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Nov 12, 2020| 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:

Please share this blog post on your social media accounts to help spread the word regarding important community resources and nonprofit needs.

  1. MeckMIN offers Youth Interfaith Service Opportunities, Nov. Food for Thought Presentation: Caregiving through the Holidays, Bridge Builders-Interfaith response to COVID-19, Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

  2. Picking Up the Pieces During Pandemic and Beyond: A Generational Opportunity for Equity and Excellence in NC Education

  3. Kepro Program Provides Well-Coordinated Care to Vulnerable Populations

  4. Greater Steps Scholars - Applications Due March 5, 2021

  5. FREE Paper Shredding - Mecklenburg County Hosts Webinars on Recycling

  6. Support our Nonprofits: Updates & Needs from Refugee Support Services, Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, VoteRiders, Loaves & Fishes, Free Food Giveaway Antioch Missionary Baptist Church


Opening Reflection

MeckMIN promotes interfaith collaboration to foster understanding, compassion and justice.

From New Fables Thus Spoke, "The Caribou" by Kurt Kauter:

“Tell me the weight of a snowflake", a coal-mouse asked a wild dove. "Nothing more than nothing," was the answer.

"In that case I must tell you a marvelous story," the coal-mouse said. "I sat on a branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow, not heavily, not in a giant blizzard, no, just like in a dream, without any violence. Since I didn't have anything better to do, I counted the snow-flakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,952. When the next snowflake dropped onto the branch–nothing more than nothing, as you say–the branch broke off."

Having said that, the coal-mouse flew away. The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter; thought about the story for a while and finally said to herself: "Perhaps there is only one person's voice lacking for peace to come about in the world."


1. MeckMIN

November Food for Thought: Caregiving through the Holidays with Coury O’Donoghue, Alzheimer’s Association.

For many caregivers, holidays give rise to stress, frustration, and anger instead of peace and goodwill. Already feeling overwhelmed with caregiving tasks, stressed caregivers may view long-established traditions of all faiths as more of a drain of precious energy than a joy. This program is designed to teach caregivers to care for themselves and their loved ones, as well as about safety while giving suggestions that may make these special days more enjoyable for all. Register Here!

Bridge Builders-Interfaith response to COVID-19 in Charlotte,NC : December 1 at 7pm, Bridge Builders will premiere the first in their series of videos produced in conjunction with MeckMIN and Johnson C Smith University. This first program will focus on the Interfaith response to COVID-19 in Charlotte: the collaborative partnerships and successes that have emerged through MeckMIN’s weekly calls and ongoing work. Please join via Zoom.

What would it look like if our community, regardless of faith or worldview, was inspired and encouraged to come together in a way that respects different religious identities? Become an important part of our youth community as we work together toward a common goal. Help us to build bridges!

  • Meet other members from Mecklenburg County interested in youth interfaith opportunities!

  • Share your own ideas about service projects and interfaith activities that you would like to see!

  • Become an important part of interfaith collaboration as we work together toward a common goal. Email Liza Veilleux Haynes with questions!

Youth Interfaith Service Project & YWCA Families Together Program: December 5th, 1:00pm-3:00pm, MeckMIN will host a youth interfaith service opportunity supporting the YWCA of Central Carolinas Families Together Program. The Families Together program provides safe, affordable housing and intensive support services for families with children experiencing homelessness.

MeckMIN Interfaith Youth Volunteer Opportunities

45th Annual Community -Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service| Nov 24th 6:45pm-8:00pm This year’s service will be broadcast on Facebook Live @MeckMIN followed by a Zoom reception. The Thanksgiving service promises to be a meaningful and powerful event. Hosted by Temple Beth El, the theme this year will be The Truth of our Connectedness” and will feature Rev. Dr. Peter Wherry as the speaker. Rev. Dr. Peter Wherry is the Senior Pastor of Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. He is the founding moderator of the United Missionary Baptist Association, which provides leadership to 70 churches in the region, with a constituency of over 40,000 people. He is also a pioneering leader of the Forward Together Movement. JOIN US as we come together in gratitude for the deep connections that abide even in this difficult season.

The Thanksgiving offering, as always, will support MeckMIN and Crisis Assistance: Crisis Assistance Donation Page:

Sponsor's Needed for 45th Annual Community-Wide Thanksgiving Service! Transforming this event to an online platform has extended the costs for this year so please consider becoming a sponsor and making this available to all community members. We are currently seeking businesses, congregations, organizations and individuals to Become a Sponsor to assist with the increased cost. Our goal is to raise $2,500. Please help us spread the word!


