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March 4, 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:


Important Dates:




1. MeckMIN Updates

Did you know MeckMIN relies on Membership enrollment to support the work we do?

MeckMIN is actually a membership organization, did you know that? We are proud to support any work that is bringing healing into our world, and we rely on our members for financial and other support in our work. If you have found being a part of this weekly call valuable, please consider joining us as a member to take advantage of other opportunities we offer and to make it possible for us to continue. Fees are scaled for the size of the congregation or organization, and can be made on whatever schedule works best for you – one-time, quarterly, etc. We are grateful for what you can do.

Membership Benefits:

  • ​Form meaningful relationships with people of other cultures and faiths

  • Expand your understandings of other faith traditions

  • Be a facilator of positive change in our community

  • Promote your events through our bi-weekly e-newsletter, website calendar and blog.

  • Receive recognition as a community collaborator associated with Mecklenburg County’s premier interfaith organization

  • Support MeckMIN's continued efforts to promote interfaith collaboration within our community


Coming Soon: Charlotte Leaders Meeting Questionairre

Next week marks a year of hosting our Faith, Community & Nonprofit meetings. It is a good time to check in on how we continue this work. The issues we address every Thursday did not arrive with the pandemic nor will they recede with widespread vaccines, but our needs may or may not change as we get beyond the worst of the pandemic.

Please give thought in the coming week to how frequently a meeting might be useful and in what form and with what focus. LeDayne will share a poll next week. If you have thoughts that you feel cannot be fully captured by a poll, feel free to email your ideas directly to

Charlotte Art Walk for Middle and High School Youth

On Saturday, March 13 from 1 to 2:30, MeckMIN will host an Art Walk for Youth for middle and high School youth. It will be Covid safe. See flyer below and share with your friends, family and colleagues! REGISTER HERE!

MeckMIN Interfaith Youth Uptown Art Walk 2021

This meeting is open to all youth leaders in Mecklenburg County who are interested in interfaith opportunities.

If you have friends/colleagues who work with youth as staff or as volunteers, please pass along this information and/or connect us to them. We would very much like to expand our outreach list.

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.

To choose a sponsorship level visit the MeckMIN website and choose a level:

  • $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!

MeckMIN 2021 Community Leader Awards Breakfast

2. Nonprofit Updates

Friendship Trays and Loaves & Fishes are merging to better position themselves to increase access and distribution of healthy food and groceries to those in need in Mecklenburg County. The new organization will bring together key stakeholders to find creative solutions for fighting food insecurity.

Originally planned for last spring, the merger evolved as both organizations had to adjust outreach, operations and delivery models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information sharing and logistics support both teams have shared for many years became critical in 2020. The first step of this merger will be to formally unite the staff of both organizations under one roof, as safety measures allow. Tina Postel will become the CEO of the new organization with Bush Carter serving as director emeritus through the transition.

Loaves and Fishes is in need of volunteer home delivery drivers at the moment. If you have a few hours to drive on one day a week or on several, please reach out to

Bus Passes Needed for Those Living in Hotels!

Weekly Unlimited Rides: $30.80

Unlimited Rides: $88.00

10-Ride: $22.00

As you know, many people who had been living in tent encampments are now being housed for 90 days in hotels funded by Mecklenburg County. Many others are being housed in hotels with the support of grassroots organizations. One big need is BUS PASSES.

The County is funding food and laundry, but bus passes are not covered by the County so bus passes are needed by many to access work, doctor’s appointments and more. Many of the supportive organization's have one way passes but they would love to give monthly or weekly passes. You can give to Hearts Beat as One, Roof Above, University Soup Kitchen and others. Non-profits can get a discount with CATS as can seniors. Remember we have a list of organizations on our website – so, if you can, pick a group and support this need.


University Soup Kitchen

We are in need of bus passes for sure! Please check our SIGN UP GENIUS for other needs

We could also use batteries and electronics along with alarm clocks. We have feet on the ground every day so we can accommodate those who want to volunteer in person.


