Saichelle McNeill believes in second chances. The owner of Washroom Laundryin Charlotte has found her newest employee through LifeWorks!, an employment program that helps people with criminal records reach their professional goals.
The Hornets' Nest is not your mother's Girl Scout council — or maybe it is. The Girl Scouts have been blazing trails since 1912, when founder Juliette Gordon Low started a movement to redefine what was possible for girls everywhere. The nearly 12,000 girls served by our local council continue to redefine what is possible for themselves and the communities they will someday lead.
The Hornets' Nest Council calls itself a "hive of activity." This year more than ever, many of those activities have a distinct racial justice lens, and Council leaders are determined to make sure every girl has access to Girl Scout programs, regardless of her neighborhood or zip code.
When Erin Welborn was a child, her mother always told her, "If anything ever happens to me, everything you need is in the green box." Erin was too young to know about the importance of insurance policies and birth certificates. She just knew to give the green box to an adult if anything should happen. "Mama said it, so it must be true," laughs Erin when she recounts this story.
As an adult, Erin recognizes the kindness her mother showed by making sure her children wouldn't have the burden of finding important documents in an emergency. It's a kindness Erin inherited, and it keeps her motivated to give families in Charlotte their own "green boxes" for security and peace of mind.
That's PFLAG Charlotte President Karen Graci summing up the first time she attended a support group offered by the nonprofit that supports families, allies and people who are LGBTQ. Karen had worked in the Diversity and Inclusion field for 10 years, and when her daughter came out as transgender she and her husband were "supportive but petrified." Karen says even parents who want to support their loved ones don't know what they don't know in the beginning. "When your child first comes out there are so many emotions. We felt a myriad of conflicting things. We loved our child unconditionally and of course we would support her. At the same time we felt lonely and we wondered how we didn't see the pain she was in for so many years. We didn't know anyone else who was openly transgender, and we didn't think there would be any support locally."
The Lake Norman Community Health Clinic has been providing quality healthcare at no cost to uninsured people in Mecklenburg County for 22 years. So when a global pandemic hit home, they didn't miss a beat. In fact, they were so proactive that they were a model to FEMA and clinics in other states for how to best serve patients during an unprecedented health crisis.
Meet Charlie. He's only five, but he's already a three-year cancer survivor. Charlie was born with Down Syndrome and Transient myeloproliferative disorder, which transitioned into leukemia when he was 16 months old. When other babies were experiencing crucial brain, physical, and social development, Charlie was undergoing high-dose chemotherapy, long-term hospitalization, and isolation. As a result, Charlie experienced physical regression and delays in his motor skills.
If you have ever thought twice about getting medical care because you knew it would hurt your wallet, then you have been in Linwood's shoes. He needed dental work, but he didn't have the means to pay for it, even though he was fully employed. With his employer, Linwood even had insurance, but it wouldn't cover the dental work he needed.
The team at Common Wealth Charlotte was there for Linwood, but not with one-way charity. That's not what CWC does. The Charlotte nonprofit promotes financial capability-building over direct financial assistance—and it's fundamentally changing the way economically-vulnerable families in Charlotte are being served.
We just observed Veterans Day across the United States, but for the Charlotte-based team at Veterans Bridge Home, the work continues every day—and it's the best kind of work they could ask for.
Veterans Bridge Home is on a mission to build stronger communities, one Veteran at a time. And in a city with more than 150,000 Veterans, the nonprofit has plenty to do. Through a network of partners, the organization helps Veterans navigate employment, create social connections, and settle their families.
But it's not just Veterans who benefit—the entire Charlotte community gets better when Veterans make a successful transition from military to civilian life. Just ask Nick Maglosky, CEO of Charlotte-based ecommerce software provider Ecomdash.
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!!