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Nov 5, 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. Please 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 Updates: Youth Interfaith Service Opportunties, Bridge Builders grant, Caregiving through the Holidays, Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

  2. Mecklenburg County Health Department - Upcoming Flu Clinic

  3. HOPE Program - Help with rent and utilites experiencing financial hardship due to Covid-19

  4. Eviction Prevention - #Needahome2stayahome

  5. CMS Updates and Requests: Season of Giving, Attestation Forms, Community Asset and Collaboration Directory, READ Charlotte

  6. Mecklenburg County Recycles: Upcoming events and webinars

  7. Non-Profit Needs: Reentry Partners of Mecklenburg County, Roof Above, International House, Loaves & Fishes , Refugee Support Services, Habitat for Humanity, Queen City Family Tree, TORC

  8. What Does our Community Need Right Now?

Click Here to Access 10/15/20 View Zoom Recording: Passcode: N*UuR=25

Important Dates:


Opening Reflection


MeckMIN promotes interfaith collaboration to foster understanding, compassion and justice. The Opening Reflection is offered by a different house of faith each week.


Offered by Joanne Jenkins from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer:


For Our Country Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will.


Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.


Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.


Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth.


In the time prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; All we ask in your Holy Name. Amen

1. MeckMIN Updates


How you can help:


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

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

  3. Spread the word about Nov. Food for Thought: Caregiving through the Holidays on Nov. 19th. Free

  4. Sponsor and register to join the Thanksgiving Interfaith Service on 11/24

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

  6. Donate to MeckMIN to support their important work and ask your community to donate as well: TEXT TO GIVE: Text MECKMIN to 91999 or Visit Crisis Assistance Donation Page: crisisassistance.org/meckmin


Bridge Builders Media Blitz: See flyer below for key messages and strategy. November 16, the International Day of Tolerance, Bridge Builders Charlotte will host a media blitz to introduce stakeholders in the Charlotte community to the work of Bridge Builders Charlotte and highlight its work over the past six months. This work includes allowing MeckMIN to work with Johnson C Smith to create videos about the interfaith response to COVID in Mecklenburg County. Other projects include the distribution of interfaith learning boxes to Freedom School Partners, Refugee Support Services, and Wayfinders, as well as partnership with Loaves and Fishes to provide inclusive meals to individuals of all faiths.Bridge Builders Charlotte will develop all content for the blitz – including sample social media posts, graphics and more – but will lean on its partner organizations and their channels to help spread the word.




A Youth Leader & Family Online Informational Meeting (Zoom): Thursday, Nov 19th 7:30pm-8:15pm. Youth Interfaith Service Opportunities. MeckMIN is excited about our upcoming youth interfaith service projects. We invite youth age 13 and above, parents, families and youth leaders of all faiths to please join us for an online informational meeting on Thursday, November 19th from 7:30pm-8:15pm. The meeting will connect members from Mecklenburg County interested in youth interfaith opportunities and allow space to share ideas about service projects and interfaith activities. Email Liza Veilleux Haynes with questions.


Youth Interfaith Service Project & YWCA Families Together Program: On 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. Please click here and share this information on your social media accounts, with your house of faith, friends and families to help us spread the word!





November Food for Thought: Caregiving through the Holidays : Presenter: 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!



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:




Sponsor's Needed for 45th Annual Community-Wide Thanksgiving Service! Transforming this ev


ent 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!


TEXT TO GIVE: Text MECKMIN to 91999

Crisis Assistance Donation Page: crisisassistance.org/meckmin

Don't Forget About Loaves & Fishes 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.



MeckMIN NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!


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.


2. Mecklenburg County Health Department


The Health Department continues to emphasize and support good hygiene practice. In particular they suggest you:

3. Housing Opportunities and Protection from Eviction Program



The new HOPE (Housing Opportunitues and Prevention of Evictions) Program is a new statewide initiative that may provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the economic effects of COVID-19. Apply for the program online here or call 888-892-1162.


4. Update on Eviction Prevention from NeedAHome2StayAtHome


How you can help:


1. Share information about the moratorium widely within your communities

2. Join the effort of NeedaHome2StayatHome.

Many orgs signed the letter sent to Chief Justice Beasley asking her to issue a directive to the courts and law enforcement agencies who were still carrying out evictions despite the national moratorium issued by the CDC. Those efforts made an impact and on Wednesday, October 28th, Gov. Cooper issued a declaration that should alleviate many of the concerns we've had.


Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order to Strengthen Eviction Prevention and Help Renters Stay in Their Homes


Some significant points about the national moratorium issued by the CDC:

  • The order mandates landlords inform tenants that the CDC moratorium says that tenants can't be evicted for non-payment of rent during the moratorium.

  • The order places the burden on landlords to prove that an eviction is based on something other than non-payment of rent

  • The order clarifies that no tenant covered under the CDC moratorium can be evicted for non-payment of rent

  • Concerns we still have:

  • There needs to be clarity and consistency among the courts concerning this order

  • There remain concerns about whether the protection of tenants extends to those at hotels and motels and mobile home residents living on land leases

Next steps: Continued pressure on the Chief Justice to issue a directive to the courts and law enforcement agencies now that the Governor has issued this declaration. Planning for January and beyond when the CDC eviction moratorium runs out. There will be thousands of residents in NC subject to mass eviction.

5. CMS Updates and Requests


Season of Giving: The “season of giving” is a phrase given to this period through the holidays and up to the new year. Schools often partner with others to provide families with food and gifts to get them through the holiday season. Connect with Phyllis Croutch, District Partnership Specialist, to learn more about how to support a school during Season of Giving.


Attestation Forms: Each family needs to send an attestation form with each bus riding student the first day of each week. The form can be found in 8 different languages in the following link. Please let us know if you would like to have printed copies at your location for easy access for parents.


Community Asseet and Collaboration Directory: Update your profile



Read Charlotte: Read Charlotte is seeking proposals from community-based organizations that serve children and families in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Specifically, they are seeking proposals with innovative, community-based ideas for outreach to families in Mecklenburg County to sign up for and use the Reading Checkup in one or more of the following four categories:

  1. Creative approaches to family outreach that meets families where they are.

  2. Smart leverage of the Reading Checkup by integration into your current family engagement efforts.

  3. Effective community building among families using Reading Checkup with your Pre K-3rd grade children.

  4. Targeted supports to families to help them use the Reading Checkup tool and do the activities with their children at home.

Click below to download PDF Family Outreach Grants:

2020.10.29 RC Family Outreach Grants
.pdf
Download PDF • 60KB

6. Mecklenburg County Recycles


How you can help:

  1. Share these Mecklenburg County Waste Reduction & Keep Charlotte Beautiful Facebook posts on your social media accounts.

  2. Copy and paste the quote below into as many group email/e-newsletter lists as possible ideally during the week of November 4th through 11th!

“Check out how Mecklenburg County is celebrating America Recycles Day November 14-19th. Register for each event individually and submit your Recycle Right Pledge. Remember to always “Recycle Right!”


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 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! Panel participants include:


Daniel Heaton, Independent Consultant with Envision Charlotte

("What is Wishful Recycling")


Stephanie Hoffman, Corporate Donations Manager of Goodwill Industries of Southern Piedmont

("What is E-Waste & the Dell ReConnect Program")


Rodney Jamison, Director of the City of Charlotte Solid Waste

("Outlines the City of Charlotte Waste Services"


Jeffrey Smithberger, Director of Mecklenburg County Solid Waste

("Outlines Mecklenburg County Waste Services")


David Valder, Crown Town Composting and Chair of Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful

("What is Wishful Composting")


To register for this event, click here. For additional information, questions or concerns about this webinar, feel free to contact Allison Lavallee.


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.

7. Non-Profit Updates


Reentry Partners of Mecklenburg County: Contact Tashara Brown or Marcus Reddrick at 980-307-1453 or 980-314-5044


How you can help:

  1. Volunteers needed! There are many ways to help from offering resume help to hosting a simulation in your community to offering an ear.


Reentry Partners of Mecklenburg County is a coalition of individuals, non-profits and government groups working to eliminate barriers and provide opportunities to previously incarcerated individuals. From October of 2019 to October 2020 there were approximately 1150 people who returned to Mecklenburg County after prison without jobs, incomes and more. Established in 2007, they are the oldest reentry group in the area. They advocate, work on legislation and provide job and resource fairs. They are looking for people to donate their time, treasure and talent to this work as there is more need than they can currently serve. There are many ways to help from offering resume help to hosting a simulation in your community to offering an ear.


NOTE: VoteRiders can be helpful with for formerly incarcerated people. Contact Pam Pearson at 704-641-4845.


