How you can help Charlotte community during coronavirus pandemic

As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic grows, many in our community are feeling the effects. Local agencies and nonprofits have already started feeling the strain of dealing with increased needs as the local economy tightens.

Here are some ways you can help those in the Charlotte community:

Crisis Assistance Ministry

Crisis Assistance Ministry helps Mecklenburg County families experiencing poverty with basic needs such as emergency rent and utility assistance, clothing, household goods, furniture, beds and appliances.

Financial contributions can be made online here: crisisassistance.org/challenge.

Friendship Trays (Meals on Wheels of Charlotte-Mecklenburg)

This Charlotte-based organization that makes and delivers healthy meals to elderly and infirm community members is holding a canned good food drive. The organization is asking the community to donate cans of tuna, chicken, vegetables, starches, soups and fruit, as well as peanut butter and individual packaged cookies and crackers.

Donations can be dropped off at Friendship Trays at 2401 Distribution St., Charlotte, NC, 28203.

For additional information, contact Friendship Trays at 704-333-9229 or email communications@friendshiptrays.org.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina is working to support and provide meals for individuals and families affected by the coronavirus.

The organization needs funds to purchase healthy, shelf stable items for food boxes. Within the next 30 days, the organization plans to pack and distribute over 10,000 food boxes.

Donations can be made online here: secondharvestmetrolina.org/coronavirus.

For additional information, donors can contact Second Harvest Food Bank at 704-376-1785 or info@secondharvest.org.

Loaves and Fishes

Loaves and Fishes is seeking financial support to continue to provide a week’s worth of meals to neighbors in need.

Donations can be made online at loavesandfishes.org/donate-today or via mobile by texting 44321 on your cell phone and using the code HUNGERACTION.

Donors can contact Loaves and Fishes at 704-523-4333 or contact@loavesandfishes.org.

Feeding the Carolinas

Feeding the Carolinas is a two-state network of food banks that support more than 3,700 local charitable agencies, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need.

The organization is accepting donations, as well as volunteers. Click here to find out how you can help.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte

Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte provides a “home-away-from-home” for families of children receiving treatment in Charlotte-area medical facilities.

Typically, RMHC meal teams provide dinner seven days a week and breakfast twice a week for its 28 families. In order to continue providing meals for their families, the organization is asking for community donations and food assistance from local restaurants.

Urban Ministry Center/Men’s Shelter of Charlotte

These local organizations work together to provide housing, meals and outreach programs to Charlotte’s homeless.

Click here to purchase items from the Amazon Wish List.

Or click here to see what other items are needed and where you can drop off donations.

PORCH (People Offering Relief From Community Hunger)

PORCH is assisting Hickory Public Schools by providing food supply bags to families while schools are closed.

The organization is in need of nonperishable food donations. Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to noon at 2505 1st Avenue, SW, Hickory, NC, 28602.

Donors can send questions and inquiries to hkyporch@charter.net.

Foundation for the Carolinas and United Way of Central Carolinas Response Fund

United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation for the Carolinas have partnered to launch the COVID-19 Response Fund.

The fund will support a range of nonprofits assisting the people most affected and will be administered in coordination with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Grants will be awarded by an advisory group to nonprofits serving those impacted through an application process.

There are three ways to give:

  • Visit HelpCharMeck.org
  • Mail a check to the COVID-19 Response Fund, c/o United Way of Central Carolinas/FFTC, P.O. Box 890685, Charlotte, NC, 28289-0685
  • FFTC Fundholders can request a grant to United Way of Central Carolinas via MyFFTC.org. Be sure to designate your contribution for the COVID-19 Response Fund.

Corporations and foundations that want to make a donation can contact Catherine Warfield at 704-973-4515 or cwarfield@fftc.org; or Clint Hill at 704-371-6359 or chill@uwcentralcarolinas.org

A Child’s Place

A Child’s Place (ACP) works to support homeless children and is currently serving more than 600 children and their families who need basic items including disinfecting wipes, all-purpose cleaner, rubber gloves, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

ACP is asking that all donations be mailed to: A Child’s Place at 601 E. 5th Street, Suite 230, Charlotte, NC, 28202. Items can also be purchased from its Amazon Wish List.

Monetary donations can be made online here.

Financial donations will be used to provide housing assistance to families that are in temporary housing, technology to children living in poverty, and food assistance.

Gift cards to Food Lion and Walmart will also be accepted for families to purchase non-perishable foods and emergency items. No E-gift cards will be accepted.

The CMS Foundation

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation has established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help address the needs of CMS students and families while schools are closed.

In anticipation of impacts to students and families, the CMS Foundation is raising money to support critical needs and help extend academic instruction to students during this period. The foundation’s staff and directors will be working with CMS leaders to identify needs and allocate funds as response tactics are developed.

How to donate:

  • Donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund can be made online at cms-foundation.org/donate with “Relief” in the notes section of the donation page.
  • Contributions can also be sent by mail to CMS Foundation, 4421 Stuart Andrew Blvd., Suite 100, Charlotte, NC, 28217

Donors may contact the CMS Foundation for additional information at 980-343-0399 or email info@cms-foundation.org.

UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Relief Fund

The UNC Charlotte Student Emergency Relief Fund helps current students by providing financial support when they need assistance with unexpected, unforeseen, and unavoidable emergency expenses, including pandemics.

The Jamil Niner Student Pantry provides assistance to UNC Charlotte students who struggle with food insecurities, helping ensure that every student has access to nutritious food.

To donate or learn more about these programs, click here.

Other ways to help

Support Local Businesses

Buying a gift card at a local store, theater or restaurant can help businesses who are fighting the increasing economic pinch. Shopping at local businesses is also a way to keep cash flow rolling for local merchants.

Check On Older Neighbors

Health officials have targeted people older than 60 as being most vulnerable to COVID-19. Many of those people are staying at home and may not open their doors over fears of coming in contact with the coronavirus. While some people over 60 may not be tech-savvy, some do own smartphones and computers. One way to check on them without putting their health at risk is to send a text or email.

Donate Blood

Blood drives are being canceled and the American Red Cross said it is facing a severe blood shortage. The organization is asking for blood donations from healthy people but said individuals who have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy or South Korea should postpone donating for 28 days after returning. The same holds true for anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive.

Click here to make an appointment to donate blood.

OneBlood donor centers are also in need of donors. All donors who donate now through March 31 will receive a $20 eGift card.

Click here to find a location or a Big Red Bus blood drive.