Crisis Assistance Ministry this week celebrated the contribution of volunteers in preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for struggling families in Mecklenburg County. In the most recent fiscal year, individual, family, group, and corporate volunteers served over 47,000 hours. That gift of time represents a value of more than $1 million.
Kelvin Glee received the agency’s highest honor, the Shirley Henry Outstanding Volunteer award. Since 2016, he has volunteered over 500 hours of his time to receive furniture donations, repair donated items, and work directly with customers who are selecting essentials such as a bed, a dresser, or a kitchen table where they can share a family meal.
“It’s a joy to work with him every Saturday morning, as he greets customers, manages donations, and sends everyone he encounters away with a smile on their face,” said the agency’s Furniture Bank Operations Manager Irving Osuna, in presenting the award.
Randy Franklin received special Rock Star Volunteer recognition for leading 10 years of tribute concerts bringing together local musicians to share their gifts and to raise money to benefit families served at Crisis Assistance Ministry.
“Randy’s passion for this community and deep roots in Charlotte’s music scene come together to create a beautiful evening of music for a purpose,” said Carol Hardison, the agency’s CEO. “All told the concerts have raised over $11,000 to help local families resolve a financial crisis and create pathways to economic opportunity. Plus, it’s just a fun way to share the mission of the agency and raise awareness about the challenges facing low income neighbors in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.”
TIAA and Legal Aid of North Carolina were recognized as Outstanding Community Partners.
TIAA was recognized for their steadfast support of Crisis Assistance Ministry’s mission through employee volunteerism and corporate philanthropy. Since 2012, employees have organized collection drives, inspected and prepared donated items, and provided financial support.
“TIAA and its employees have been critical to the daily work of Crisis Assistance Ministry – preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for local families,” said Mike Davis, the agency’s Chief Advancement Officer, in presenting the award.
Legal Aid of North Carolina
Legal Aid of North Carolina was honored for their work to educate tenants about their rights. Since 2014, Legal Aid volunteers have offered near-daily classes for families seeking assistance at Crisis Assistance Ministry. Participants learn the legalities of the eviction process, specifics of tenant-landlord communication, and what their rights and responsibilities are when communicating with their landlord about rental or repair disputes.
“They teach and they listen,” said Jackie Cunningham, the agency’s Director of Customer Service, “giving customers the tools they need to go out to speak up and be granted their rights. They truly make it possible for families to avoid eviction – thereby preventing homelessness in a very real way.”
Crisis Assistance Ministry presented the awards at the nonprofit agency’s Volunteer Recognition Dinner held in Charlotte on Thursday, September 12, 2019.