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Oct 22, 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:

  1. Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan

  2. MeckMIN Updates

  3. Election Trainings

  4. Ride to the Polls

  5. Non-Profit Updates: The Carter Center, Mecklenburg County Health Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Habitat for Humanity, Temporary Protective Status Alliance, Learning Vine- Galilee Center,Christian Responders, MeckGov DSS, International House, Roof Above, Safe Alliance, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library


Important Dates:


  • Oct 27, 10am:"La Libertad Comes to the Carolinas"

  • Oct 29, 4:30pm-7:30pm, DC Peace team Nonviolent community Safety for Safe Elections Online Training.

  • Oct 29, 9am Safe Alliance Breakfast of Hope. Register Here

  • Oct 29, 11 am: MeckMIN Leader Meeting. Register Here

  • Oct 30: · Deadline to register as a participant in the Virtual Children and Youth Choir. Register Today!

  • Oct 31, 10am-12pm: DC Peace Team Unarmed Civilian Protection and Accompaniment Online Training



1. Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Alysia Osborne,, from the City of Charlotte Planning Department shared details about the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Since October 2018, the city has engaged residents and stakeholders around a new vision for Charlotte’s future. The city has not had a comprehensive growth plan since 1975 and this plan will help city leaders and residents: See what’s working, what isn’t working, and what we need to do differently.

  • Develop plans to address our opportunities and challenges.

  • Create a path for the city’s growth that is clear and easy to understand.

  • Address important issues that affect our community’s sense of equity – public transportation, affordable housing, healthy food, and more. There are 7 areas in total that range from the built environment, the economic environment, the livable environment and others. 

To have a plan that truly reflects the needs and hopes of the community, planners need input from all areas and demographics within the city. They are asking that faith communities connect their parishioners with the public events and workshops that will inform them of the plan. 

Drive Into Charlotte's Future, October 31st, 2pm-9pm (4 sessions) The Park Expo |Register Here The schedule will include on-stage presentations, opportunities for community feedback, live entertainment and COVID-safe, touch-free treat stations for the kids. Spanish language translation will be available. There will be a total of 4 sessions throughout the day. Bring the whole family to enjoy this COVID-safe family-friendly experience from the comfort of your car. The 7 pm session will include a screening of Back to the Future followed by the presentation.

Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Alysia Osborne will also explore hosting a focus group on a future call with the participants of this call. She and LeDayne Polaski will connect to figure out logistics. (NOTE – We’ve agreed to hold this session on Thursday, December 3, from 11 to 12:30.) 


2. MeckMIN Updates

Open Tables: Please visit the Open Tables page on our website for more details! Our recent Open Table event featured three diverse congregations and was very successful on Zoom.

Through fellowship and food, Open Tables aims to build substantive relationships among our diverse congregations based on our shared humanity, reaching beyond the divides of tribalism.

MeckMIN will connect congregations willing to host with congregations of other faiths and/or racial/ethnic make-ups willing to attend. If you are interested in being a part of these discussions and connections, contact to join these dinner and dialogue sessions hosted by local congregations.

45th Annual Community -Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service| Nov 24th 6:45pm-8:00pm , via Facebool Live This year’s service will be broadcast on Facebook Live followed by a Zoom reception. Hosted by Temple Beth El, the theme will be “The Truth of our Connectedness” and will feature Rev. Dr. Peter Wherry as the speaker. We will discuss the ways we remain connected despite our current difficulties.

Sponsor's Needed for 45th Annual Community-Wide Thanksgiving Service! Hosting this event virtually will cost $2,000 more than budgeted. MeckMIN is currently seeking businesses, congregations, organizations and individuals to Become a Sponsor to assist with the increased cost. Please help us spread the word!

MeckMIN Thanksgiving Sponsorship Levels

Thanksgiving Service Virtual Children's & Youth Choir: Deadline has been extended to October 30th. All children and youth (5-17 years old) of all abilities are invited to join and participate in a virtual choir performance of..."One Little Candle" by J. MALOY ROACH and GEORGE MYSELS arr. by CHARLES NAYLOR. Sign Up Here!


3. Election Trainings

Past calls have revealed a lot of folks interested in supporting work around elections and voting. The following information has been gathered by MeckMIN and may be of interest. MeckMIN isn’t endorsing any of them – you’ll need to explore to see which might be a good fit for you. 

