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.
Every day, including the #52Tuesdays of the year, nearly 200 families seek help at Crisis Assistance Ministry. The independent non-profit agency has a 40+ year history and a noble mission: to provide assistance and advocacy for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency.
Nearly every day, there is a story like William’s to tell.
Just last year, Mecklenburg County rolled out a new program MECK Pre-K which offers free pre-k education and care to eligible four year olds in the Charlotte area in response to a big push for free child care and education across the country and right here in our own city.
Did you know that food insecurity is a major problem in the city of Charlotte?
How big of a problem?
Think 150,000+ individuals in Mecklenburg County big. Additionally, around 80% of those individuals don’t have consistent access to transportation. That means, even if it’s a good week financially, accessing places like grocery stores, farmers markets, or even food banks, is still a challenge. Surprised? I was. In a city where popular grocery store chains seem to pop up like weeds, reading the stats was a shock.
That's Edward Doughty, CFP®, owner and managing director of Epic Capital Wealth Management, on the story behind his company's #GivingTuesdayCLT contribution. As a company with strong ties to local nonprofits, Epic Capital was aware of the #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign, and the team was happy to step up financially.
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.
100 Gardens is tackling the lofty goal of changing the way we look at our food supply and water access in a practical way - by educating our next generation about aquaponics – the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, re-circulating ecosystem.
The simple beauty of this concept is that students learn about sustainable living as well as critical science, math, nutrition and skill development concepts in the process of growing their own food.
Founded in Charlotte by Sam Fleming, the 100 Gardens project has been about empowering people and engaging students to connect with their resources in new and different ways. Their latest exciting push has been to develop both a K-5 and high school aquaponics curriculum that ties in with North Carolina State Curriculum Guidelines.
It's a question no child should have to ask. But for kids who rely on free and reduced meals at school for daily nutrition, it's a question they could face every Friday afternoon. Sixty-five hours of weekend with an empty belly is a long time, especially for a child trying to grow and learn.
Blessings in a Backpack is tackling child hunger by giving backpacks full of food to elementary age students every weekend for the entire school year. The national organization feeds more than 87,300 children in nearly 1,092 schools in 45 states.
Kerri Wallace is passionate about supporting Charlotte nonprofits. So when November rolled around, she decided to use her business to spread the word about #GivingTuesdayCLT in an ALL CAPS way. Literally.
Charlotte Yard Cards is a local, family-run business that brings joy to others by surprising people of all ages with customized messages on their front lawns. Imagine waking up on your tenth birthday to spot "HAPPY DOUBLE DIGITS" in giant letters in front of your house. Or coming home from a military deployment to find a unique welcome message waiting for you.
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!!