If you lived in Charlotte in 2016, it’s hard to forget the riots that followed the shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott. Much like 2020, cries pleading for Black Lives to Matter echoed through the streets. There was unrest. There was mistrust. We were a city severed by anger and violence.
It was from this broken place that three men sought to find warmth in our community, and with that, healing.
Paul Horner, director of safety and security at Hilton Charlotte Center City, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Officer Chris Frunzi (in foreground of left photo above), and Public Defender Toussaint Romain (in white shirt in right photo above) wanted to bridge the gap and bring the community and CMPD together. They decided to focus on collecting winter items to give to the community through a donation drive that started in the fall of 2017.
In 2020, Paul Horner is still bringing warmth to Charlotte, and together with his wife and brother, Charlotte Youth Soccer Club, and Smallcakes Utopia, collected over 900 winter items, double the amount of prior years.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated or supported these efforts! We’re thrilled to be able to distribute these items to the community free of charge through the Free Store, which is open now by appointment.