“Dead beat dad” is a common stereotype, and I, admittedly, often assumed this was a choice, but what I’ve recently learned is sometimes it’s for lack of emotional or financial resources that a father is not able to fight for partial custody of a child.
Access to care is a gamble right now but for the roughly 168,000 uninsured Mecklenburg County residents this is the norm. Thanks to Charlotte Community Health Clinic patients can continue to be served despite the barriers and fears due to COVID-19.
In fact, the Chief Medical Officer creatively reorganized the staff into different clinical outreach teams: Homeless, Pediatric, Geriatric, Chronic Disease, etc.
Meals are often the choice between favorite recipes not how or if we can get the groceries to eat, but during this COVID-19 pandemic, grocery shopping, meal planning, and online pre-ordering is taking more forethought and planning. However, for 182,000 children and 45,000 seniors living in poverty in Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s service region, food always takes more forethought as they rely on food banks to eat and now more so than ever.
“How do you connect with a mom when you’re feeling like, ‘I'm upset about having a baby like yours?’” she asked me. “Good point,” I thought to myself, and Shana Filkins continued to reflect on her first days after receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis for her daughter in utero. Five years ago Shana knew only one family who had a child with Down syndrome, and for two long months she contemplated and rehearsed the call she knew she needed to make to them.
“It was devastating to me. I was 38 when I got pregnant. It was a dream come true - truly blissful because it took a long time to get pregnant and after receiving the Down syndrome diagnosis, I was ashamed and felt alone, ‘How could I be thinking this’ I thought to myself, ‘after wanting a baby for so long?’”
No one thinks they’ll need Carolina Breast Friends. Cancer is not something we often wait for or anticipate with a list of resources. Even if there’s a family history, any diagnosis,can feel like a gut punch out of nowhere, and many may frantically Google for lifelines. Thus, Carolina Breast Friends wants to let people know beforehand that they are located right near both major healthcare centers at The Pink House at 1607 East Morehead Street.
Pregnant in college could mean a dream deferred. But instead of exploding dreams, the visionaries at Belmont Abbey College and MiraVia, have created a stopgap for pregnant students to not only help them finish college but to counsel them towards achieving short-term goals building to long-term goal-setting like financial independence and career plans. It’s not as technical as much as it is community; a community, in fact, where young mothers can still have dance parties in their pjs after nursing their infants and posting assignments after pulling overnighters...writing papers. MiraVia is about loving fully and well, being the Plan B for those reconsidering education after an unexpected pregnancy and opening their doors to shared resources with young moms.
1980’s Charlotte = a building town. Construction workers moved here and built their lives in Charlotte, but no preschool was laying the foundation for Spanish-speaking children to enter Kindergarten. The need for Spanish-speaking families to access early childhood education was nonexistent before 1999 when SHARE Charlotte partner, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool (CltBP), opened their doors.
Walking to the grocery store in Detroit in the 1970s, 6-year-old Angela Gray loved math and counting money.
“I remember going to the store with my mom and they had a sign that read, ‘Sale Yogurt - 4 for a $1’. I told my mom, ‘That’s not a sale because the yogurt is usually 22 cents each,’ Gray reminisced.
“‘Most people don’t pick up on that,’ my mom told me. It also bothered me that we could get more groceries in nicer areas than we could in the stores in our neighborhood. Thus, I began at a young age to notice how poorer people often had to pay more for groceries."
This is not a Detroit issue. This is a universal access and price gouging issue. In the Charlotte area, over 87,000 residents lack access to fresh, healthy affordable food.
“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?’”
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!!