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September 15, 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:

 

IMPORTANT DATES

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, 11 am: Next MeckMIN leaders meeting

9/30, 11-1: JCSU our Spiritual Life Fair, at JCSU “on the block”

10/2: MeckMIN Youth event at Sikh Gurdwara

11/12: MeckMIN Youth Event at Catawba Nation

12/16: Canopy Realtor® Association Holiday Awards Luncheon


Opening Reflection


The most important moment in our history is NOW!



 

1. MeckMIN Updates



OCTOBER 2 YOUTH EVENT /NOVEMBER 12 YOUTH EVENT





  • 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





YOUTH LEADER SURVEY

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.



IN PERSON FOOD FOR THOUGHT | FAIR, SAFE, & SECURE ELECTIONS IN NC: A BIPARTISAN EVENT October 18 | 12 - 1 PM Covenant Presbyterian Church


Lunch starts at 11:30 AM.

Join us as we hear from members of the Voting Rights Committee of the Reimagining America Project, a group that has worked to dispel misinformation about rampant fraud in our elections system and continues to focus on safety, fairness, and overcoming racial disparities in voting rights in NC.


This event will be in-person only. NO online option. NO recording. Lunch reservations due by Monday, October 10. Register here.




MECKMIN QUARTERLY INTERFAITH SERVICE PROJECT

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



A CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG WORK W/IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES: ORGANIZATIONS & RESOURCES

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 Updates


COVID update on Mecklenburg County


Overall, the burden of illness back to low and cases are declining as are emergency visits and wastewater monitoring is showing less prevalence of disease.


BUT -- Cases among children are rising rapidly as school resumes. Please continue to talk with parents of youth about boosters. See attachment for information.



MeckMIN_childrensinfo
.pdf
Download PDF • 319KB

COVID AND FLU

You can get both on the same day but we recommend that you use different arms


Updated COVID-19 boosters are now available for everyone 12 and older.

Information is also provided in Spanish below. (Información en español a continuación.)


Let your communities know that it’s time to think about their next COVID booster shot. Following the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 12 and older get an updated COVID-19 booster, when eligible, to protect against the latest COVID-19 variants. The updated COVID-19 booster targets both the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. It offers the most up to date protection against COVID-19. As of mid-August, these subvariants make up nearly 90% of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina. The booster, like all COVID-19 vaccines, is safe to take alongside the annual flu vaccine. It’s important that as we head into the fall and winter, and more time gathering indoors, everyone stays up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to help protect against serious illness, hospitalization, death, and long-term complications from the virus. There are many people across our state who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 complications – and are also at risk for serious flu complications – older people, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. We need your help to make sure every North Carolinian has easy access to the information they need to protect themselves and others. Please share the resources below with the communities you serve: 

To learn more about the COVID-19 booster, visit MySpot.nc.gov or join us during our next Fireside Chat and tele-townhall at 6 p.m. on September 20th. COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Flu vaccines are available now and often at little to no cost.


Las dosis de refuerzo actualizadas contra el COVID-19 ya están disponibles para todas las personas de 12 años o más. Comunícale a tus comunidades que ya llego el momento de pensar en su próxima dosis de refuerzo contra el COVID. Tras la autorización de la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos la semana pasada, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades recomiendan que todas las personas de 12 años en adelante reciban una dosis de refuerzo actualizada contra el COVID-19, cuando sean elegibles, para protegerse contra las variantes más recientes de COVID-19. Las dosis de refuerzo actualizadas contra el COVID-19 se dirigen tanto a la cepa de coronavirus original como a las subvariantes de Ómicron BA. 4 y BA.5 y ofrecen la protección más actualizada contra el COVID-19. Desde agosto, estas subvariantes representan casi el 90% de los casos de COVID-19 en Carolina del Norte. Las dosis de refuerzo actualizadas, al igual que todas las vacunas contra el COVID-19, pueden aplicarse junto a la vacuna contra la gripe anual de forma segura. Es importante que a medida que nos acerquemos al otoño y al invierno, y pasemos más tiempo reunidos bajo un techo o en lugares cerrados, todos se mantengan al día con sus vacunas y sus dosis de refuerzo actualizadas contra el COVID-19 para ayudar a protegerse contra enfermedades graves, hospitalizaciones, muertes y complicaciones a largo plazo a causa del virus. Muchas personas en nuestro estado corren un alto riesgo de sufrir complicaciones graves a causa del COVID-19 y también corren el riesgo de sufrir complicaciones graves por la gripe: las personas mayores, mujeres embarazadas y personas con sistemas inmunológicos comprometidos.