  • Active Bystander Intervention & Nonviolent Communication from DC Peace Team: This session will discuss the challenges that voters, election workers, demonstrators and others may face during the voting, vote counting, and results declaration periods, and how ABI and NVC tools may be used to protect the election process.

  • Unarmed Civilian Protection & Accompaniment Training from DC Peace Team: Unarmed Civilian Protection and Accompaniment is a methodology for teams that offers direct protection of civilians and others, reduction of hostility, re-humanization of parties, as well as increasing local peace infrastructures. This workshop will be largely experiential and learning-by-doing, with a focus on post-election scenarios. The skills learned can be modified and applied in many facets of life, including political demonstrations, local events, accompaniment of those in danger, neighborhood conflicts, and international conflicts.

  • Count Every Vote Campaign - Training Calendar from the Count Every Vote Campaign: This calendar includes all trainings being hosted by the Count Every Vote Campaign, as well as trainings hosted by partners that are being opened up to a wide audience. This calendar will be updated continually as new trainings are confirmed.

  • Nonviolent Direct Action Training Resources: A living document of national and local nonviolent direct action trainings, resources, and organizations.3. Mecklenburg County Public Health Updates


4. Ride to the Polls

  • The International House is providing rides to the polls regardless of party. Contact Johnelle Causwell,, 704-342-2248 to volunteer to offer rides or to solicit a ride.

  • The Mecklenburg Democratic Party is offering rides to democrats. Reach out to

  • Greater Bethel AME Church is offering transportation every Sunday and Tuesday in early voting and also on Election Day. Reach out to 980-949-7306

  • Democracy NC will help connect people with rides. You can reach them at 1-888-OURVOTE 


5. Non-Profit Updates

MeckMIN and and other local groups are working with The Carter Center on election preparedness specifically in Mecklenburg County. The work is likely going to be focused from Election Day to inauguration day and will identify and build up local resilience networks. If you are interested in learning more, please email LeDayne with the subject line: "Mecklenburg Election Preparations."


Mecklenburg County Health Department: Contact Kimberly Scales,

Flu Fighter Friday: Drive-thru Clinic, Friday, October 23, 10am - 2pm - Southeast Health Department, 240 Billingsley Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211 | Map There is no out-of-pocket cost. Insurance is not required. If you have insurance, bring your card. Standard dose flu shots only are available at drive-thru clinics.


CMS: Contact Rosanna Saladin-Subero , 

School will be back in session for elementary kids in the next few weeks and others beginning in later weeks. It is essential that families understand the new process. To ride the bus, families will have to submit an Attestation Form EVERY WEEK affirming that they are not sick. This is in addition to the daily check- in that every student must complete. The form is available in printed form in both English and Spanish. Click here to access Attestation Form


Temporary Protective Status Alliance & Central United Methodist Church

"La Libertad" Comes to the Carolinas, Oct 27th, 10am. The Temporary Protective Status Alliance with the Central United Methodist Church will host a press conference and welcome “La Libertad”, a bus that is traveling the county to bring attention to the threat of Temporary Protective Status holders. See flyer below for more details:

La Libertad, Charlotte, NC

  • ReStore Needs Volunteers! Contact The retail arm of Habitat for Humanity, ReStore, provides the largest source of funding for their programs. With the onset of COVID, many volunteers retired early and this, combined with an uptick in sales, means they need volunteers at every one of their 7 stores – 3 in charlotte and 4 more in the larger metro area. Volunteers are needed in all sections including cashiers, dockworkers, pricers, sorters, and books. Volunteers are asked to commit to 6 months minimum and have a consistent 4-hour shift per week.

  • High School Volunteers : Contact Raija Woods, ReStore Volunteer Scheduler at, or call (704) 249-7197. High School students can complete service hours at Habitat as long as they are at least 16 years of age and are willing to comply with our Covid-19 safety guidelines (mask, distancing, etc.) . 

  • “New Faith Partnerships Interest Meeting” - November 10th, 11 am (online) | Register Here: Has your congregation wanted to partner with Habitat Charlotte Region but isn’t sure where to start? Join Zach Surber, Partnership Development Officer, as he talks about the important partnerships between Habitat Charlotte Region and our Faith Partners.


International House: Contact Alma Hernandez,, 704-333-8099 x111.

