Photo: Gustavo Fring

“Giving Tuesday” has passed but that doesn’t mean giving has to end. 

Giving Tuesday is a national movement that encourages people and organizations to give back to their communities. It occurs each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 

Welfare Info reported that the North Carolina poverty rate was 4.69% higher than the national average of 11.6% in 2021. 

In Mecklenburg County, there are many people in need; 11.9% of the population live in poverty, according to a 2021 report from the United States Census Bureau

This time of year, known as the “season of joy,” is the perfect time to give back. 

Here are some ways you can share your holiday cheer and make a difference locally. 

Donate gently used items to Charlotte Rescue Mission 

Charlotte Rescue Mission is a non profit that provides cost free, faith-based aid to people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The organization was founded in 1938 by Christians who wanted to help those who were facing homelessness. As of 2022, the non profit has established a number of programs to guide men and women on their journey to sobriety. 

Charlotte Rescue Mission is accepting donations for gently used items including: 

  • In season clothing (in this case, winter clothing)
  • Activewear 
  • Shoes 
  • Belts 
  • Accessories such as purses, wallets and jewelry 

How to donate: Drop off or order from their Amazon needs list and have them shipped to their program locations

For more information:

Grant a child’s holiday — or birthday — wish

Kids First of the Carolinas provides Charlotte area families with dinners, food supplies, back to school supplies, clothing and holiday gifts. Each Christmas, they provide children with a few of the items on their wish lists but rely on donations from the community. According to their website, they have provided resources to over 30,000 children. Here’s how you can help. 

How to donate: You can make a monetary donation online or mail-in a donation. On December 9, they are hosting a bike drive, more details to come. 

For more information:

Provide a college student with groceries 

The Jamil Niner Student Pantry was established in the summer of 2014 after the UNC Charlotte team returned from a NC Campuses Against Hunger conference. Their mission is to lessen food insecurity among college students as the cost of higher education rises. 

The Jamil Niner Student Pantry is accepting household goods including: 

  • Lentils and beans
  • Pasta and pasta sauces 
  • Cereals and granola bars 
  • Shampoo and conditioners 
  • Toothbrushes 
  • Grocery bags 

How to donate: Drop off during regular pantry hours 

For the full needs list and additional information:

Support a local Black-owned art program 

The Broken Crayon is a mobile art studio that allows children to explore the visual arts. This studio was founded by Jamea Marlowe, an artist and former elementary school teacher. Her main goal? Make art accessible and free to all children. But, art supplies are not cheap and the Broken Crayon is partially funded by donations from people like you. 

How to donate: An online monetary donation

For more information:

Adopt a family for the holidays

HOPEmatch, an organization that matches donors to families in need to provide support for needs and wish-list items, began in 2012 as a “Christmas-oriented program.” The organization was formed by a previous case worker at Mecklenburg’s Social Services after seeing the amount of need in the community. Today, the program matches donors with a family and asks donors to provide $200 or more in wish-list items per family member to ensure the “adopted” families have a memorable holiday.

How to donate: Register by Dec. 2 to adopt a family and view their wish list

For more information:

QCity Metro will continue to update this list through December as more ways to give back become available.

To find additional resources on how to help or how to get help, visit NC 211.

Daija Peeler covers arts, culture, and faith in Charlotte.

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