Crisis Assistance Donation Page:

Support MeckMIN

MeckMIN’s budget is not yet sufficient to support the expanded work we are doing. If you believe these calls matter and the work of MeckMIN matters, please consider donating to support us.


How you can help:

  1. Donate to MeckMIN to support our important work and ask your community to donate as well: TEXT TO GIVE: Text MECKMIN to 91999

  2. Participate in the media blitz surrounding the Bridge Builder’s grant by sharing information on your social media and elsewhere on 11/16.

  3. Encourage youth, youth advisors and families to join the Zoom call on 11/19 to discuss ways to engage youth in interfaith activities

  4. Register for Nov. Food for Thought: Caregiving through the Holidays on Nov. 19th. Free

  5. Sponsor Thanksgiving Interfaith Service on 11/24: The Thanksgiving offering, as always, will support MeckMIN and Crisis Assistance: Visit Crisis Assistance Donation Page:

  6. Encourage youth, youth advisors and families to register for the MeckMIN and YWCA Families Together interfaith service project on Dec 5th


CPCC is offering FREE online and hybrid Adult ESL classes! Students who qualify are 16 years of age, are withdrawn from k-12 schooling and are not in the US on an F-1 or J-1 Visa. Applicants will take a proficiency test and classes are offered on many levels from basic English learning through advanced proficiency.

CPCC has also added a number of other classes that may be of use including a “working smart” class about workplace communication, conversation classes, pronunciation classes, book clubs and more. The classes mentioned are free to students and have flexible schedules. Many are available online and a few on campus with social distancing and limited sizes. All classes have live instructors. In addition, they offer refugees special services includ

ing access to tech and transportation. The applications are available in Spanish and English.

Adult ESL Infromation Complete
Download PDF • 479KB


3. Picking Up the Pieces During Pandemic and Beyond: A Generational Opportunity for Equity and Excellence in NC Education

Picking Up the Pieces During Pandemic and Beyond Webinar: Dec 3, 7pm:  League of Women Voters along with EveryChildNC will host a webinar on the funding of public education in NC. It will discuss the Leandro decision and subsequent court decisions that make this a key time to organize on behalf of equity and excellence.

4. Kepro (now known as Acentra Health) Program Provides Well-Coordinated Care to Vulnerable Populations

Kepro now known as Acentra Health partners with government sponsored health care programs to support their mission of providing efficient, high quality and well-coordinated care to vulnerable populations. Lisa Bennett joined the call to describe their work in the state of North Carolina. They are working in 7 counties, including Mecklenburg, to coordinate care for those impacted by COVID-19. Their community health workers work in coordination with Contact Tracers, Local Health Departments (LHD), and Community Based Organizations (CBO) to provide referrals for medical and social support including transportation to essential locations, diagnostic testing, primary care, nutrition assistance, housing and behavioral health services. They have Spanish and English speaking community health workers and their contract is likely to be extended beyond its current deadline of end of year. Their Operations Manager is Renee White who brings over 30 years of experience to the job. They are working closely with Francine Walton at the Mecklenburg Health Department.

If you have clients who have been impacted by COVID-19 and need care coordination with community based organizations, resources for testing etc, call 704-859-4059 and select # 1 or select #0 for Spanish.


5. Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) Assists with Heating

Ginny Harper with Mecklenburg County Department Social Services is Community Program Coordinator and manages the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). LIEAP is a federally funded program administered by the state which provides funds to low income households to defray the costs of heating. You do not have to be at risk of disconnection or delinquency to qualify for this one-time direct vendor payment.

Apply through DSS or call 704-336-3000 or Just One Call (J1C) at 704-432-1111 to see if you qualify for help. Program runs from December through March 31st. December is set aside for folks 60 and over. Beginning Jan 4, the program opens for those below age of 60. I

If all the money is not used, they have to return it to the state which has happened. So don’t be shy!

Reaching out to congregations and neighborhood groups in West Charlotte last year increased their applications 17%. This year they are hoping to continue increasing that number while also reaching out to East Charlotte, specifically the zip codes 28205, 28212, 28215 and 28227. ALL zip codes are eligible and welcome to apply. They also hope to increase participation in Hispanic community. Applications are available in Spanish and English but if you call there may be translators available in other languages.