International House is hosting a Drive Through event for Briarwood Elementary families on Nov. 21st, 9a-12p. Tables and tents will be set up along the parking lot and families will drive to each for resources/information.


Learning Vine of the Galilee Center: Contact Joanne - 704.502.2690

Galilee Ministries invited the group to help generate ideas for providing more nutritionally robust meals for the students participating in their small remote school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The school provided meals currently lack fresh fruits and vegetables. Ideas generated include:

  • Reaching out for donations from groceries, farmer’s markets etc. Particular mentions include Food Lion, Aldi, and Publix. 

  • A Sign Up Genius for volunteer donations

  • Louise Woods, offered to connect them with some local groups 


Roof Above Contact Ashley Brown,

Food donations, in-kind donations and limited volunteer in-person help needed! The Room at the Inn will be different this year. Our neighbors WILL STILL HAVE SHELTER. Instead of sheltering at houses of faith, however, they will be in other settings. For men, this will include additional space at the Tryon shelter and the addition of a 130 bed Statesville Ave. shelter. The Salvation Army will be providing additional beds for women and children. Total capacity will actually INCREASE by 17%. Roof Above is also adding warming spaces to combat the weather. Please view details in recent newsletter

Food Donations: Sign up for opportunities below will be provided no later than November 1.

  • 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 (please, no individual bags).

  • shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, small cans of shaving cream

  • Hand sanitizer

How To Collect: Amazon Wish List availble Nov 1. While you can certainly begin collecting now on your own, we will be creating and posting an Amazon Wish List for your convenience and will have that posted and sent to you by November 1st. Also, we ask that while you are handling items, we encourage you to wear gloves and masks. 

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. 


Christian Responders has recently partnered with Matthews United Methodist Church and their Home2Home ministry to collect and distribute furniture to people in need. This past Saturday, a truckload of furniture, appliances, and household items went to “Baptist On Mission” in Lumberton for hurricane survivors. Together, almost 100 pieces of furniture, appliances, and household items were collected, stored, and sent to people in need. Now, however, the cupboard is bare. Christian Responders is looking for donations of furniture, appliances and household items. Ways to help: Donate, Spread the word in your neighborhood or community and help gather the goods of others to donate or volunteer to pick up or deliver furniture as needed.

Safe Alliance, Breakfast of Hope

Breakfast of Hope, (via Zoom)Thursday, Oct 29th at 9 am | Register Here Emceed by WBTV's Maureen O'Boyle, this event will include Safe Alliance updates, the premiere of our 2020 video, and a keynote address from advocate, blogger, coach, and domestic violence survivor Melody Gross. The event is free; pre-registration is required. Email Tenille Banner for more information.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we've seen a steady increase in calls to our 24/7 Greater Charlotte Hope Line, and we continue supporting survivors through our shelter, advocacy, counseling, legal services, and more. To meet the growing demand for survivor resources, the Breakfast of Hope will transform! This year, we're shifting our focus to "Hope Is Calling," sharing our message with a wider audience and promoting the Greater Charlotte Hope Line, a lifeline for Mecklenburg County residents. Hope Is Calling will provide safe, socially distanced opportunities for those who would typically attend our breakfast as well as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community to remain actively engaged with Safe Alliance throughout the month of October (Domestic Violence Awareness Month). Sponsors will have the opportunity to receive brand recognition through multiple media channels, including TV, print, and social. Champions of Hope commit to raise vital funds for Mecklenburg County survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.


Mecklenburg County DSS: Contact Jennifer Rupp,

October is usually the start of the year for employment transportation grants We were not approved for that DOT grant this year. Only medical transportation will be available, unfortunately. The only exceptions are if you are in one of the employment programs that offers bus passes. We will soon be doing outreach about low-income energy assistance program and how that will work – more to come. 


Just a reminder of the free resources available through Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.


Prayer for Non-Profit Leaders

Howard Thurman: We remember the light-bearers of life. We remember the moments in our own darkness when the way was lost and we became the sharers of the light brought into our darkness by a neighbor, the printed page, a kindly word gently spoken, a note written in tenderness and love. We thank Thee that we have not been deserted by the Light. 

Blessing from LeDayne Polaski, MeckMIN: We are grateful for all the many ways you are light-bearers and pray that you’ll also allow yourself to receive it from others. 


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