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September 1, 2022 | 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 subscribe to our newsletter.

Want to learn more about we do on our calls? Watch this short video clip!


Click Here to Access Zoom Recording:


In this Issue:



9/11: Sacred Threads at Queens University and Myers Park Baptist

9/15, 11 am: Next MeckMin leaders meeting

9.20, 11:30-1: Food for Thought: Turning Prayers into Action at Covenant Presbyterian. Registration required.

9/24, 10-2: Quarterly MeckMIN service project for the new Diaper Bank at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (3020 Hilliard Dr, Charlotte, NC)

9/29, 9:30 -11:30: Diaper Bank Opening Celebration

10/2: MeckMIN Youth event at Sikh Gudjwara

10/12, 2:30-3:30: MeckMIN EastSide Leaders meeting via Zoom

11/12: MeckMIN Youth Event at Catawba Nation

Opening Reflection

God is with you because God is in you and around you in the now of everything. Each new moment is a chance to trust this, to explore it. Now. And now. And now.


1. MeckMIN Updates

SACRED THREADS CONFERENCE September 11 | at Queens University and Myers Park Baptist

MeckMIN is a partner in organizing Sacred Threads: The Complex History of Interfaith Dialogue on September 11 at Queens University and Myers Park Baptist Church.

Eminent scholars will discuss Vatican II/Nostra Aetate and the influence of the Catholic Church in combatting antisemitism and Islamophobia, and attendees will discuss strategies for enhancing interfaith conversation in small groups. Nationally-known musicians will open and close creatively with uplifting music and will debut their original composition based on Nostra Aetate. As seating is limited, the program is also available virtually. Please consider attending this outstanding program.

Scholars include:

· Dr. Adrian Bird, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte, NC

· ​​Dr. Hadia Mubarak, Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

· Dr. Malka Simkovich, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL

· Dr. Matthew Tapie, Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, St. Leo College

A keynote will be delivered by Dr. Peter Ochs, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Featuring original musical composition on Nostra Aetate Beth Schafer, Bunzl Family Cantorial Chair at Temple Sinai in Atlanta and Jewish composer and musician and Reverend Ricky Manalo, CSP, Catholic Composer and Theologian


  • Learn about Sikhism with MeckMIN

  • November 12th – youth go to Catawba Nation

  • Please share the name and email address of the people who work with youth at your congregation or faith community so that we can share these opportunities and others.

Register here for October 2 event


We are seeking help in creating interfaith opportunities for middle and high school youth which are as appealing and accessible as possible.

Anyone who works with youth (whether as a staff person or as a volunteer) is asked to PLEASE help us out by taking a brief survey about the types of events and the times that are of most interest to you and your group.

Contact LeDayne for the survey link.


  • Sept 20th at noon. Looking at this local effort on gun safety.

  • This event will be in-person only. NO online option. NO recording. Lunch reservations due by Monday, September 12.

Register here.


September 24 | 10 AM

People of all faiths are invited to join us on Saturday, September 24 from 10 AM to 12 PM for a service project for Diaper Bank of North Carolina. We will be counting and wrapping diapers for distribution into the community. Register here

The Charlotte branch of the Diaper Bank is a brand new enterprise about which we are deeply excited because it is helping to meet a deep need. Our quarterly service projects are a great way to learn about needs and resources in our community, to serve the common good, AND to get to know other people of faith from throughout the area.

Many thanks to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (3020 Hilliard Dr, Charlotte, NC 28205) for hosting this event.

ANNUAL COMMUNITY-WIDE INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE Tuesday, November 22 | 7 - 9 PM (Prelude to begin at 6:45 PM) Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church

The 2022 Community-Wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will include Indigenous Carolina Catawba, Lumbee, and Tuscarora artists and activists in crafting a service that incorporates their traditional and current practices to address the mythmaking around the traditional Thanksgiving story, offer a truer and more complete story, and suggest actions toward justice that attendees and MeckMIN can take. While deeply rooted in Indigenous history and traditions, the service will be accessible to people of all faiths.

We gather each year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and the service is a delightful reminder of the rich and growing diversity of our community. We hope you'll mark your calendar and plan to join us!

If you too are excited about this opportunity, please consider becoming a sponsor of the service to enable us to equitably compensate the Indigenous leaders who are assisting with the service. The lead sponsorship is available for $5,000, and there are additional opportunities available for individuals, congregations, businesses, and fellow nonprofits ranging from $3,000 to $250.

Click here to sponsor this event. Click here to see our sponsorship opportunities


If you have a heart for work with people who are new to the US, you'll find the list below a helpful resource. It mentions numerous organizations doing good work along with particular needs and the person or people you should reach out to in order to get involved. If you're already involved, you may find the list of area resources helpful.

