August and September are always full of anticipation and excitement at Families Forward Charlotte, and this year is no different! To start our 4th program year we committed to a lofty goal of serving 50 families, starting with 40 families this fall and taking on an additional 10 in February 2021. We are thrilled that we not only met, but surpassed, our goal and have welcomed 42 families already this year.
This all started in August when we held 5 Family Liaison (volunteer mentor) training sessions, some virtual and some in small groups in order to socially distance and still provide quality Mobility Mentor training for our new Family Liaisons. They learned the brain science research behind poverty, how to interact in a trauma-informed manner, skills and tools we use to maximize the effectiveness of coaching/mentoring, and how to hold each participant with unconditional positive regard so they too believe in their ability to achieve their goals.
Late August and September were focused on meeting with the newly-referred families. We are so grateful to our partner schools and their social workers/staff who referred these families, as they are well-suited for our program and ready to move forward. We met with each new family, got to know them, and matched them with a Family Liaison who will work with them for 4-6 hours each month over the next 1-2 years. After matches were made, we hosted four orientation sessions where Family Liaisons met their new Family Partners for the first time, we reviewed our program, and distributed Essentials Baskets, meals, and clothing. September also included two virtual workshops on Financial Literacy with our community partner, Common Wealth Charlotte. To say these two months are busy is an understatement!
It is our honor to work with the 42 incredible families that are choosing to put their time and energy into this program in order to put their families in a better economic position and move FORWARD. The support of our incredible partners and donors like you allows us to serve our Charlotte community this way. Because of you, we are able to send a mom and her two daughters to stay in a hotel after being homeless and living in their vehicle for the past few months. When we told her she had a place to stay she cried. After thanking us for the opportunity, she shared her commitment by saying “I will be one of your success stories, I will do everything”. And we believe in her!
Families Forward Charlotte is one of the Top 200 finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant program. The top 40 vote getters win $25K for their nonprofit – this means we have a 1 in 5 chance at getting $25K which will help us serve 50 local families who need individualized mentoring, educational opportunities and essential support as they work toward long-term stability and economic mobility.
The voting phase is open from September 23rd until October 2nd, and you can vote up to 10 times per day every day for our cause.
For a small nonprofit like ours, this grant is crucial. Thank you for your support!
NARENCO joins FFC as a Silver Level Corporate Sponsor! An established solar company focused on its contribution not only to the environment but to its community, NARENCO will help FFC grow to serve fifty families living in poverty in the 2020-21 program year. Thank you for your generosity and support! Click to see full press release.
Coca Cola Consolidated joins FFC as our newest Bronze Level Corporate Partner. Coca-Cola Consolidated has a long history of reaching out to those in our communities who are most in need, and making positive change for the people, families, and communities around us. Thank you for your support!
40 Essentials Baskets were delivered this month to the families we serve thanks to Providence Baptist Church and Carolina CAT! PBC held a donation drive, collecting over 1000 items and Carolina CAT purchased the remaining needed items needed then packed the baskets. Thank you!
FFC welcomed 26 new families and 35 new family liaisons to our Family Success Program in Aug/Sept. Thank you to Forest Hill Church for allowing us to use your South Park location to hold trainings and orientation. We are also grateful for Feeding Charlotte who provided 25 meals for each family that attended orientation.
Thank you to the following organizations that generously gave vital funds to our programming: Sardis Presbyterian Church for their continued support of our programming with a $12,000 grant, and Good Fellows Club for assisting families with rent/utilities/childcare and for donating $5000 in grocery gift cards for the families in our program.
FFC extends a special thanks to the community members who held donation drives, collected funds, & donated vital essentials and school supplies recently: Bell Partners, Green Life, Jennifer Vick & Co., Providence Baptist members, Jess-Mara Jordan, Lynsea Schurbon, Sara Eloge, the Jordan Family children (pictured left), & all of our community who participated in the collections!
Covid-19 Response Update
Thank you for your generous support and donations 29 families have had various Covid-19 needs met! In addition to paying for basic needs such as rent and utilities, you helped us support local families with vital internet connectivity, food, and other bill support. In the past 5 months:
Families were provided with over $7,500 in food support through food gift cards and groceries/meals delivered.
$33,000+ was provided in rent and utility assistance to prevent families from facing eviction or utility shut-offs.
Over $4,000 provided for connectivity – internet service and/or phone bills.
$4,500+ provided for various other needs including childcare, insurance and car payments.
Your support has not only provided for these tangible needs, but has helped to relieve stress for these 29 families during the pandemic and the uncertainty it has brought. While our Covid Relief funds are now expended we are working to ensure all needs are met through local partnerships and resources available. We can’t do this necessary work without your support!