Necesitamos tu ayuda para asegurar que todos los habitantes de Carolina del Norte tengan fácil acceso a la información que necesitan para protegerse a sí mismos y a los demás. Comparte los siguientes recursos con las comunidades con las que trabajas:

Para obtener más información sobre las dosis de refuerzo contra el COVID-19, visita Vacunate.nc.gov. También puedes acompañarnos durante nuestro próximo Fireside Chat (un evento virtual y por teléfono en inglés) a las 6 p.m. el 20 de septiembre. Las vacunas contra el COVID-19 son gratuitas para todos, independientemente de tener seguro médico o del estado migratorio. Las vacunas contra la gripe ya están disponibles y, a menudo, a bajo costo o gratuitas.


MONKEY POX


Monkey Pox cases are dropping. You can find updates on case counts, vaccine info on the Meck County website. To schedule a vaccine go here: https://book.appointment-plus.com/d0pdr29g#/Bivalent. For information go here: https://www.mecknc.gov/HealthDepartment/CDControl/GeneralCDControl/Pages/Monkeypox.aspx No longer a waitlist. Eligibility criteria has also changed. It is a two part vaccine with a 28-day period between the 1st and 2nd shots.


2. Non-Profit Updates


BRAVEWORKS


Lauren Smith | Braveworks Program Manager

lauren@braveworks.org | 864-386-4668


New Program Director. Changed names from Fashion for Compassion. They have been working with women overcoming trauma for 10 years, e.g. domestic violence survivors and the refugee and immigrant Community. Faith based out of DIlworth. They also use space at Project 658.


Programs:

  • Wednesday from 10-2. Help clients with job readiness skills and jewelry making until noon and then a spiritual hour and the last hour with mentors. They are there between 6-12 months and get a stipend during that time.

  • Friday Group: refugee and immigrant communities at 658. Teach them jewelry making and work with them on culture and acclimation as well as connecting them with resources in Charlotte. 658 provides childcare and lunch. They all enter and graduate the cohort together. It is a 3-month program.


You can support in the following ways:

  • Share information about the program – refer women who might be interested

  • Prepare or purchase a meal to share with the group

  • Offer to mentor women (can be a one-time thing or an ongoing one)



GREENFAITH


Amy Brooks | amy@greenfaith.org

Faiths for Climate justice:


Effort to bring together people of various faiths to work on climate change issues. Several opportunities leading up to October 21 when we will host a vigil in uptown Charlotte.


Focus: Stop investing in fossil fuels. This pressure works. South African high court ruled Shell’s right to offshore drilling was illegal. Plus a Minnesota judge said that indigenous camp opposing pipeline could remain. In LA a St. James parish petrochemical plant had its permit vacated.


We are uniquely positioned as a bank headquarters

Tues Sept 27th at 11:45 at Union Theological a breakfast to learn more and find out more about how to become more engaged

Fun Faithful Fridays

Events in uptown Charlotte at noon. If you can only make one, go to Oct 21st. Join us September 23, October 7 and October 21.



ADULT ESL, COLLEGE and CAREER READINESS at CPCC


Kacie Klaren | Program Developer | IELCE | Kacie.klaren@cpcc.edu


Free Resource for English language learners from Basic to Advanced. 6 different levels for Adult learners. Includes basic skills like communicating with doctors’ offices to advanced

Pronunciation, citizenship, across 4 campuses. 12 different community based locations. Online, in person, and across times.



Kacie Klaren

Program Developer, IELCE

Adult ESL, College and Career Readiness


Helps ESL students who are interested in short term certificate pathways to move into career ladders. Offering 5 different pathways. Work with community partners. Auto Tech, culinary, community health worker, medical health office administration. Dual enroll in the workforce training program and we provide the language support and ESL companion classes.