Check it out here:

Pandemic Update

CDC updated our CV19 community levels overnight and Mecklenburg County has been moved to a medium burden of illness level (from a high). Additionally, overnight CDC endorsed the bivalent CV19 booster that includes specific protection against Omicron and we expect to see that circulating in the community later next week with availability for the public.

2. Non-Profit Updates


If you are particularly concerned with supporting newly arrivals to our community, the Latin American Coalition is convening weekly (Tuesdays at 5) to address these needs. We hear that the pace of new arrivals, many of whom arrive with absolutely nothing, is only going to increase in the coming months. Email LeDayne for the Zoom link.


There is a great need for a faith community or company to adopt Starmount Elementary School. They have just become Title 1 and do not have a PTA. If your congregation is looking for a school partnership, Starmount would love to talk to you.


StriveCLT is a new non-profit group supporting families living in Southside Homes to reach levels of generational prosperity. Working with 25 families in Southside with kids at Marie G Davis. We are supporting families with ongoing resources and mentoring to grow and develop their skills with at-home reading support, digital literacy, financial literacy, civic and community engagement and networking. Registering families of K-3 to do after school tutoring. Looking for tutors. Training is provided through library (1 hour). Other ways to volunteer as well – digital, financial literacy, mentoring, and civic and community connection.

Please consider volunteering to read with K-3 students at Marie G. Davis...and to share the opportunity with your friends and network.

There's a link to register your volunteer interest in the attached flyer. Also, feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for your consideration in joining me (I've registered to volunteer!),

Sonya Castellino (formerly of the Read Charlotte team)


Patricia James |

The Children’s Home Society of North Carolina (CHS) was founded in 1902 to address the rising number of homeless children in the community and has evolved to meet the changing needs of North Carolina’s children and families. Once known primarily as an adoption agency, CHS is now recognized as a leader in innovative prevention and permanency services. Today CHS provides one of the most comprehensive and seamless arrays of child welfare services in the state, with a focus on evidence-based services, positively impacting more than 23,000 families in 2021. CHS’s mission is to promote the right of every child to a permanent, safe, and loving family. We reduce child trauma, break cycles of poverty and neglect, and build strong families in our communities. These services include family training and education, family preservation, foster care, adoption, post-adoption support, youth education, teen pregnancy prevention, clinical services, and professional training. It is our goal that through our wide array of programs that every child will be able to find their forever family.

We are looking for more foster parents. We want these families to reflect the diverse ethnic, religious picture of Charlotte. Anyone can be a foster parent – married, single, sexual orientation, etc. not barriers. Patricia would love to come and present what you need to be a foster parent. Do you have a paragraph you can put in a newsletter? We will tailor the presentation to your congregation. I can also share a paragraph for your newsletter. Just send her an email.

Brief Overview of CHS
Download PDF • 118KB


Community Relations Non-Discrimination Ordinance Investigator, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations

Office: 704.336.4229, Mobile: 980.215.3296,

We have compliance with ADA, Police awards and misconduct, also discrimination in housing, employment etc. Spreading awareness of the august 2021 NDO. But more people being aware of what is in the ordinance makes it work. Happy to come talk about the ordinance – sex, family status, etc. steps of investigation and conciliation process. We try to find a resolution. Give a call or send an email. Link to complaint form as well. If someone comes to you, let them know about the free resource.



Room In The Inn & Community Engagement Manager

Office: 704-334-3187 x 321

Room in the Inn is a winter shelter offered in conjunction with houses of worship and others. Dec 1 – March 31. This year we will be all of our screenings including COVID and testing if symptomatic. Wanding as well as behavioral and health checks. We are planning to operate without vaccine requirement. We know about the new vaccine coming out and we will have clinics on campus and accessibility. Masking will be required for guests and volunteers. (except while eating, sleeping or showering.) Social distance as possible but you can eat together. We are also doing contact tracing (within three days of close contact). Quarantining will take place on Roof Above sites rather than Room in the Inn sites. Host call at 5:30 where additional questions can be answered. We are always looking for additional hosts. Email Ashley.


Sarai Ordonez |

Please join us for an immersive evening of culture, music, and food to kick off Hispanic Heritage month at Camino on Thursday September 15 from 5-8pm! You will be the FIRST to hear the Mecklenburg County results of our Latino Community Strengths and Needs Assessment through the viewing of an exclusive video! We will also unveil Phase 2 of our Journey of Hope mural, host an international art show from Guatemalan artists, and an interactive digital media art walk around campus. The event will be in Spanish with English translations. We hope to see you there!