Ashley Brown,

As others have said, this 90 day period when the County is paying to house people who had been living in tents is a critical opportunity!

It is much easier right now for us to connect with people and we can make a huge difference in their ability to sustain themselves going forward.

Liz Clasen-Kelly writes “When I spend time with those who relocated from the encampment to a motel, I am struck by people’s sense of relief and possibility. Different than the conversations we had about basic needs when people were sleeping outside, today’s conversations are about employment, reconnecting with family, addressing health needs, and, of course, housing. But we are still at the beginning of the journey. Roof Above remains focused on the long-term solution of housing.”


Pam Pearson., 704-641-4845

Working throughout the year. The need and demand for ID's has blown up. Hearts Beat as One and Block Love and others have reached out. WE need volunteers to service all the need. This is a unique opportunity with so many folks off the street it makes it easier to get them what they need. We get ID's for anyone who needs it, for any reason. We pay the fees, get you a ride to DMV. Work with you to get you what you need. Volunteers can work in person or on the phone. Training is provided. Really need people who can work in person safely at area hotels or via phone. 2-4 hours/week.

Volunteers Needed! – some hours in person but some on the phone. They will train you for what you need to know. Email

Samantha Williams,

March 13 11am-1pm Canned/NonPerishable Food Drive

International House Food Drive March 13, 2021

March 27 Drive-Thru Resource Fair . Volunteers Needed! International House is looking for 5 more volunteers for our drive-through resource fair event. Volunteers will help with some setup, help with different vendors. Everyone will help set up tables and chairs for the vendors and help with traffic control. Please email Samantha to sign up.Drive-thru event at Briarwood will be March 27th, arrive no later than 8 am and stay until 12:30 for breakdown.


Lionel Lee Center for Health is working with the LGBTQ community and right now are seeking housing for Trans Women. We are in immediate need of emergency funds for medication, bus passes and to secure the services of mental health workers in the African American community who are experienced in working with this population.


Refugee Support Services

Refugee Support Services sends out a weekly newsletter of volunteer and support opportunities. To sign up for volunteer opportunities below, email Lindsay LaPlante

Highlights from this week’s opportunities:

Love & Learn Sight Words Chaos Wrangler: We are looking for a volunteer to help bring some order to our Love & Learn sight words cards which have become disorganized and chaotic. This project would involve swinging by the Galilee Center on a Wednesday morning in March between 8:45am and 9:45am to pick up the cards, take them home and sort them all out, and bring them back by on a following Wednesday morning.

Fruitful Friends : We are slowly and safely resuming new Fruitful Friend partnerships and are recruiting new volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a Fruitful Friend supporting a new immigrant or immigrant family as they adjust to their new life here, please fill out our interest form.

Group Project Opportunities:

Wednesday COVID Relief Box donations - We have sign-up opportunities each week for groups that would like to work on gathering a large amount of specific items. Currently on the sign-up, we have the option to gather the following: 100lbs of lemons and/or limes, 100 ginger roots, and 100 rolls of paper towel. SIGN UP HERE!

100 Project - We are working to round up 100 fire extinguishers to be distributed with our COVID Relief boxes. We need a few more groups to join this effort. This is a response to a recent house fire tragedy within the refugee community.

Laptop Drive - We have an on-going need for used laptops. All donated laptops are put through a rigorous and total refurbishing process by our partners E2D. At this time, they cannot accept Macbooks or netbooks. Email Lindsay LaPlante

Refugee 101 Remote: Refugee 101 is the first part of our initial onboarding process for new volunteers and is a good refresher on what it means to be a refugee. We have added sessions to the calendar through May 2021. SIGN UP HERE! If you would like us to present Refugee 101 at a community group, please contact us to work out the details.