Also, Refugee education program. Provides ESL services for students that qualify for refugee support services



Hannah Oxendine | CPCC Refugee Education | Hannah.Oxendine@cpcc.edu | 704-412-4259

Those who qualify for program take ESL and citizenship classes and get additional support like bus passes and more. Smaller case load so greater one-on-one attention.


Search for adult ed and refugee education pages on the cpcc website.


AMERICAN RED CROSS - GREATER CAROLINAS REGION VOLUNTEER FAIR

Amy Korb | Senior Volunteer Recruitment Specialist | amy.korb@redcross.org | (704) 221-8862


Sept 20 12-1, via Microsoft Teams.– Ready Set Volunteer. virtual volunteer info session. 90% of work staff is volunteer. Come and find out more about how you can plug in.

Recruiting for disaster services volunteers will be heavily emphasized. Flyer attached



URBAN LEAGUE


The Digital Innovation Center (DICE) is officially open to the public. This satellite location is a collaboration between Urban League of Central Carolinas (ULCC) and Mecklenburg County in support of CareerBridge/WTB (Working Women, Thriving Families, Better Communities) – ULCC’s workforce development program which provides the community with the skills, tools and certifications needed for high-demand careers. The Digital Innovation Center is a state-of-the-art facility offering CareerBridge/WTB classes in Universal Banking, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Office among others.

Find out more about career bridge opportunities here:


And look for the CNA certification program beginning Oct 24.



FILL MY CUP!


Sheila Laury | Executive Director Director@fmcliteracy.org | Office: (704) 705-9797



Fill My Cup! Adult Literacy and Adult Basic Education Services Organization has served our Charlotte - Mecklenburg Community for nearly 20 years. We teach adults to read, improve their reading and obtain needed functional adult literacy skills. My Cup!


In addition to our Adult Literacy tutoring services, we are now providing digital skills training to the aging, to help support life skills and employability interests. We really need the Church and Faith Community's help in sharing the news about a free digital skills training that we offer to those age 50+ ( women, People of Color, and those who have a low-income). As a Licensed Partner of AARP, Fill My Cup! conducts the Digital Skills Ready@50+™ training sessions at the Valerie C. Woodard Conference Center.

AARP Digital Skills Ready @50+™ Training Sessions currently being conducted. The sessions start at 10am, and are approximately 75 minutes in length, on most Tuesdays, and some Thursdays.


Participants should REGISTER:

CALL: (704) 705-9797


OUR TRAINING LOCATION:

Valerie C. Woodard Conference Center

3205 Freedom Drive, Building Entrance 'E'

Charlotte, North Carolina 28208


SEATS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR UPCOMING SESSIONS! REGISTRATION IS OPEN!



CAN SOMEONE LEND A PORTABLE STAGE?


John Giampaolo | Community Engagement Specialist jgiampaolo@alliancehealthplan.org | Cell: 704-677-9676,


Alliance Health and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to host a whole person awareness event on November 5, 2022. We are in need of a portable stage that will be used for our vendor/speakers to address topics involving physical and behavioral health issues. Do you happen to know of any organization that may have access to this item and possibly let us borrow it? We are looking for a small section of stage approximately 8’ X 8’. I appreciate any assistance that you can offer.



SPIRITUAL LIFE FAIR - JCSU: TABLES STILL AVAILABLE


Kendal P. Mobley, Th.D.| Associate Professor of Religion

kmobley@jcsu.edu | (980) 643-0303


The Spiritual Life Center of Johnson C. Smith University invites your church, mosque, masjid, temple, religious community, or religious student organization to reserve a table at our Spiritual Life Fair, Friday, September 30, from 11 AM to 1 PM, on "the Block" between Biddle Hall and the Student Center. This is a great opportunity to meet our students, faculty, and staff, and share information about your organization.


Each rectangular table will be 6 or 8 feet long, and each table will have two chairs. You may cover or decorate your table as you please. This is an outdoor event, so dress appropriately for the weather. In case of inclement weather, we will move the event indoors and notify you of the change. There is no charge for table reservations, but the number of tables is limited. Tables will be reserved on a "first-come, first-served" basis. The deadline for reservations is September 23.