RSVP here

¡Únase a nosotros para una noche inmersiva de cultura, música y comida para dar inicio al mes de la Herencia Hispana en Camino el jueves 15 de septiembre de 5 - 8 pm! ¡Ustedes serán los primeros en escuchar los resultados de nuestra Evaluación de las Fortalezas y Necesidades de la Comunidad Latina en el Condado de Mecklenburg a través de un video exclusivo!

También presentaremos la segunda parte de nuestro mural Jornada de Esperanza, junto con una exposición de artistas guatemaltecos; y, una caminata interactiva de arte digital alrededor del campus. El evento será en español con traducciones en inglés. ¡Esperamos verle aquí!

Confirme su asistencia aquí


September 29 | 9:30 - 11:30 AM

We are officially open and ready to cover bottoms in the Queen City! Join us as we cut the ribbon and begin distributing product in CLT!

Thanks to the generosity of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County and the immense welcome that we have received from the community, we are opening our doors to serve the Greater Charlotte Area! We will have a ribbon cutting, tours of our facility, diaper wrapping demonstrations, and the chance to meet our staff dedicated to distributing dignity across the city! We will also have light refreshments. Admission is free - Please RSVP for more information. 10 am will be speeches and presentations.

Currently looking for volunteers to start distributing. Sign up for a session here:

If you are interested in having your team volunteer, email me at

Like/Follow us on Facebook to hear keep up with us:

Learn more about the Diaper Bank of NC

For more information about Hotspot Donations, Donation Drives, and At Home wrapping sessions email

RE-ENTRY SERVICES / Request for host for re-entry simulation

Mecklenburg County Re-Entry Services serves people returning from state and federal prisons and from jail (if they were serving a sentence, not just awaiting trial). We provide comprehensive case management for the barriers faced coming back to the community, everything from food and housing to education and employment. Additionally, we have a network of transitional houses that supports our housing component and manage vocational training contracts with some of our partners. The local reentry council, ReEntry Partners of Mecklenburg, which does a lot of education and advocacy about re-entry, prison resource fairs and second chance career expos is coordinated by our office. We are looking for people who are interested in contracting for housing. We provide furniture and more. It would mean housing people with records which we can help walk you through the insurance questions.

ReEntry Partners of Mecklenburg meetings third Th from 2-4 in person and virtual and is a network of 40 or so orgs that work on these issues. We are looking for a faith partner for these calls. We do a resource fair 2x year and everyone who attends should have a criminal record and the employers promise that they will hire those with records. There are also training resources there. WE also go into prisons and work with people there. We also do re-entry simulations. It imagines 4 weeks in reentry life. Those simulations are free of charge so if you are interested in one, please contact her. | 704-280-3660 Re-Entry Services for individuals returning from incarceration. We are looking for faith partners willing to offer ministry work with our population and their families. Re-Entry Partners of Mecklenburg meets 3rd Thursday, 2-4pm. If interested, send email to me and we will get you on the list. Also check out for more info on Re-Entry Services!


Cindy Adcock |

Reimagining America project began around 2 years ago by Rev. Dr. Sadler and Jennifer Roberts. They meet weekly. We are looking for others to join us. There are different areas where you can get involved. Cindy chairs the Criminal Justice Committee. We want to continue to educate houses of faith and get them involved in the solutions. You can go to our YouTube channel and see that. Additional environment, education and voting committees. Would love to know about others doing this work as well.


Pamela Pearson |

Sabrina Mommers |

501c3 national non-profit that provides voter id services. Constitutional amendment requirement to have id to vote which may or may not stand. It is confusing which makes for lower voter turnout. We want to remedy that. We provide free information and direct assistance for those who need a state id or drivers license. Employment, housing and health care all require id as well. We work with groups working in this area. Everything is free. We help them get underlying docs and the id with direct one on one help along with free transportation through uber and lyft to get docs.

Also happy to introduce Sabrina Mommers who joined a week ago Monday. She will reach out to discover opportunities. Partnerships are our most productive model for reaching people.


Just opened our digital marketplace. We have a class there on universal banking. You can also sign up for Amazon Web Services which begins on Sept 12. There is a google doc sign up form. Suggest you do that asap. The instructor is Dr. Amy Steele and she is interviewing today. Many classes are open to all but she screens for this class to ensure successful outcome. 80% of people say their higher salary is direct result of certification. This is the kind of class that qualifies you. If you have questions, please reach out. All classes are free to students.

