Cabarrus Spiritual Care and Education Department, the Faith Community Health Ministry, and the Cabarrus Healthcare Foundation.


Maura E. Chavez, Community Coordinator |

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations

Office: 704-336-4988 Mobile: 980-259-0580

Housing One-Pager 2022 (1)
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Housing One-Pager 2022 - SPANISH (1)
Download PDF • 733KB



Teaira Davis, MA, LCMHC-A | |

SOC/Community Engagement Specialist

Partners Health Management

901 S. New Hope Rd, Gastonia, NC 28054

P: 704-214-9509

Download DOCX • 32KB

CANOPY HOUSING FOUNDATION 2023 Community Grants Application & YES Award Nominations

Stacy S. Baum | Sponsorship Coordinator

Canopy Housing Foundation | Canopy Realtor® Association 1120 Pearl Park Way, Suite 200 | Charlotte, NC 28204 704-940-3147 (o) / 704-808-0423 (m)

The Canopy Housing Foundation, the charitable arm of the Canopy Realtor® Association, is pleased to announce our timeline for our 2023 Community Grants and Youth Excellence in Service (Y.E.S.) Awards:

  • March 1: Applications released to the public

  • May 31: Deadline for submission of applications

  • July 26: Funding announced through Grants Celebration Event

Our grants program provides restricted monetary support to nonprofit organizations in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties that address unmet housing needs. Grants are awarded in amounts up to $3,000, pending availability of funds, and cannot be used for operational, administrative, capital expenses or debt reduction. In 2022, the Foundation distributed community grants totaling $50,000 and the Community Grants Program has awarded a total of $414,600 in grants throughout its history.

Attached you will find additional criteria and information as well as the application itself. All submissions are ranked according to the following attributes: community impact, project feasibility, fiscal strength and Realtor® support. All non-profit organizations within Mecklenburg and Iredell counties who are addressing unmet housing needs are eligible to apply; however, please be aware that this is a competitive grant process.

We are also currently accepting nominations for our 5th Annual Youth Excellence in Service (Y.E.S.) Award. This award was established to encourage youth to address a broad spectrum of needs in an effort to build a stronger community. This would be a wonderful opportunity for you to honor a young person involved with your organization. The nomination form and additional information on this award is also attached.

For additional information about the Canopy Housing Foundation or our grants process, as well as an online version of the application, please visit

2023 Community Grants-Mecklenburg Iredell Application
Download PDF • 619KB

2023 YES Nomination Form
Download PDF • 369KB


Join us virtually for a pair of forums on the poisoning of land and water around Badin, North Carolina by the giant aluminum company, Alcoa. Alcoa purchased the town of Badin shortly after the town was founded. They built a large aluminum production facility at the site using electricity generated from a dam on the Yadkin River. There are hazardous wastes associated with the production of aluminum. Over the years these wastes have been mishandled producing risk to the town, to Badin Lake, and in particular to the African American residents of what is known as West Badin. Although Alcoa closed the plant in 2007, they are still responsible for managing the waste and the related contamination. Please join us as people from various groups working on this problem discuss the situation and the path forward. Organizations include the Yadkin Riverkeeper’s office, the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, the Southern Environmental Law Center, local citizens, and others

Register for March 9 HERE

Register for March 20 HERE


Register and join us on International School Meals Day on Thursday, March 9, 2023, for a Day of Action and Appreciation for School Meals for All NC. You can participate at any time from wherever you are that day (or any day thereafter).

We can build strong, resilient communities by making no-cost school meals available to all students. Join us any time and from wherever you are on March 9 to support school meals for all and educate NC legislators and your community about the importance of school meals for all in one or more of the following ways:

  • Making a phone call to your legislators. Don’t know what to say? We’ll provide a script!

  • Emailing your legislators. Our action alert system will make it easy and convenient.

  • Posting to social media with posts from our toolkit.

  • Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. We have a template.

  • Sharing your school meals story.

  • Writing a thank you note to the school nutrition staff at your local school letting them know how much you appreciate them. They managed to keep serving meals on the front lines throughout the pandemic, and they are committed to providing healthy meals to our children no matter what.

  • Asking your child’s school nutrition director if you can visit for breakfast or lunch. If you do, take a picture and share it on social media using #SchoolMealsForAllNC #DayofAction #ISMD2023

  • Asking your county commissioners, school board, board of health, and/or other local decision-making body to adopt the resolution in support of school meals for all.

  • Attending the opening satellite party to hear about how school meals for all would benefit us all.

  • Joining us on Zoom throughout the day to ask questions, get support, or just connect.

  • Participating in another way - share your ideas with us and we can help!



As the Nagoski sisters, Emily (PhD) and Amelia (DMA) write in their book Burnout Burnout Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle:

“When you are cruel to yourself, contemptuous and shaming, you only increase the cruelty in the world; when you are kind and compassionate toward yourself, you increase the kindness and compassion in the world… The world does not have to change before we turn toward our internal experience with kindness and compassion. The world is changed when we change.”

Next meeting – TWO weeks from today – Thursday, March 16th at 11 AM


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