To reserve your table, email kmobley@jcsu.edu Send the name of your organization and the names and email addresses of the people who will represent your organization at the Spiritual Life Fair. You may name one or two representatives.




We have the mobile health unit here, sponsored by One Health Charlotte, every other Thursday from 10AM-3PM. No appointments needed, and no insurance required. The next visit will be September 22nd (next week). Our address is 1817 Central Ave #215, Charlotte, NC. Contact LeDayne@meckmin.org if you want to propose your own location as well.




Liz Schob | ebschob@gmail.com | 910-489-2943



Weekly Food pantry has moved from Clanton to Sugar Creek corridor. We are near the sugar creek library. Spread the word. We do not require any id or proof of anything.


The Community Food Pantry continues to need your support. If you are able, please donate the following items and drop them off at 2920 N Tryon St Charlotte, NC 28206 Suite 150 anytime on Wednesdays after 10:30 AM or bring them to the church on Sunday mornings.

If you need an alternative time or cannot make the trip, but would still like to donate, please email us at wedgewood.church@yahoo.com to schedule a pickup time.


You can also donate and volunteer

  • Mail a check made payable to Wedgewood Community Church (PO Box 18912 Charlotte, NC 28218).Indicate it is for the Food Pantry.

  • Give via PayPal (select the "food pantry" option).

  • If you would like to volunteer at the food pantry, you are welcome to come starting at 3:30pm on Wednesdays to bag groceries and prepare the food pantry for drive-through service from 5:30-7:00pm.

These are the items we need the most:

Canned tuna

Pb & j

Canned fruit

Canned soup

Canned vegetables

Ramen

Pasta sauce

Dried pasta

Breakfast items (cereal, oatmeal, etc.)

Macaroni and cheese

Beans

Snacks

Diapers (all sizes)

Baby wipes

Toilet paper

Deodorant

Toothpaste

Toothbrushes

Toilet paper

Hand wipes

Shampoo

Conditioner

Shaving razors

Shaving cream

Reusable grocery bags with handles (like the kind you find at checkout)

Plastic grocery bags



New NC coordinator: Sabrina Mommers | sabrina@voteriders.org

980-346-4127


Get IDs for those without one so they can vote but also for other uses.



THE 2022 HUMANITARIAN AWARD FROM THE CANOPY HOUSING FOUNDATION: Nominations are now being now accepted.


Stacy S. Baum | Sponsorship Coordinator

704-940-3147 (o) | 704-808-0423 (m)


The Canopy Housing Foundation (the charitable arm of the Canopy Realtor® Association) is pleased to announce that nominations are now being now accepted for the 2022 Humanitarian Award. This is a fantastic opportunity to recognize to a deserving person, organization or project. The ideal nominee has demonstrated the characteristics of a humanitarian and as a result, has greatly benefitted our community through their efforts. This initiative is open to the entire community, and self-nominations will be accepted. Those nominating and those receiving nominations DO NOT NEED TO BE Realtors® and the nominations are not limited to housing initiatives. DEADLINE TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION IS OCTOBER 31.


The award will be announced as part of the 2022 Canopy Realtor® Association Holiday Awards Luncheon on December 16th. In addition, the foundation will donate $5,000 to a non-profit organization of the recipient’s choice.


Additional information on the Foundation and the award can be found on our website. A editable PDF of the application is attached, and will soon be available on our website as well.


Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions, and share with others who might know of a person, project or organization deserving of consideration. Lastly, please remember that our deadline is October 31st, and we cannot accept late applications.



UNIVERSITY SOUP KITCHEN “24 Hour U-Haul Project”

Joshua


It’s almost time for our 8th annual “24 Hour U-Haul Project” All September long we will be taking donation boxes to businesses, churches, schools, other non-profits, student groups and organizations, families, and anyone who would like to participate. We are asking these different groups to fill the boxes up all month long, then return them (or have us pick them up) on Friday September 23rd-Saturday September 24th as we try to fill up a U-Haul with these donations in one day. During the last few hours of the 24-hour period we have a celebration on campus at UNCC COED Quad (area in front of the Student union). The celebration will feature free (family friendly)performances from student groups, local artist and groups, and student fraternities and sororities. We will have free resources and information for students and families participating in the event. If your group wants to perform, have a vendor resource table (free) or receive a donation box to fill up for this year’s event, please reply to this email.