CHURCH WORLD SERVICE - Interfaith Solidarity Fund Needs Funding

German Muñoz | Migrant Services Coordinator, Greensboro/Durham Immigration & Refugee

Office, 919-432-3566

It was great seeing you last Thursday on the call. Just wanted to reach out to say THANK YOU for allowing CWS and Comunidad Colectiva to come into this space and talk about the work we are doing to support undocumented immigrants in the Charlotte area; specifically, under the Greater Charlotte Area – ISF. I am hopeful that other faith communities will be inspired to learn more about the work we are doing and have the capacity to support their local fund. I wanted to pass along the donations link that we use for the Charlotte ISF. If any members are interested in learning more about the fund, how it operates or have other specific questions, feel free to let them know they can reach out or 919.432.3566


3. General Information


Tutors are needed as we head into the 2022-23 school year! Visit our Tutoring Dashboard, which helps connect partner organizations looking for tutors with volunteers looking for tutoring opportunities, to find opportunities near you.


Apply by November 18

The Mecklenburg County HOMES Program is currently accepting applications for property tax assistance. The grant program is designed to assist qualified residential homeowners with low to moderate income within Mecklenburg County to retain their homes by reducing the financial burden resulting from the robust real estate market. Qualified applicants can receive up to $340 in property tax assistance.

New applicants and previous recipients are encouraged to complete and submit the application by November 18. View a full list of eligibility requirements and apply online.


Through our Community Grant Program, we’re proud to support the needs of our surrounding community by providing grants to local organizations in the following categories: Children and Youth Services, Health, Housing and Shelter, Technology, and Women’s Services.

For consideration, please visit this page on September 1 to download and complete the Letter of Inquiry. In November, letters will be reviewed, and some organizations will be invited to complete a grant application request. The committee will meet annually to review grant requests. Grant announcements will be made in April.

· Projects for grant proposals must be a positive contribution to the community and must take place within Charlotte Metro’s current service area.

· Applications are not accepted for organizations whose primary purpose is religious, legislative, political, or athletic teams

· Awarded grants range from $2,500 – $10,000


The mission of the NBA Foundation is to drive economic opportunity in the Black community by funding programs that generate successful transitions from school to meaningful employment for Black youth. The Foundation supports national and local organizations, with priority given to those operating in NBA markets, which

· promote school-to-career employment opportunities;

· including job readiness, skill training, job placement, and career advancement for Black youth ages 14 to 24;

· Applicants must serve a minimum of 25 youth annually across their programs;

· and be a registered 501(c)(3), if operating in the U.S., or a registered T3010 if operating in Canada.

The Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for 2022 on a rolling basis. Visit the NBA Foundation's website to register for a grant application webinar or to access the online application portal.


Overdose deaths accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with CDC estimating that more than 105,000 people died from overdose in the 12 months ending in October 2021, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period. The HHS Partnership Center’s newly revised and released Practical Toolkit for Preventing Drug Overdose and Supporting Recovery in Faith and Community Settings your community can take to support those in treatment and recovery and lean into the hope of primary prevention efforts- both those that may save a person from overdose or prevent a young person from future misuse. The toolkit has been translated into Spanish for use in Spanish-speaking congregations and communities.

To further encourage these efforts, the HHS Partnership Center has released its newly revised Practical Toolkit for Preventing Drug Overdose and Supporting Recovery in Faith and Community Settings as a guide for the practical actions communities can take to support those seeking freedom from addiction and the restoration of their lives and livelihoods.

And, this year, the toolkit has been translated into Spanish for use by leaders serving Spanish-speaking congregations and communities.


Desiree Chappell | | CMS Pre-K Office (980-343-5950)

For additional information regarding partnerships with CMS, please contact

CMS Community Partnerships and Family Engagement, 980-343-6256,

We know that students who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs gain confidence by learning the expectations and routines of school through close communication with other children. Across Mecklenburg County, some schools and Child Development Centers (NC Pre-K) still have available seats. For more information about High Impact NC Pre-K Centers near you, click on this link.

As a Community Leader, you hold strong relationships with neighborhood residents, schools and other community leaders. In order to increase Pre-K enrollment and ensure our youngest learners gain access to a high-quality early learning experience, we need your help to get our youngest students into an available seat.

How you can help:

1. Share Pre-K Dept. Flyer (English/Spanish) at events you are attending or with community partners (local apartment complexes, community businesses, places families buy school supplies, etc). To request printed flyers to be sent via courier to your organization, clickhere.

Quick FAQs:

Q: What are the age requirements for Bright Beginnings or NC Pre-K?

A: Children are required to be four years old on or before Aug 31, 2022

Q: Do you have to be a resident of Mecklenburg County?

A: Yes. In order to participate in the Bright Beginnings or Mecklenburg County NC Pre-K program, a family must reside in Mecklenburg County.

Q: Should I encourage all age-eligible children to apply?

A: Yes! There are many factors that allow a child to be eligible for a pre-k program. We always encourage all families to apply.


Please take note of a good program to share with members who are in need of Wi-Fi, internet and Laptop/tablets. Please share with your list serves and community contacts.



“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman


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