Rufugee Support Services , Contact Rachel Humphries


How you can help:


1. Participate in Quarter Drive to help our friends with laundry.

2. Donate used and no longer needed laptops for rehab and redistribution.

2. Share photos of the quarter drive and other efforts that stem from this call


Laptop donations: Refugee Support Services (RSS) remains in need of laptop donations that can be used to close the digital divide for our program participants. Our partner agency, E2D, will clean them up, fit them and return them to us for donation to our refugee friends who will also participate in a training program.


Quarter donations for laundry: In light of the national coin shortage, we continue to collect quarters to share with our program participants to help them do the basic essentials of, their laundry. The quarter drive has been very successful and next Wednesday around 100 families will get a laundry basket with a bag of quarters, laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies. Please continue to support this work! Donations can be brought to the back parking lot of the Galilee Center located at 3601 Central Ave. on Wednesday mornings 8:30am - 9:30am.

Roof Above, Contact Ashley Brown


How you can help:


  1. Lunch Bag and Cookie Donations

  2. Winter Shelter Bag Lunches

  3. Winter Shelter Cookies

  4. In-kind donations needs



Food donations, in-kind donations and limited volunteer in-person help needed! With Room at the Inn shifting to a new model, Roof Above needs a different kind of support from its faith community partners. They are looking for partners to help provide lunches, cookies and in-kind donations for our 130 winter overflow nightly guests. These opportunities are not only great for groups but also great for families and individuals. Please view details in recent newsletter

Food Donations:

  • Bagged Lunches: Sign up to prepare and deliver bagged lunches. Volunteer-prepared bagged lunches currently serve motel and dorm locations. This winter there will be a third location – the overflow shelter at the Giles Center on Statesville Ave. We would love for our Room at the Inn volunteers to focus on meeting this need. 


  • Cookie Connection: Deliver a delectable treat for those in our overflow shelter. We’re asking to provide 2 cookies in a Ziplock bag for 130 guests. Please keep the cookies consistent and refrain from using peanuts. 

In-Kind Donations: We believe our neighbors will need quite a lot this winter – whether they have an actual shelter bed, or joining us at the nightly overflow shelter. The following items are what we’re especially requesting for winter sheltering:

  • New towels and washcloths

  • New men’s hats and gloves

  • New men’s boxer-briefs (M, L, XL, XXL)

  • New men’s socks

  • Masks (washable or disposable – homemade masks welcome)

  • Travel-size toiletries separated by like-items (shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, small cans of shaving cream,hand sanitizer)

In-Person Volunteering: The shelters will be primarily operated by our professional, frontline staff. However, we will be seeking a handful of volunteers for opportunities that will include organizing and transporting donations between shelters, and operating a phone hotline that will serve as part of the lottery process for our nightly overflow location. We will evaluate additional on-site volunteering as we get into November and early December, depending on COVID trends and service needs. Examples of possible needs, include the distribution hygiene items, food, and monitoring the cell phone lockers. We will let you know more information as the logistics are set. 

International House , Contact Erin Phelps


How you can help:


  1. Saturday , Nov 7, 9am-12pm at International House (1817 Central Ave) - Produce Drive for Galilee Center's remote learning students . Donate carrots, apples, pears, unripe bananas, grapes, oranges.

  2. Got extra quarters? Bring extra quarters on Saturday to support Refugee Support Services!

  3. Volunteers needed Nov. 21, 9am-12pm: Rising Readers Family Outreach Program to be runners, direct traffic, collect trash, etc. Email Erin Phelps


Nov. 21, 9am-12pm: Rising Readers Family Outreach Program FREE Drive-Through Giveaway Event for Briarwood Elementary! MUST preregister. Volunteers needed to be runners, direct traffic, collect trash, etc. Email Erin Phelps if you are interested in volunteering or donating and/or if you have clients, congregation members, community partners who have students who attend Briarwood Elementary.




Loaves and Fishes, Contact Tina Postel &  Lindsey Silliman


How you can help:


  1. Volunteers are needed to help pack their 7-day boxes.

  2. Donate to Virtual Food Drive!


Info on Turkey boxes with trimmings for Thanksgiving should be forthcoming soon. The boxes are part of their pop-up food shares and will not require referrals. Volunteers are needed to help pack their 7-day boxes.


