Most people have heard of the Special Olympics, but do you know about the Special Olympics World Games? They just took place this past March 14-21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities is no small gig- check out these numbers:
170+ Countries Represented
3,000 Honored Guests
….making this the largest international sporting and humanitarian event of the year!
In 2012, RunningWorks began as a way to use running to reach out to the homeless community and encourage them to rediscover the value of hard work, determination and self-respect.
While running remains central to the organization, RunningWorks has expanded its scope to include the ultimate goal of finding permanent housing for its participants.
“At our core it’s still about the health and wellness component,” said RunningWorks Chief Operating Officer Matt Sharp. “Running and physical fitness, motion and just getting out and building relationships during that time allows us to understand what the needs of these individuals are. Sometimes it’s mental wellness, or finding jobs, or transportation, or even housing.”
My grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) when I was a child. Prior to her diagnosis, she was a gifted musician and was always playing her piano at home or the organ at her church. Until she couldn’t.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive brain disease resulting from the malfunction and death of vital cells in the brain, known as neurons. The neurons are in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, which is the chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. The disease affects each patient differently and the symptoms can change from day to day.
For my grandmother, her symptoms included tremors that affected her ability to play a keyboard.
“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia
Having one true friend can make all the difference in the world for many of us, but a single friendship can be life-changing for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 2018, there were 41,193 North Carolina students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) enrolled in public schools. Eighty-three percent of adolescents (ages 12-21) with IDD have experienced bullying, which puts them at risk for crushing loneliness and depression.
Here’s another fact- Brixx Pizza does a whole lot of GOOD for the Charlotte community.
Have you ever noticed the feeling you get walking into a Brixx Pizza location? No, not hunger. The other one, the feeling that you are welcome.
That is not an accident- Brixx Pizza strives for each of their five Charlotte locations to be neighborhood restaurants that welcome everyone and that are involved in the community that surrounds them.
"We're locals who love to support local, and staying involved with our community helps our neighborhoods thrive,” said Managing Partner, Jeff Van Dyke. “Engaging with and giving back to our community has been our favorite way to thank our Charlotte neighbors for supporting us for more than 20 years.”
If you do not know Ohavia Phillips, frankly, you are missing out.
Ohavia is a local media personality, and not only is she great at was she does, but she uses her talent for GOOD.
Ohavia is a perfect example of someone who knows that giving back is personal and looks different for everyone. While some people prefer hands-on volunteer opportunities such as helping to build houses and assemble sandwiches, others, such as Ohavia, choose to give back by using their personal skill set. The beauty of it? Both hands-on and skill based volunteer opportunities support our nonprofit community in a different, but equally important, way.
Nonprofits are often created when a void that exists in the landscape of a city is realized.
FORCLT was born out of a realization by founder, Rob Kelly, a pastor of 13 years at the time, that the Church in Charlotte was deeply divided. He saw a need for unity among church organizations and knew that only good things would come out of a united church community, one that would work together to fill the needs of the city. Since its inception in 2015, FORCLT’s primary purpose has been “to unite the Church to transform our city.”
In 2017, Diamond Williams was a shy teen in crisis. She was young, pregnant and living in a home for teen moms. That’s when she met Foundation For Girls Founder Shreya Mantha and began a new path for her life.
Foundation For Girls began in 2014 to change the life trajectory of vulnerable girls. The organization consists of a community of passionate coaches and gives access to opportunities and the scaffolding for success through its four-pillar programming in Digital Literacy, Financial Wellness, Leadership, and Health & Well-Being.
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a back bone, and a funny bone.”
Those words were spoken by Reba McEntire, but represent Three Bone Theatre’s business philosophy. Founded in 2012, the Charlotte-based arts organization produces four shows each year with the understanding that great theatre can be a catalyst for conversation and change in our community.
“The show is only half of it,” said Three Bone Theatre Executive Director Becky Schultz. “It needs to be fantastic, but it’s a means to the end of getting our community to think differently about topics that are important … The shows educate you about a particular topic and you leave being motivated to be engaged in that topic and we’ll tell you about a community partner focused on that area,”
We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!