Embodying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to service, United Way of Central Carolinas invites all participants of the Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge to get involved in weekly call-to-action opportunities that benefit area nonprofits.

 

Three service activities will be highlighted during the 21-day virtual learning journey, with options to get involved virtually or in person while adhering to social distancing guidelines. For in-person donations, individuals can contact the partner agencies listed with each service activity to arrange a time to deliver donations. United Way may also organize a donation drop-off event in the near future, but in order to ensure the safety of donors and volunteers we are waiting for the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to schedule that event.

 

 

SERVICE CHALLENGE #1: LEARN

 

As individuals and as a community, to be effective champions of racial equity we must first take the time to learn key concepts such as racism, bias and privilege. We must build our vocabulary, so that we can “talk the talk” of understanding and healing.

 

Service Activity: Black Authors Children’s Book Drive

Sponsored by Duke Energy, Grant Thornton and TIAA

 

Encourage literacy in our community’s youngest members by collecting and donating new children’s books by Black authors.

 

Don’t have any books? To purchase new children’s books by Black authors, visit the corresponding Amazon Wish Lists and books will be delivered to one of our distribution partners.

 

Mecklenburg: Promising Pages | 4020 Yancey Road, Charlotte, NC 28217 | Wish List

Anson: Anson County Partnership for Children | 117 South Greene Street, Wadesboro, NC 28170 | Wish List

Cabarrus: Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus | 247 Spring Street NW, Concord, NC 28026 | Wish List

Union: Boys & Girls Club of Union | 224 E Old Hwy 74, Monroe, NC 28112 | Wish List

Lake Norman: Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center | 242 Gamble Street, Davidson, NC 28036 | Wish List

 

Project update: During this service activity, over 1,800 books were purchased through the wish lists, with additional books being donated in person.

 

 

SERVICE CHALLENGE #2: ACT

 

Dr. King understood that it was not enough to “talk the talk” to advance racial justice, you also had to be willing to “walk the walk,” which he did when coordinating large-scale activities such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery March.

 

Service Activity: Sock Drive

Sponsored by Atrium Health and First National Bank

 

Nonprofit agencies serving our homeless neighbors have a constant need for socks as well as current needs for facemasks, hand sanitizer and hats/gloves. New items (no used items, please) will be provided to local organizations active in serving homeless individuals in our region.

 

Don’t have any of these items? Purchase them from the corresponding Amazon Wish Lists and items will be delivered to one of our distribution partners.

 

Mecklenburg: Roof Above | 945 North College Street, Charlotte, NC 28206 | Wish List

Cabarrus: Cooperative Christian Ministry | 246 Country Club Drive NE, Concord, NC 28025 | Wish List

Union: Community Shelter of Union County | 160 Meadow Street, Monroe, NC 28110 | Wish List

Lake Norman: Fifth Street Ministries | 1421 Fifth Street, Statesville, NC 28687 | Wish List

 

Project update: During this service activity, over 5,000 socks and hygiene kits were purchased through the wish lists, with additional items being donated in person.

 

 

SERVICE CHALLENGE 3: SUSTAIN

 

In the final years of his activism, Dr. King adjusted his focus from racial justice to poverty, understanding that the two challenges inextricably were tied together. In fact, he was in the early stages of planning a Poor People’s March on Washington when he was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

 

Service Activity: Food Drive

Sponsored by Knight Foundation and Trane Technologies

 

Food insecurity in our region impacts a growing number of families due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our food distribution partners have asked for the following donations: peanut butter, dried beans, canned meat, canned low-sodium soup or stew, canned low-sodium vegetables and canned fruit.

 

Mecklenburg/Union/Anson: Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina | 500-B Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28206

Cabarrus: Cooperative Christian Ministry | 246 Country Club Drive NE, Concord, NC 28025

Lake Norman: Ada Jenkins Center | 212 Gamble Street, Davidson, NC 28036