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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: Charlotte Bilingual Preschool

Written by Holly Blackman    on August 7, 2019    in


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.

#SpotlightOnCLT: Roots in the Community (R.I.C.'s Market)

Written by Holly Blackman    on July 29, 2019    in


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.

#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?’”

#SpotlightOnCLT: Supportive Housing Communities

Written by Holly Blackman    on May 20, 2019    in


The foundation of Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs pyramid, you pysiological needs (food, water, warmth, rest), are probably met and checked off the list on ay given day. Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re probably more focused on the higher levels of the pyramid:  Love, Self-Esteem, and perhaps, Self-Actualization. Your desire to learn more about SHARE Charlotte’s partner Supportive Housing Communities and your ability to take interest in others means the basics are covered - you have shelter, food, clothing, and safety.

However, this is not the case for many people sleeping on the streets, in abandoned buildings, or on benches of our own City. On any given night, more that 2,000 men, women, and families lack a safe place to sleep.

#SpotlightOnCLT: Yours, Mine and Everyones' Sister's House

Written by Holly Blackman    on March 28, 2019    in


Lately, I have noticed more homeless women in Charlotte standing on street medians - I don’t have the data, just noticed more faces I, unfortunately, try to avoid. However, as a new friend and writer, Melissa LaCross reminded me, “Acknowledging someone’s humanity leaves space

For dignity

For grace

For growth.”

And I’ve just come across a SHARE Charlotte partner who is doing just that. My Sister’s House Transitional Living Program, which operates under the leadership of Friendship Community Development Corporation, first began at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church as an overflow shelter for the Center for Hope.

#SpotlightOnCLT: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Written by Holly Blackman    on February 28, 2019    in


Joe, my best friend’s father-in-law, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 during her engagement and was already gone by her first wedding anniversary in 2013. Joe dedicated a decade of his life serving on foundations supporting leukemia research without any personal tie to the cancer until his diagnosis. After her new father’s death, my best friend and her husband took part in Team in Training (TNT) in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). TNT is the largest charity endurance-training program in the world and in the last 30 years, through the efforts of 650,000 athletes, has raised over $1 billion for LLS.

#SpotlightOnCLT: Lily Pad Haven

Written by Holly Blackman    on January 10, 2019    in

 

Written by Holly Blackman
 

Human trafficking can sound like a humanitarian heartstring issue, pulling on the fringe of society, and before meeting a victim - a college student who was coerced into what was advertised as a modeling agency career photo shoot - I coldly dismissed sex trafficking as the modern-day term for prostitution. I quickly realized this is real life where people are preyed upon, often drugged and abused. 

Vulnerability creates desperation, and loneliness, low self-esteem, lack of familial structure or money trouble presents itself at a bus stop, a facade of a relationship, 

“But what can I DO?,” I often think.

#GivingTuesdayCLT: KIPP Charlotte

Written by Holly Blackman    on November 24, 2018    in



Ubuntu is not commonly included in orientation at most schools, nor is it part of every day conversation in most English-speaking circles, but at (Knowledge is Power Program (aka KIPP: Academy Charlotte), this is their mantra. Ubuntu is an African word meaning, “I am who I am because of who WE all are.” There’s no denying we are intertwined.  SHARE Charlotte is honored to be a partner with KIPP: Academy Charlotte, a free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public school serving almost more than 800 students in Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 4th-8th grades. KIPP:  Academy Charlotte serves communities  traditionally underserved and marginalized in education.

#HelpIsOnTheWay: Bikin' Dads Adventures and CMPD

Written by Holly Blackman    on September 26, 2018    in


Mark Gordon’s grandfather and uncle were policemen and everyone else was in the military - a call to public service runs in their family veins. So, it was only natural as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools graduate, Mark Gordon joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2000. He wasn’t prepared to see the statistics LIVE. He knew them, but the amount of fatherless homes and the crime everywhere, no matter what part of Charlotte you lived in, was alarming.

Mark describes his childhood, living in the Derita community (now Mallard Creek) as, “a little town within the City of Charlotte, kinda like the movie Sandlot - we rode our bikes everywhere, especially to the pool.”

#AccessGrantedCLT: Eliminating the Roadblock of Transportation

Written by Holly Blackman    on August 29, 2018    in


Zach Bolster was living the dream in New York when he received a trajectory-changing phone call - his mother, Gloria, was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. He and his now-wife, Patricia, immediately moved home to Charlotte to care for her. During the hundreds of appointments, treatments -- in waiting rooms, lobbies, offices, they saw and heard the stress other patients were under because of transportation - family members unable to miss work to drive them to chemo, or rides falling through and the stress of their bank accounts dwindling to zilch as they fought just to live.

“Transportation?” Zach thought. There has to be an easy solution to ease this burden, and thus, ChemoCars started. 

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