Urban Ministry Center Stories
Share Your Blessings
“A blessing is more than a gift to enjoy, it is a challenge to share.” This quote from William Sloane Coffin embodies the supporters of Urban Ministry Center who give their time and resources to help our homeless neighbors – this video shows just a few of those ways.
Gary Henderson, Neighbor
Gary remembers where he came from. And his new life won’t cloud his memory. He now gives back to the people who helped him and to those who need a community.
Linda O’Connor, Volunteer
Students, teachers, school embrace Operation Sandwich
It started nine years ago as a Service Learning Project at Providence Spring Elementary School. They embraced their school pillar of “character education.” Since then, 4th grade students and their teachers, as well as the entire Providence Spring family, have helped feed thousands of homeless neighbors who depend upon the Urban Ministry Center and its dedicated volunteers and donors.
Teacher Linda O’Connor, second from right in photo, explains that they raise money from events such as a school talent show, silent auction and potato chip sale. They’ve even written and produced a song and sold the CDs to raise funds. The significance of their donation? Students have made an estimated 33,000 sandwiches over the past decade. Their bag lunches contain two sandwiches, fruit, homemade cookie, chips and a mint. Plus, students decorate the bags and include personal notes of caring in the lunches. For some kids, it’s the first time they’ve made a sandwich.
Even more inspiring, the 4th grade invites homeless neighbors to speak to classes and share their stories of challenge. Thanks, Providence Spring, for inspiring other schools to emulate your “character” and for lifting up Charlotte’s homeless neighbors.
Janetta Lambert, Staff
Not many jobs take you under highway overpasses and to nearly invisible urban camps. But Janetta’s role with Urban Ministry is based upon a passionate mission.
David Harker, Donor
Supporting Urban Ministry, Inning by Inning
A simple idea can have a powerful impact.
A community member asked David Harker about his company’s tickets to a Charlotte Knights baseball game. Conversations like this happen a lot in Charlotte, considering all of the pro and semi-pro teams in our community.
They’re good seats, so the individual offered to pay for them. David’s response? “If you could instead make a $75 donation to Urban Ministry Center, that would be great.” The result – a donation homerun.
Moments like that define our community and neighborhoods. David and his firm, HarkerDoerre, are big fans of our mission to end homelessness. They’re avid supporters of the Urban Ministry Center and our homeless neighbors. They contribute time, talent and resources. And whenever he can, David is coaching others to step up to the plate and support the Center.
Cathy’s Story: A Healing Heart
Cathy shares her motivation for volunteering with Urban Ministry Center and our homeless neighbors.
Leslie Faulkner, Volunteer
Charlotte is blessed with thousands of volunteers. Meet one of them who adopted the Urban Ministry Center and its pledge to end homelessness.
David Beers, Volunteer
Volunteers from all walks of life contribute their talents and gifts to Urban Ministry Center and Charlotte’s homeless neighbors. David, a volunteer counselor, draws enthusiasm from the success of working with homeless neighbors who break the cycle and thrive in a new place to live.
Myers Park United Methodist Church, Donor
Congregations lift up homeless neighbors with time, talent and treasure
A sign in the hallway of Myers Park United Methodist reads, “The Church at Work – Home, and Far Away.” The wooden placard hangs over photographs of church members working hard to live that mantra.
Charlotte’s homeless neighbors receive abundant support every week from 150 houses of faith. Myers Park United Methodist Church is one of those examples. Their service comes in many forms – by volunteering at UMC, hosting Room in the Inn two days a week during the winter and by providing significant monetary donations to the Urban Ministry Center. “With the financial support of Myers Park Methodist, we recently completed an extensive renovation of our original building,” notes Dale Mullennix, executive director of Urban Ministry. “This has enabled critically needed repairs and also dramatically increased our capacity to offer individual counseling and other services. “
Michelle Shrader serves as Minister of Missions at Myers Park United Methodist. “Meeting the needs of the homeless is a identified ‘call to action’ at our church.” She explains that members embrace this commitment and feel they’re making a difference by providing shelter, food and a caring environment when they host homeless neighbors. Michelle also emphasized that strong volunteer leadership comes from within the congregation.
Charlotte’s faith community rallies around Urban Ministry. Through the power of prayer and deeds, together we can end homelessness, one person at a time.
Finding the Key
Urban Ministry Center is leading an effort to end chronic homelessness in Charlotte. Hear from the UMC staff and community making it happen, and witness the successes of the housing first strategy. This video was originally shared at the True Blessings Luncheon held November 17, 2015.