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 ,Contact Zach Surber


How you can help:

  1. Register for Interest Meeting on Nov 10 and share with your networks

  2. RESTORE currently has 17 open positions, many entry level opportunities for those who want to do non-profit work. Spread the word!


Nov 10, 11:00am -12:00pm: New Faith Partnerships Interest Meeting: Habitat is hosting faith partners for a short casual meeting about the merger (they are now the third largest affiliate in the country) and how the pandemic has shifted and changed their model. They can now reach 200 families a year. The pandemic has led to a surge in applications – over 500 families applied when they reopened the process which is 10x what they can serve in a year. That plus supply chain problems because of the pandemic and high construction costs mean that it costs $50K more per construction or $150K more per month to do their work.


On the plus side, RESTORE, the retail side of their work, is seeing enormous growth and profit. They have 17 open positions currently, many entry level opportunities for those who want to do non-profit work. The quicker those positions are filled, the more money they can raise for their mission.

Queen City Family Tree: Contact Langley Hoyt (she/her), 412.759.7171


How you can help:


  1. Collect canned food items and stock the Free Pantry at 2908 Tuckaseegee Rd or the cart at 2910 Parkway Ave. Simply deliver your donations straight to the pantry or cart whenever you are able.

  2. If you are open to us contacting you when we need snacks again, please let us know. Going forward, we expect to need snacks for tiny school. After observing 2 days of tiny school so far, it looks like we will need 1 large tub of snacks and juices each month-no dairy or peanuts.

  3. During the first week of each month, we will deliver 40 careboxes to neighbors. If you would like to collect items and donate 40 care boxes one month, please sign up. The themes of each month will be different. Please choose food, fun, and self care items that reflect the month's theme: Sept-peace; Oct- harvest; Nov-gratitude; Dec-Joy; Jan-warmth; Feb-love; March-growth; April-rest; May-family; June-hope; July-abundance; August-kindness.

  4. Click here for QC Family Tree’s updated Amazon Wishlist.

  5. Help share this information with others by forwrding this document to others in your network: https://tinyurl.com/neighborupdate


Biggest Volunteer Needs:

  • Canvassers to help increase capacity in Enderly Park for the Tuck Bound initiative

  • Weekly Garden tending- weeding and watering

  • Weekly Groundskeeping

  • Pressure washing of QCFT homes (6 total)

  • 5-7 Healers/Therapists who will volunteer to serve for 2 years on a Healing Council, helping QCFT structure mental health initiatives into programming as well as staff care. Black Therapists and Healers preferred.

Tenant Orgnizing Resource Center (TORC)


TORC continues to work hard to help house people. They are working with the United Council for Change on Beatties Ford Road doing voting work and also working with police and sheriff departments to reduce crime in the Catherine Simmons area.

What Does the Community Need from Us Right Now?

Ideas generated during Community Leader Meeting:

  • Prayer.

  • A safe non-judgmental place where people can lean into what is in their guts and need an ear to receive that. How can this group make that happen? If I were a bazillionaire I would make buttons that say “I am safe, I am askable”. If there is a way even within our faith groups to find ways to listen to one another even those with very different ideas of things that would be a benefit.

  • A book group focusing on the book Unity which helps people talk across philosophical lines

  • Encourage front line workers. Deliver Donuts, Coffee, Candy to teachers, servers, nurses, firemen.

  • Visit small locally owned restaurants and buy lunch AND dinner.

  • Conect folks connect to free counseling. (See flyer below)


Prayer for Non-Profit Leaders


LeDayne Polaski, MeckMIN Executive Director, shared a beautiful section of writing entitled "Not to make oneself afraid" from the blog “Velveteen Rabbi”. The piece centered on the difference between feeling afraid and making yourself feel afraid. An excerpt is below:


"The important thing is not to make oneself afraid," or "not to live from a place of fear"

Reb Nachman isn't teaching that I should hide my fear from myself, or pretend I never fear, or berate myself when I do feel fear. What's important is that I not allow the fear to rule me. What's important is that I not allow my fears to limit me, to dictate the contours of my hopes, or my dreams, or my choices.


There will be times in every life when the world feels like a narrow bridge over a deep chasm, a fragile and uncertain pathway with risk on every side. In those times, we're called not to eschew fear but to inhabit it... and to remember that if we don't let our fears rule us, we will be able to cross over to the other side.


To read the blog in its entirety, please click here.

3900-A Park Road | Charlotte, NC 28209