If you are interested in someone presenting directly to a congregation or community, please reach out to Ginny Harper, 704.258.7418. She can provide applications and come back to pick them up.

6. Greater Steps Scholars - Applications Due March 5, 2021

Greater Steps Scholars, formerly the Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund, is a fund designed to make certain that every child living in housing subsidized by INLIVIAN has both the opportunity for the expectation of a college education. In addition to financial aid, Greater Steps Scholars provides programming designed to inspire young people to work toward becoming independent, self-reliant citizens of the community by lending a helping hand. Since its inception, nearly 940 scholarships totaling $3.8 million have been awarded. 

Applications are due March 5, 2021 for college-bound residents of Charlotte's subsidized housing communities. Since 1983, the project launched by John Crawford has provided $3.8 million in scholarships to nearly 940 youth who went on to 75 colleges, universities, and trade schools. Crawford's Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund took the name Greater Steps Scholars last July. Flyer attached.


7. Drive Through, No Cost Covid Testing Events

West Charlotte High School and StarMed Healthcare of Charlotte are offering drive through, no cost COVID-19 testing opportunities.

When: Saturday, November 14th & Sunday, November 15th between 10am - 2pm

Where: West Charlotte High School, 2219 Senior Drive Charlotte, NC 28216

Anyone is invited to receive testing. No Symptoms, No appointment, No Referral and No Insurance required. A virtual visit with StarMed can be completed prior to testing by registering at or text the word “covid” to 704-850-6996 to pre-register and reduce your wait time for testing. For questions or assistance with scheduling, please call StarMed at 704-941-6000.

Atrium Health and our BRIDGE for KIDS are partnering again to offer a 2nd drive-through, no cost community health event. Please call 980-348-5398. No ID or insurance will be required for the COVID test or the flu shot.

When: Saturday, November 14th, from 8:00am - 2:30pm.

Where: 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte NC 28215.

In addition, the support of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce and Carolina Business Alliance will allow us to offer neighbors lunch and school supplies. We are happy to be joined by Meck Pre-K as well to offer books and resources to families with little ones at home.

8. NC MedAssist Offeres Free Over-the-Counter Medicine

When: Saturday December 19th from 9am – 2 pm

Where: Renaissance West STEAM Academy, 3241 New Renaissance Way, Charlotte, 28208.

MedAssist will be offering free over- the -counter medicine to folks who register. PRE-REGISTRATION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. Items offered will include cold, cough and flu medicine, pain relief, vitamins, children medicines and more. No ID is required but you must be 18 years or older and wear a facemask. Learn how to receive free medicine at or 866-351-1348.

Shopping Sheet-Homebound (1)
Download PDF • 851KB

NC Med Assist Charlotte NC

9. The Bold Project Initiative Wants to Hear From Black-Led, Black-Benefitting Nonprofits (BLBB)

New Generation of Africn American Philanthropists- The Bold Project

The Bold Project is an initiative of New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP) to strengthen Black-led organizations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and to promote racial funding equity. NGAAP has partnered with Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned research and consulting firm that serves the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Together, we are conducting our community’s first-ever study of Black-led, Black-benefitting (BLBB) nonprofit organizations, as part of The Bold Project.

The aim of this research is to hear and learn from BLBB nonprofits, which function as the backbone of communities. They are well-recognized beacons of hope and opportunity, delivering critical services, offering training, and giving voice to those frequently unseen and unheard. Findings from this research are intended to enable funders, the nonprofit community, and the broader community to become more responsive to and supportive of BLBB nonprofits—a benefit to everyone in Charlotte region.

As part of this research, we would like to hear from you about your organization's important work through a short survey. The survey comprises questions on organizational characteristics, demographics, funding profiles, general questions and feedback surrounding BLBB organizations. It should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey as soon as you can; it will remain open until November 21, 2020. If you have questions regarding the survey or this process, please contact Ashley Simpson


MeckMIN, Mecklenburg County Waste Reduction

Mecklenburg County is pleased to announce a collabrative partnership between the City of Charlotte Solid Waste, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful and Keep Charlotte Beautiful as we honor America Recycles Day with the following events:

Nov 14th, 9am-12pm: Free Paper Shredding Event with Mecklenburg County Waste Reduction ( 2 different locations ) Shredding trucks will be at the Foxhole Landfill & Recycling Center (17131 Lancaster Highway) and Compost Central & Recycling Center (140 Valleydale Road). Residents are encouraged to bring up to 3 Banker boxes of their confidential papers to be shredded. Also at this event, Mecklenburg County will also give away Kraft paper yard bags, recycling information, and ask residents to sign the Mecklenburg County "Recycling Pledge Cards" to enter to win exciting prizes.

