Due to economic issues and the nation’s opioid crisis, North Carolina has its highest rate of foster care children since 2008.
Almost 12,000 children under age 18 in North Carolina are a part of the state’s foster care system. To be a part of the system, a child, aged 1 day to 18 years, must be certified by a Juvenile Court Judge as being “abandoned, abused or neglected” and be part of a family that is 150 percent below the state’s poverty level.
In North Carolina, approximately 650 youth exit foster care annually, resulting in a population of 2,600 young people who may need assistance at any given time.
Until 2010, foster care funding in the United States ended when a child reached age 18.
Local nonprofit organization Playing for Others (PFO) believes that the two most important questions we can ask in our lifetime are “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?”
PFO not only poses these questions for teens and young adults, but also helps to answer them through programs focused on Personal Development, Service, and the Arts. One of PFO's signature programs is their Buddy Program, where teens partner with children with disabilities (“buddies”) to build genuine friendships - but don’t take it from me, take it from Anna Gaeckle.
#52Tuesdays: Change Someone's World this Holiday Season
Written by: Eden Estabrook
The holiday months of November and December invites people. Thanksgiving kicks off the season with an attitude of thankfulness and instills a desire to give back some of what we have (#GivingTuesdayCLT, anyone?). December helps bring it home with a season of gift-giving and time spent with loved ones that reignites the November giving-back mentality.
With so much out there, it’s hard to know where to start. In a large city like Charlotte, it’s easy to feel like you’re barely scratching the surface with your efforts. Rest assured, every effort makes a difference. I’m sure of it. Here’s why:
The insightful Dr. Seuss once wrote, “To the world you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.”
It is always encouraging to see local for-profit businesses pairing up to do GOOD for local nonprofit organizations, especially this time of year.
We are excited to SHARE about the generosity of our friends at 2ULaundry, a local delivery laundry and dry cleaning service in the area, who are supportive of the nonprofit community year-round, but who are doing something special this holiday season.
2ULaundry will be volunteering as a company for Crisis Assistance Ministry, Saturday December 15th. They will have almost all of their full time employees at the Crisis Assistance Ministry free store to help however they can for the majority of the day including helping to collect clothing donations, sort them, move items around, and even help those who need it while they are shopping through the store.
I love dogs. I do. I grew up with dogs as pets. My parents got our first family dog around the time I was born and for my first 12 years of life, Chester was always by my side. When Chester passed, we had another dog. And now as an adult, I have two very loving -- and slightly spoiled -- rescue dogs. I can’t imagine not having a dog.
We also happened to live down the street from what is now the Guide Dogs of America training facility. Back in the 1980s, the organization primarily trained German Shepherds to be used as seeing-eye dogs for those with visual impairments. It was the first time I realized dogs were more than just pets to some people.
While my dogs serve no other purpose than companionship to me and my family, many dogs are being trained to provide Charlotteans with some very special services.
Bill Johnston is co-founder of Recover, a sustainable apparel company that upcycles plastic into fabric to make clothing and other gear. Let Me Run is proud to have Recover as an official merchandise partner and supplier of all of our race shirts across the country.
Each Recover Let Me Run shirt is made of 8 recycled plastic bottles and upcycled cotton, and is part of inspiring and integrating environmental education into the Let Me Run program. Together, Let Me Run and Recover have already diverted 192,000 plastic bottles from the landfill, saved over 715,200 KWH of energy, saved over 219,120 lbs of CO2 emissions, and saved 49.9 million gallons of water.
GUTS: CELEBRATING 10 YEARS of CREATIVES CARVING OUT WISHES
If you have never heard of GUTS, allow me to give you yet another reason to love this time of the year.
In the past ten years, this family friendly pumpkin carving event has grown from a small, internal team-building activity for the employees at CRAFTED, which took place in a parking lot just outside of Uptown Charlotte, to a much anticipated community wide, friendly competition attracting hundreds of people to BB&T Ballpark- all for an amazing cause.
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” -Walt Disney
When St. Gabriel Catholic School parent Allison Walsh met Promising Pages Executive Director Kristina Cruise, something magical happened.
St. Gabriel Catholic School is a co-ed, K - 5th grade open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. Promising Pages is a Charlotte-based nonprofit mission is to provide ownership of books to underserved children and cultivate a lifelong love of reading through innovative literacy programs and partnerships.
“After meeting Kristina at an event, I loved the idea of having a place to donate the dozens of books that my children had outgrown,” Walsh said. “As we talked further it came to me that our school might be interested doing this as one of our service projects.”
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!!