Christina O'Dell,, 704-258-7257

Augustine Literacy Project (ALP) has, to date, provided 1,429 tutoring sessions with 135 virtual tutors during the school day during the pandemic. They successfully pivoted to virtual. They are the only CMS approved literacy facilitator in Charlotte that is focused on elementary school.

They are looking for additional volunteer tutors. They provide training and support throughout. Reach out to Christine if you are interested.

Support their work through their upcoming virtual Rise and Read Friend and Fundraiser event March 31 from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. It will feature Truist Financial Corporation’s Chairman and CEO Kelly S. King speaking on the power of literacy, as well as stories of ALP’s students and tutors.

Help to Promote & Raise Literacy Awareness! To promote the event and raise awareness of ALP we are launching a Readers and Leaders Coffee Cup Campaign featuring videos from our friends in town. Can I count on you to record a quick video on why you are passionate about literacy?

This Fact Sheet has steps to record and send to ALP. We’ll post on social media and request you share our posts on your social media. Ready to help with a video?

Fill out a Google Form with your delivery address, and we will drop off a Rise and Read coffee cup to your residence or place of work. It’s a great prop to use in the video.


Habitat for Humanity

GREAT NEWS! The advocacy team working on SOID (Source of Income Discrimination) in Charlotte had success this week. The Council voted that all developments receiving city funding will be required to accept all funding sources as rent. They also started a committee that will study/analyze and provide recommendations as to how to ensure no SOID in the area with recommendations coming in December of this year.

The advocacy team is pivoting to the state level now and advocating to expand mortgage relief programs. Habitat has created a survey about homeowners’ situations and they would appreciate it being shared with as many people as possible. The responses will help them make their case in the state capitol. COMPLETE SURVEY HERE

Finally, Habitat is welcoming groups back to building sites in COVID safe ways. Email Zach Surber for details.


Home2Home Ministries -DONATE NEW & USED Furniture

Earl Coggins , or Joe George,

Home2Home Ministries has many units of furniture available for those in need. They can deliver the furniture in some cases, though they cannot take it inside the house because of COVID precautions.

HOME2HOME Ministries Furniture Collection Charlotte NC


Samaritan House 2021 Virtual Fundraiser, March 25th 12pm. REGISTER HERE!

Charlotte Samaritann House 2021 Virtual Fundraiser


3.Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Resources

Low income residents are eligible for LIEAP federal energy assistance between $300 and $500. LIEAP will have to return the money if it is not all claimed and money is still available! If anyone in your household is a citizen, the entire household is eligible.

March 31st Deadline: Your heating bill does not need to be in the process of disconnection to qualify for assistance through LIEAP. Download application HERE or call DSS Call Center at 704-336-3000. Pick up an application from DSS at 301 Billingsley Rd. or 3205 Freedom Drive. Applications can also be submitted via email to: or dropped off at one of the DSS drop boxes, or mailed to DSS (Attention: LIEAP) 301 Billingsley Rd Charlotte, NC 28211.

Once your application is processed, you will receive notification in the mail to determine whether or not you were approved and the amount you qualify for. If you are approved for assistance, the payment will go directly to your utility/heating company and show as a credit on your account. This process may take between six and eight weeks to credit to your account so please continue to make regularly scheduled payments.

LIEAP Federal Money for Energy Assistance Charlotte NC

LIEAP Federal Money for Energy Assistance

White House Faith Leaders Meeting

The White House is holding regular Faith Leader briefings. LeDayne Polaski, MeckMIN Executive Director, attended this week and found it very helpful. You might consider taking part in these calls. Here’s some information shared:

COVID-19 Vaccination Support: Check out the *brand new* FAQ and Guide to Supporting Vaccine Confidence for Faith and Community Leaders toolkit from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). SIGN UP for the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships newsletter to receive information about additional agency resources.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) : Take advantage of and let your community know about the 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees, which began on February 24th and ends March 9th. Click Here for More Information

Special Enrollment Period for Health Coverage : Let your community know about the special enrollment period for healthcare from now through May 15, 2021. People can get covered at

Resources :


Charlotte Meckleburg School Summer Programs 2021

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is gathering information on summer programs available to students in 2021. If you are having a summer program, please FILL OUT THE CMS FORM

There is a meeting coming up on March 8th to review the programs and begin planning how to help students recover from the enormous learning gap that has resulted from the pandemic.

