In 2010, Dale Gillmore, had a for-profit business but wasn’t seeing the community impact where he was donating and desired to be more vested in social programs helping children. Corporations often have entire departments for social responsibility initiatives, but Gillmore experienced little tangible tie to the projects in which his small business was investing. Thus, he started Make an Impact Foundation (MAIF) as a grant program to promote the education and well-being of children, so he could directly invest in the lives of children in the Charlotte region. MAIF identifies children in severe need (homeless, impoverished, etc.) as well as those with learning or emotional needs, disabilities, diseases or chronic illness and creates opportunities to produce change in their lives.
Each year, cardiovascular disease kills more citizens in North Carolina than cancer, AIDS, accidents, violence and alcohol abuse combined, and it accounts for one out of every four deaths in our area.
The HeartBright Foundation was created to address this issue and help those, particularly in under-served and at-risk populations, who are dealing with heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
HeartBright’s free programming includes an expansive community outreach program that focuses on education, nutrition and fitness as well as a free clinic that provides treatment, access and support for patients.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that not only impacts the individual who is diagnosed, but those who care for them as well. Caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease may end up feeling isolated or overwhelmed by the challenges they face. With North Carolinians providing an estimated 517 million hours of unpaid care to people living with Alzheimer’s—a contribution valued at $7.3 billion—caregivers feelings this way are most definitely not alone.
Hadassah is an international women’s organization whose mission is to heal our world. Through programs, research and advocacy, Hadassah works every day to bring healing where it is needed most in the US, Israel and around the world. Everything that the Charlotte Hadassah chapter does is in support of this mission.
At the heart of Hadassah is a focus on health and wellness. Hadassah has two hospitals in Israel that are global leaders in care, treatments and research whose work serves over a million women, men and children, regardless of religion, race or nationality.
Locally, Hadassah champions a host of medical causes, most notably breast cancer, infertility and heart health.
Did you know that more than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis (CF), and that approximately 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year?
Maybe, we should take a step back…
Do you know what CF even is? A less common chronic condition with a lower patient count, CF is a progressive, genetic disease that can lead to persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.
Maia Campbell is one inspirational 14-year old. She saw her parents helping out and giving back to the community and became curious about how she and her siblings could get involved too. She and her parents quickly realized that many non-profits have age limits and require volunteers to be at least 16.
So, what did she do? She founded Kidz That Care, an organization to identify ways that kids can help and volunteer. “We decided on a name and before you knew it, we had an organization and slowly, but surely started getting some attention,” said Maia.
This month, our #SpotlightOnCLT is shining on our local nonprofit partners who serve and support individuals living with a chronic disease, as well as their families and caregivers, in various ways.
Some of these organizations exist to provide information, financial relief, and raise awareness, while others were created to bring joy or provide emotional support to those with a chronic disease. Though their programs and services vary in purpose, their importance in our community does not. They are all essential to our neighbors facing chronic diseases.
So, what is a chronic disease? A disease is considered chronic if it persists for at least one year and requires ongoing medical attention or monitoring. Some of the most common chronic diseases include heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and alzheimers.
If anything else, COVID has taught us that we can pivot digitally to try and connect, learn, plan, meet, etc. Children sit by the millions in front of screens for school, Zoom lessons, video games, and the recent digital surge thrust upon us has organizations like Digi-Bridge finding ways to connect their mission to current needs.
“We meet students where they are. Whatever your environment is, we ask how do we integrate our learning into your environment?,” Digi-Bridge CEO Alyssa Sharpe explains.
In the digital age, IT is the backbone of the modern organization. As critical as it is, it’s complex, and honestly, not everyone’s dominant skill set. Nobody knows that better than us writers. We can pull drafts of inspirational stories together in a matter of minutes fueled by nothing but a bottle of Dr. Pepper, but if our computers go down… oh boy. It’s not good (especially hyped up on all that Dr. Pepper). I remember once when I was in college I was desperate enough to hand-write an essay on a NOTEPAD, which I later transferred to a Microsoft Word doc. I felt like I was in the stone ages. But, I digress.
SHARE Charlotte is proud to be partnering with AvidXchange for the first ever Tech Rising Virtual Summit on February 25th. This event will provide a virtual space to bring together local government officials, public school representatives, business leaders, nonprofits and members of the community all who are playing a key part in bridging the digital divide right here in Charlotte.
We had the opportunity to ask Michael Praeger, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AvidXchange, some of our most questions surrounding the digital divide and their role in creating more equity in technology.
Why is the digital divide such a serious issue in our community?
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!!