This guest post from one of our partner non-profit organizations, Different Roads Home, gives you a look into their mission and how you can get involved. Check out the special promotion for SHARE Neighbors at the end.
At Different Roads Home, we strongly believe in the work SHARE is doing in Charlotte. The idea of connecting neighbors to local causes as a means to create a more engaged community seems so simple in theory, yet as SHARE founder Kelly Brooks attests, the Queen City’s nonprofit world has not always been one that is easily navigated.
It was actually out of this same concern that Different Roads Home was founded, albeit for a different platform—Charlotte’s HIV/AIDS community. Dale Pierce, a longtime AIDS activist and practice manager at a local infectious diseases clinic, founded Different Roads Home partly to fill the gaps in psychosocial and supportive care that local HIV positive individuals were struggling with, and partly to combat what has become a stagnant environment for HIV/AIDS activism in Charlotte.
Although HIV positive people are living long, healthy and active lives now, that does not equate to a world free of AIDS or without threat—particularly in Charlotte, where new HIV infections are the highest in the state and well above the national average. Quite simply, as life expectancy for those living with AIDS has continually progressed, so has the dwindling of the sense of urgency that we once had as a community.
To revive and re-engage our city in the fight against AIDS, our community members first must reconnect. As Dale explains, “When I founded this organization, I looked back to the grassroots, volunteer-based organizations of the past that created real change in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. There’s still such a need for change, especially in our community, and I hope Different Roads Home will help lead that change through connectivity.”
The organization’s name, as Dale points out, even reflects this mentality. “We all take different roads home but ultimately we’re all heading for the same destination.
SHARE, of course, is helping in the movement by magnifying the engagement between local causes and citizens, and we encourage you to stay tuned to Different Roads Home’s SHARE profile for upcoming volunteer opportunities and events.
One event we are particularly excited about is the upcoming 4th Annual Evening of Hope and Inspiration fundraiser. This event is hosted each year to encourage people in Charlotte to join together, make noise and take action to finish the fight against HIV/AIDS. This year, Grammy award winner Jason Crabb will perform an uplifting inspirational set, and two local nonprofit leaders will be awarded for their advocacy work—Rodney Tucker, Executive Director at Time Out Youth, and Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director/Founder of Campus Pride.
We invite you all to learn more about Different Roads Home and join the local fight against HIV/AIDS by attending the 4th Annual Evening of Hope and Inspiration on November 23 at the McGlohon Theater. Tickets are available at www.differentroadshome.org or through CarolinaTix at www.carolinatix.org or 704-372-1000. And here’s a special discount for SHARE Neighbors —mention the promo code “HOPE” or use it in your online checkout to receive 50% off all ticket purchases!