When Erin Welborn was a child, her mother always told her, "If anything ever happens to me, everything you need is in the green box." Erin was too young to know about the importance of insurance policies and birth certificates. She just knew to give the green box to an adult if anything should happen. "Mama said it, so it must be true," laughs Erin when she recounts this story.
As an adult, Erin recognizes the kindness her mother showed by making sure her children wouldn't have the burden of finding important documents in an emergency. It's a kindness Erin inherited, and it keeps her motivated to give families in Charlotte their own "green boxes" for security and peace of mind.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global population in drastic ways and, in many countries, senior citizens are facing the most threats and challenges as a result.
While no demographic is exempt and all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significantly greater risk of developing severe illness if they do contract the virus (WHO). Further, due to the stay-at-home order and social distancing requirements, seniors have been among the most isolated populations amid the crisis.
Time Out Youth is the oldest and largest LGBTQ nonprofit serving the Carolinas. They primarily cater to youth ages 11-20, providing social and emotional support for over 1,000 individuals. Time Out Youth has an extremely long history of serving the great Charlotte community and will be celebrating their 30th anniversary next year.
Executive Director Rodney Tucker shared that they have a variety of therapeutic support groups that meet regularly, as well as fun groups that include dance parties and movie nights. In more normal times, most of those events are held at their headquarters on Monroe Road, along with satellite groups held in North Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Iredell counties. Due to the current COVID-19 environment, Time Out Youth’s robust programming has transitioned to being online for the time being.
That's PFLAG Charlotte President Karen Graci summing up the first time she attended a support group offered by the nonprofit that supports families, allies and people who are LGBTQ. Karen had worked in the Diversity and Inclusion field for 10 years, and when her daughter came out as transgender she and her husband were "supportive but petrified." Karen says even parents who want to support their loved ones don't know what they don't know in the beginning. "When your child first comes out there are so many emotions. We felt a myriad of conflicting things. We loved our child unconditionally and of course we would support her. At the same time we felt lonely and we wondered how we didn't see the pain she was in for so many years. We didn't know anyone else who was openly transgender, and we didn't think there would be any support locally."
With caution and compassion, nonprofits are looking to volunteers to help carry the load even as COVID-19 forces them to do it remotely. These three Charlotte-based nonprofits are among the many organizations carefully planning a return to normalcy for staff and volunteers. Until then, the good work goes on…
When COVID-19 kept Lisa Kohler from sitting at the bedside of her Hospice patient, she did the next best thing: Lisa helped throw a 91st birthday party from outside Gloria’s window in assisted living, singing her trademark song, Oh what a beautiful mornin’…
Black neighbors - we see you. We hear you. We stand with you. We also know that actions speak louder than words and that while the power of social media is strong, it is not enough to make real, lasting change without actions to back up the messages we all share.
Below is an evolving list of resources we have found helpful, that you too can use to educate yourself, guide your conversations with children, deepen your understanding of systemic racism and inequality (as well as give you the tools needed to talk about it), and support local Black- led nonprofits and Black-owned businesses as a way to advocate for them.
At a time when we are being ordered to stay apart from one another physically, we are grateful businesses and organizations that are coming together in support of our local nonprofit community. Check out the list below of businesses and organizations doing GOOD things in the face of crisis.
The following is not a comprehensive list of all who are giving back and supporting local nonprofits at this time- if there is a business or organization you would like to acknowledge for their generosity, we are happy to add them to this growing list, just let us know!
Each year, June is nationally recognized as LGBTQ Pride Month and while it serves as a time of celebration for continued acceptance and the accomplishments of the LGBTQ community, it also serves to commemorate years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
We would like to leverage this nationally recognized month to acknowledge the unique struggles that this underrepresented and underserved community faces, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which is impacting the LGBTQ community at a disproportionate rate.
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!!