Five Ways You Can Help Charlotte’s Other Animals
by Addie Rising
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." ― Alfred A. Montapert
Many of us have dogs or cats and we just love our furry friends. But these animals aren’t the only creatures in Charlotte who need help … or in some cases provide support for humans. Here are some ways you can help animals other than Fido and Fifi, right here in Charlotte.
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.
“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.”
Charlotte’s celebrated Festival in the Park at Freedom Park has been a staple in our community since 1964.
Last weekend marked the 54th Annual Festival in the Park and Charlotteans of all ages enjoyed strolling by art exhibits, listening to live music, shopping unique arts and crafts booths and then there’s the elephant ears, a Festival in the Park tradition!
Festival In the Park began in 1964 when John Belk, then President of the Chamber of Commerce suggested to Grant Whitney, an insurance executive with Belk Stores Services, to create an arts show in Freedom Park. The idea of a Spring art show had been tossed around the prior year by the Chamber but had not materialized.
No matter where you were on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, you most likely remember exactly where you were, who you were with and what you were doing.
I remember passing through my living room as I was getting ready for work that morning, stopping in disbelief at the images coming through my television. Though I didn’t personally know anyone lost that day, I sat by coworkers struggling to reach family members who worked at the World Trade Center. I remember their frantic phone calls and ultimate sighs of relief. But, I also remember -- and still remember -- the first responders, the brave individuals who risked everything to help those in need, not knowing what was taking place, and paying the ultimate sacrifice.
“Dance is the timeless interpretation of life.” ― Shah Asad Rizvi
These days we all crave a little freedom from the confines of our daily routines. We have this need to get away from predictability and seek out the unexpected. We just need to look up from whatever it is we’re doing and fix our gaze elsewhere. Like the side of a building, perhaps.
You feel the cadence of her words throughout your body, like a heartbeat. Her voice commands your ear. But it’s the words she speaks that touch your soul, provoke thought and with any luck, spark action.
In an society consumed with handheld devices and keyboards and wireless connections, the art of spoken word builds real, human connection. Poetry has been around, and will be around forever and is an artform that makes people feel something. It makes them feel connected. Spoken word is an extension of that.
Hasan, a spoken word artist in Charlotte, has been using her gift of speech to inspire since her first open mic appearance in 2002.
To build a successful nonprofit organization you need a mission, a lot of heart, a lot of time and sometimes … a little space.
Many nonprofit organizations are founded by an individual with a passion for helping others and few resources. That often means long hours toiling away from home or local coffee shops or libraries or anywhere with access to wifi that does not take funds away from the organization’s mission.
Industry Coworking, located at the AvidXchange Music Factory opened in 2009 as a shared office environment designed for creatives, technology professionals, freelancers, small businesses and other independent workers. Industry offers both private offices as well as flexible workspaces for people to get out of their home office or the coffee shop, and plug into a dynamic community of people.
Late in July for a 24 hour stretch, you’ll see thousands of people camping out along Charlotte’s “booty loop” in Myers Park watching thousands more ride and ride and ride some more. There’s cheering, bonding, camaraderie, excitement and even cowbells.
You see avid cyclists, novice cyclists, junior cyclists and even some walkers. Some ride for a few miles. Some ride hundreds of miles.
For Ryan Weiers, riding in the middle of the night is the most fun. “It’s a great time to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and take some time for yourself to reflect on what you’re doing and why,” he said. “Riding after midnight is very personal. It is peaceful.”
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!!