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Some call it stories. Others call it a blog. But here you'll find nuggets of goodness to use and -- you guessed it -- SHARE!

#SpotlightOnCLT: Refugee Support Services

June 27, 2019    in

Written by Amy Andrews

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:


Walk-Up Help Center 

#52Tuesdays: The Abandon Project

Written by Eden Estabrook    on June 25, 2019    in

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. 

#SpotlightOnCLT: Project 658

Written by Grace Kennedy    on June 24, 2019    in


Numbers are powerful.

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. 

#SpotlightOnCLT: OurBridge for Kids

Written by Eden Estabrook    on June 20, 2019    in

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.

#52Tuesdays: Skillpop Gives GOOD to Classroom Central

June 18, 2019    in

Education doesn’t stop after grade school or college.

Both local nonprofit, Classroom Central, and Charlotte based business, Skillpop, share a particular passion for lifelong learning. This mutual passion for education gave way to a collaboration for GOOD during this past #GivingTuesdayCLT.

Skillpop provides pop-up classes around Charlotte that make learning a new skill social, accessible, and engaging. From learning how to paint abstract floral artwork to the basics of buying a home, Skillpop provides introductory courses that teach you valuable skills while encouraging you to meeting new people in the community.

#SpotlightOnCLT: FOCHUS

Written by Holly Blackman    on June 17, 2019    in

“I blame Walt Disney.  It’s all his fault,” Steve Parker, the founder of FOCHUS says when asked how it all began.

“We (Steve & Susanne Parker) came to Charlotte in 2010 to work with refugees through a ministry called Apartment Life. We moved into a low-income apartment community on Charlotte’s east side, which at the time was ground zero for refugee resettlement in the city. There were five apartments housing Montagnard (pronounced mon TUHN yahrd) refugee families from Vietnam.  There were eight kids in those families between grades K-5, and they discovered our Disney movie collection and iPads. Because of that, they started hanging out in our apartment, watching our movies and playing with our technology. And we gradually just fell in love with these kids. So we began to think, ‘What can we do to help them get off to a good start in this country?’”

#52Tuesdays: Fueling Kids' Potential with Communities In Schools

Written by Grace Kennedy    on June 11, 2019    in

Tuesdays are kind of a big deal for Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. As a #GivingTuesdayCLT participant since year one, CIS has added valuable volunteers to its Success Coach and Social Capital Bridging programs, among others. The organization has also gained community awareness by using the #GivingTuesdayCLT toolkit that SHARE Charlotte offers to all participating nonprofits.

On this particular Tuesday, June 11, CIS joins the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community in celebrating hundreds of high school graduates, who will don caps, gowns and grins as CMS graduation week kicks into high gear.

#SpotlightOnCLT: Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency

Written by Grant Stimmel    on June 6, 2019    in

105 words rest beneath the Statue of Liberty.

They were written 136 years ago.

Time has taken its toll on the brass inscription.

The words, once crisp, have faded.

And maybe, their meaning has too.

Every two seconds, someone around the world is displaced from their home. Driven away from everything they know by violence, war, or relentless prosecution.

68 million people — 43 since you started reading this article.

And the clock keeps ticking, and ticking, and ticking. 25 million are refugees. Forced to leave their home country, looking, as we all are, for a chance at a better life.

#SpotlightOnCLT: Immigrant and Refugee Populations of CLT

Written by Nicole Copsis    on June 4, 2019    in

Did you know there are an estimated 1,076,837 people who call Mecklenburg County “home”?  With native Charlotteans being referred to as “Unicorns” because they are so hard to find, it's no surprise that the majority of people who live in our vibrant city migrated here from elsewhere. Many of those people being immigrants and refugees who are resettling here for a new life and bringing their own culture and traditions to our ever-growing city.

Since the mid-1990’s, approximately 17,000 refugees have resettled in Charlotte, North Carolina. Additionally, an estimated 130,000 immigrants live in our wonderful city, making up about 14% of Mecklenburg County’s total population,