Nov 16th, 6pm-8pm: Wishful Recycling in Mecklenburg County Webinar Panel A discussion and Q+A with sustainability professionals from across Charlotte. Sponsored by Keep Charlotte Beautiful, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful and both City and County Solid Waste Services!

Nov 17th, 6pm-7pm: "Recycle Right" virtual presentation webinar presented by Mecklenburg County Independent Recycling Educators Maitri Meyer and Walker Spruill. Participants must pre-register to receive the participation link.

Nov 19, 2020 at 12pm: "The 7R's of Waste Reduction" virtual presentation webinar. For this webinar, participants should have previously attended a "Recycle Right" webinar. Participants will receive a more in-depth waste reduction presentation and conversation. This webinar will also be presented by Mecklenburg County Independent Recycling Educators and advanced registration is required to receive the participation link.


11. Nonprofit Updates

The rain last Wednesday led to a postponement of the laundry basket distribution. They will be shared this coming Wednesday and photos will be taken!


How you can help:

  1. Volunteers are needed to help pack their 7-day boxes, warehouse and delivery drivers.

  2. 44 Volunteers needed on Wed,Nov 25 for curb-side food donations. Email Lindsay

In need of warehouse volunteers, volunteers for Thanksgiving boxes, and more! Their biggest need is delivery drivers. Over 5,000 people served by home delivery. It is a contact free action and deliveries are concentrated in a single delivery area. Opportunities are posted every Friday for the Tuesday and Thursday morning shifts the following week.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Loaves and Fishes is partnering with WFMZ radio and Second Harvest Food Bank to do curbside drop-off food donations and turkeys. We also need 44 volunteers for that day.

Email Lindsay and she can schedule your organization weeks in advance for some volunteer slots.

Virtual Food Drive! During the current COVID-19 crisis, if you would like to donate food to Loaves & Fishes, you can drop off non-perishable food items at our Loaves & Fishes warehouse, located at 648 Griffith Road, Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:00pm.A great way to help without leaving home is to shop their Amazon Wish List and have items delivered directly. They are currently packing emergency food boxes and are in great need of the following items.


Habitat for Humanity Charlotte has new alternative gift market. It is an online market where folks can buy donations in honor of a loved one and the gift recipient will receive a winter holiday card sharing the donation with them. You can purchase lumber for a family in need or other supplies for those working towards a home.

Contact Zach Surber if you would like to create custom cards for your congregation that include your congregation’s logo. He can create an alternative market just for your faith community and then share how many folks donated during the season.


Vote Riders: Pam Pearson ,704-641-4845

VoteRiders helps people get ID and underlying docs like birth certificates - all services are free and we pay for the doc fees and ID fees. All referrals welcome! 


When: November 15th at 12pm -3pm

Where: Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 232 Skyland Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205

Everyone is welcome and eligible to receive a food box filled with meats, vegetables, fruits and more!


How you can help: 

SHARE: Please share the information in these minutes with your networks, attach the flyers to your communications, mention these programs in your social media feeds. 

VOLUNTEER: Loaves and Fishes, Refugee Support Services, Habitat for Humanity of the Carolinas, and the Bold Project all have ways for you to take action and make a difference.  Volunteer and share volunteer opportunities with those you influence. 

LEARN: Attend the “Picking up the Pieces webinar to learn more about educational equity issues and ways to get involved.

CARE: Help your constituents get financial help from LIEAP, medical assistance  and COVID testing from the County, from Kepro, and from MedAssist. Help them access ESL classes at CPCC and secure college scholarships through Greater Steps. Connect them with VoteRiders so they can secure ids that can be essential to finding jobs and housing.


Prayer for Non-Profit Leaders

From Mark Nepo

Stripped of causes and plans

and things to strive for.

I have discovered everything

I could need or ask for

is right here –

in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,

but we can feed each other.

We cannot eliminate loneliness,

but we can hold each other.

We cannot eliminate pain,

but we can live a life

of compassion.


we are small living things

awakened in the stream,

not gods who carve out rivers.


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