On a warm Saturday afternoon, CMPD, people of faith, businesses and nonprofit organizations came together to support a neighborhood of families in an attempt to foster a positive link between the community and the church.
“The church community and the body of Christ is here to mobilize,” said Bo Frowine, executive director of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dream Center. “The Dream Center will serve as a platform to build relationships in this neighborhood.”
Frowine and his team work in two other Charlotte neighborhoods and mobilize about 300 volunteers a month.
Rain, sleet or snow doesn’t keep the Dream Center team from doing the work that they feel called to do.
“We’ve been serving in two communities for over three years, and we’ve never missed a Saturday,” Frowine said. “Beginning today, we will be serving in this neighborhood.”
On this day, it was to launch a new community engagement work near Thomasboro Elementary School.
Chief Putney’s Bridge the Difference team wants to connect churches that wish to be more involved in making a positive impact on Charlotte neighborhoods.
Putney launched Bridge the Difference to bring the community together for conversations about policing, public safety and community impact.
“Let’s bridge the difference; let’s bring (people) together to make our city safer,” Putney said.
Putney saw churches come together in the north area of Charlotte through a men’s prayer group at Ebenezer Baptist Church and hopes it will take root in this neighborhood.
“A predominantly black church and predominately white church connected and came together, and they are doing great work," Putney said. “We want to model that work to bridge the difference all over Charlotte.”
Bridge the Difference community conversations are taking place all across Charlotte, and the public’s perspective is critical to bridging gaps and creating mutual understanding.
“My hope for this community is that relationships are formed, the community is developed and that we bring a lot of love,” Frowine said. “I hope that these neighbors know that they have a God that loves them.”
By all accounts, the neighbors, and especially the children, were all smiles at the launch of this new project. Plenty of ice cream, face painting, hula hoops and story time was partnered with open prayer and gospel music.
“When the small things happen and even when the large things happen, we’ll be more resilient because we love each other,” Putney said. “We can get through anything together.”
The next step is simple; the Dream Center starts Adopt-A-Block Thomasboro on Saturday. The mission of the ministry is to give hope and bring transformation for Charlotte’s most at-risk neighborhoods through consistent and dedicated home visits, relationship building and physical acts of service.
“Our teams are committed to the families and people in Thomasboro and believe that by faith, lives will be restored and healing will begin,” Fownie said.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
PHOTOS: CMPD and partners in faith
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