There is a weekly Monday meeting hosted by Belk Foundation that is CMS focused. If you want to be a part of that meeting each week reach out to to get the link.

On Thurdaay, March 11th at 11am, CMS will join MeckMIN's Community Leader Meeting to share their summer needs as they have identified them so far. Register Here!


The City of Charlotte’s Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan

The team running this process is inviting community groups to participate in Community Conversations. These are casual conversations where we have open and honest dialogue around elements of the draft Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts, ideas or learning more about the plan, SIGN UP HERE


4. Mecklenburg County Covid-19 Vaccine Updates & Resources

Lisa Bennett, Program Manager, NC Covid-19 Care Coordination,, Mobile: 720-724-0098

Charged with helping anyone impacted by COVID 19! Now Scheduling folks for vaccinations now. Anyone can call and it goes to all 100+ of community health workers. If they register we can let them know if they are eligible and then schedule at a location near them.


Vaccine Clinics with Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte

Robin Sands, Deacon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church,

Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte is hosting vaccine clinics on March 9 and 11. As of yesterday there were appointments available. They will vaccinate anyone in Group 3. There is language support for vaccinations as well.

Please note that CLERGY are included in Group 3!

Also, as per Debbie Rubenstein, Group 4 eligibility will begin 3/24.


Update as of 3/2/21: Gov. Cooper announces that frontline essential workers are now eligible for vaccination. Group 3 is defined here.

  • Public Health is receiving 11,000 doses of J&J and 5,850 doses of Pfizer this week.

  • Mecklenburg Public Health will offer new appointments for March 10-31 for Groups 1-3. Appointments can be scheduled starting at 8:30 am on March 4 by calling 980-314-9400 or visiting their website.


5. Updates from the NC Center for Nonprofits

Spread the Word: Don’t Miss Out on Federal Stimulus Payments : As part of the COVID relief package that was approved in December, most Americans were eligible for Economic Impact Payments – or stimulus payments – in the amount of $600 for each person in their household. The IRS has made direct deposits or issued checks for these stimulus payments, but many North Carolinians – particularly those with low incomeswho don't typically file federal income tax returns and those with children, may not have received these payments or may not have received the full amount they are due. The IRS has a tool to allow individuals to Check the Status of your Stimulus Payment Here

Individuals and families that did not receive their stimulus payments are eligible for a Recovery Rebate Credit, which they can claim by filing IRS Form 1040 and using line 30.

The Center strongly encourages nonprofits , particularly those serving North Carolinians in poverty and those serving children, to help spread the word to ensure that those who did not receive their full Economic Impact Payments file a Form 1040 and use line 30 to request their stimulus payments.

Take Action: Your Nonprofit Can 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 spreading information about the availability, safety, and importance of vaccines and about the continuing importance of wearing masks and social distancing when in public.

On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina is expediting its plans for vaccinations of North Carolinians. As of Wednesday, 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 begin receiving 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 three 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 onlineappointment systems to ensure that technology is not a barrier tovaccinations.


Prayer for Nonprofit Leaders

Within you, there is compassion, strength, kindness, love, goodness, and grace – may you feel those virtues and live in them. Within you, as within us all, there are also harder things – fear, anger, jealousy, apathy – may you see those too – and may you greet them with compassion, strength, kindness, love, goodness, and grace, that you might live with them. May you live well, do well, and be well with yourself as you are and life as it is. Amen. (LeDayne McLeese Polaski, MeckMIN Executive Director)


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