Cashapp: $helpuniversity

Venmo: @universitysoupkitchen



REFUGEE SUPPORT SERVICES

Our summer plants have left the building and the fall/winter plants have gone into the ground! We are looking for volunteers every other week to help with watering, harvesting, and weeding. The time commitment for this role is at least one day a week biweekly, up to three days a week. The can be done in either the morning or the evening and is a great opportunity for individuals, pairs, or families. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, please complete this form.


Knit Together Group (KTG) Artisan Events Volunteers

The fall and winter is a busy season for the Knit Together Group! We are looking for volunteers to help support the program by going to events (think festivals and holiday markets) to share information about RSS and KTG as well as the wonderful items crafted by the group. This is an excellent opportunity for people looking for weekend opportunities as most events are on weekends. The time commitment for this role varies and depends on the individual events through the end of the year. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, please complete this form.


Help Desk Volunteers

Help Desk has gone back in person 3 days a week and is in need of many volunteers to help assist program participants in accessing community resources and solving immediate challenges. The time commitment for this role is at least once a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays between 9am and 1pm) for a minimum of six months. Training is provided. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, please complete this form.


Refugee 101 Remote Refreshers

Refugee 101 is the first part of our initial onboarding process for new volunteers but is also a good refresher for those of you who have been around for awhile. We are frequently updating information about current events as they impact forced migration and resettlement.


To sign up for a session: click the link below, click the "Sign Up" box for the session that works for you, and follow the instructions. If you run into any issues in trying to sign up or if you have other questions, please don't hesitate to respond to this email and let me know. Refugee 101 Remote Registration


Finally, if you are involved with other community groups that would like to have us join one of your meetings by Zoom to present Refugee 101, let us know! Community educational opportunities are an important part of our mission and we'd love to work with your groups to help connect and strengthen our local community together.

 

3. General Information



ENERGY BILL ASSISTANCE


If you're having trouble paying your energy bill, you can apply for Department of Social Services assistance. (Mecklenburg County)


FREE LAPTOPS



Between now and next summer, 20,000 adults in Mecklenburg County will get free laptop computers, courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The giveaway is a part of the MeckTech Computer Kit Program, an initiative to help county residents access digital resources. Why it matters: Almost 55,000 households in Charlotte, most of which Black and brown, don’t have laptops or access to the internet. The Center for Digital Equity (CDE), which is part of the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative, is partnering with the library and the Emergency Connectivity Fund in the computer giveaway. Do you qualify for a refurbished computer? Keep reading to learn more.


SUICIDE PREVENTION


September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month providing an opportunity to equip ourselves with the latest information, toolkits, and resources to prevent suicide in our communities.


988 PSA

Share the 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline Public Service Announcement (PSA) to hear faith leaders share their lived experiences, address stigma, and direct those who need help or know someone who does to the 988 Lifeline.





 

PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS


"I believe that deep wisdom resides within each of us. Some call this voice by different sacred names—Spirit, God, Jesus, Allah, Om, Buddha-nature, Waheguru. Others think of this voice as the intuition one hears when in a calm state of mind... Whatever name we choose, listening to our deepest wisdom requires disciplined practice. The loudest voices in the world right now are ones running on the energy of fear, criticism, and cruelty. The voices we spend the most time listening to, in the world and inside our own minds, shape the way we see, how we feel, and what we do. When I spend time listening to people who are speaking from their deepest wisdom, I can feel understanding, inspiration, and energy nourish the root of my own wisdom. But I must not lose myself at the feet of others. My most vigilant spiritual practice is finding the seconds of solitude to get quiet enough to hear the Wise Woman in me."

- excerpt from See No Stranger, Chapter 9, Valarie Kaur

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