It's a question no child should have to ask. But for kids who rely on free and reduced meals at school for daily nutrition, it's a question they could face every Friday afternoon. Sixty-five hours of weekend with an empty belly is a long time, especially for a child trying to grow and learn.
Blessings in a Backpack is tackling child hunger by giving backpacks full of food to elementary age students every weekend for the entire school year. The national organization feeds more than 87,300 children in nearly 1,092 schools in 45 states.
Kerri Wallace is passionate about supporting Charlotte nonprofits. So when November rolled around, she decided to use her business to spread the word about #GivingTuesdayCLT in an ALL CAPS way. Literally.
Charlotte Yard Cards is a local, family-run business that brings joy to others by surprising people of all ages with customized messages on their front lawns. Imagine waking up on your tenth birthday to spot "HAPPY DOUBLE DIGITS" in giant letters in front of your house. Or coming home from a military deployment to find a unique welcome message waiting for you.
Did you know that daily an average of 13 children are diagnosed with a brain or central nervous system tumor? Or that brain tumors take the lives of more children in the United States than any other disease?
Vs. Cancer, a signature fundraising campaign for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, gives sports teams, athletes and communities the platform to help children with brain tumors and other forms of pediatric cancer. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is the world's leading nonprofit dedicated to the childhood brain tumor community, and for many participating teams in Charlotte, the proceeds from their Vs. Cancer campaign help fund child life programs at Levine Children’s Hospital and lifesaving pediatric brain tumor research.
That's how Alexis Gordon explains why she made a simple yet powerful choice for Digi-Bridge on #GivingTuesdayCLT.
Alexis has always been big on supporting nonprofits, but she's especially drawn to the mission of Digi-Bridge because of her own experiences with tech education. Digi-Bridge aims to equip 21st century learners with opportunities to succeed in the digital age—something that Alexis believes is essential for the next generation.
A huge hurdle for families embarking on their new lives in Charlotte is simply not knowing how to navigate the ins and outs of daily life. Buying groceries, enrolling children in school or figuring out how to read bills are all monumental tasks. Refugee Support Services was born out of the need to directly help families facing these and other challenges, providing them with support and connection to promote self-sufficiency and ultimately enrich the Charlotte community.
According to Executive Director Rachel Humphries, “We are very centered on bottom-up programming. We tried a top-down approach and it just didn’t resonate with our families.”
Based directly on these needs, Refugee Support Services focuses on five main areas:
Did you know that supporting a nonprofit can be as easy as eating at a restaurant?
It’s true! Last November during #GivingTuesdayCLT, The Abandon Project set up several fundraisers throughout Charlotte to raise funds for their year-round, community empowerment vision in the Wallace Woods neighborhood. Chipotle, City BBQ, and even Kendra Scott Jewelry store, all donated portions of their sales to The Abandon Project leading up the eagerly-anticipated #GivingTuesdayCLT celebration. With the funds raised, The Abandon Project was able to continue pouring into the lives of the kids they serve and building relationships with the community.
27: That's the number of people who traveled together to Uganda ten years ago to serve communities displaced by war.
658: That's the number of bricks the group made in one day for one of their construction projects. It was a record for the most bricks made in one day. It was also a number that stuck with those 27 people as they returned to the U.S., where they pledged to continue serving communities in need.
Just over a month ago, the city of Charlotte united for a celebration of the arts called Charlotte SHOUT!– a festival showcasing the power art has to bring people together. Art provides a method of communication through which people of all cultures and backgrounds can express themselves. At OurBridge for Kids, they take this phenomenon and use it to nurture the children of the refugee and immigrant community in our city.
As the largest refugee resettlement city in North Carolina, Charlotte welcomes over 600 individuals in just one year’s time. What some struggle to recognize is that refugee and immigrant children wrestle with uniquely complex struggles such as family separation, life in refugee camps, cultural shock and language barriers, while at the same time, trying to understand a new culture and new social expectations.
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!!