You Can't Pull Yourself Up by the Bootstraps if There Aren't Bootstraps to Pull
“Families in our program are the hardest working, most caring parents, not clients. We really get to know them,” Families Forward Founder, Carrie Christian explained to me. “We’re working primarily with the adults in the family for the parents to learn skills, through the workshops they attend and family support they receive, so that they can pass down to their children. They are incredible and our volunteers give so much of their time to others. It’s the hands-on relationship, and it takes time - the impact of what you’re doing - doing with and not for is key in our program.”
The billboard on I-77 South recently caught my eye - “6 ft shouldn’t sound like 60 feet apart,” it read. Hearing loss exacerbated is yet another effect of COVID. People with hearing impairments can sometimes get by with lip-reading, but masks have made that almost impossible.
Therefore, Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center (CSHC)’s Giving Tuesday’s goal is to raise awareness of and funds for their mission- to provide the gift of speech and hearing to all those in need in the Charlotte community, regardless of income or other barriers.
“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.
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!!