Friday, September 11, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
|Dion Rymer & Karen Leadermen|
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Friday, August 21, 2020
“During the very first class I thought ‘I fit in here. They understand.’ It’s not that I choose to be poor,” Sarah said. “It wasn’t just the contents of the workbook that helped me. It was what we were getting from each other. Helping others overcome their obstacles helps you overcome your own.” At the start of Getting Ahead last year, Sarah -- a former paramedic and Mom of 4 -- had to hotwire her car on and off each time she needed to travel. Their cupboards always seemed to be running low and the bills were piling up. Her husband was working but she couldn’t find any jobs that would still allow her to care for their children -- three of whom have special needs.
Now, more than a year later, Sarah has a part-time job that works with her schedule to care for the children, thanks to networking and resource sharing at Getting Ahead. They have a reliable vehicle and she says they’re “working on not just paying bills, but saving for the future.”
This Monroe native says the experience not only helped her family, but encouraged her to help others in similar situations. After graduating from the program, Sarah served as a co-facilitator for the most recent Getting Ahead group and has since completed training to facilitate the next group on her own. She’s also a key member of the Common Heart committee working to host the first official R Rules session -- a similar class for teens. And thanks to a generous grant from Bank of America, Common Heart will be able to help even
more families like Sarah’s take those first steps out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. Bank of America and Common Heart are partnering to connect our community to empowerment resources. Half of the grant funding will support expanding the Getting Ahead work group sessions for families living in poverty as well as the teen R Rules class and an expanded series of workshops for families to build resources. These programs will be restarting online in the coming weeks. The grant also includes funding for Common Heart’s expanded food pantry services and adult literacy.
“We’re impressed with the level of services and care Common Heart is delivering for Union County residents,” said Bank of America Charlotte Market President Charles Bowman. “At the core of what they do is a proven model for moving members of this community to a path out of poverty through impactful workshops and resource building.”
Sarah says she’s taking “baby steps” toward her long-term goals and can’t wait to facilitate the next Getting Ahead class & R Rules so she can share what she’s learned.
“I was just really inspired by the whole Getting Ahead class, learning how to build resources and networking and understanding how to build my credit and move up the ladder,” she said. “During the first chapter in Getting Ahead you learn about how people living in poverty have a unique skillset. We’re amazing problem solvers and know how to survive and make things work. With COVID, there are many people who were never in a situation like this before but they are now. I’m excited that we know how to help and I can pass that information along and help them. Who knew that being poor would come in so handy?”
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Many of the children our volunteers have served this month have gotten an extra special treat thanks to our friends at the Union County Community Arts Council -- rock painting kits!!!
These fun arts projects are being handed out to families with children who come to one of our evening pantries throughout the county. We can't tell you how many SMILES we've seen with these special gifts!
Barbara Faulk, executive director of the Arts Council, said her 40-year-old nonprofit organization donated about 230 of the kits and is "pleased to support Common Heart’s mission to serve the vital needs of our community" with adding some art enrichment.
"Our organization believes that the arts fulfill a basic human need to create, design, explore and engage in an activity that brings joy and happiness through challenging times," Barbara said. "It is our pleasure to support Common Heart’s mission by showing our love, compassion and kindness."
Did you know the Arts Council also provides:
. Arts in Education – cultural arts programs and services serve all Union County schools by promoting education, character and moral development. Programs address bullying, inclusion, diversity and self-esteem. Over 45,600 students were served in 2020 through UCCAC arts education programs.
. Community Programs – Community outreach is a goal of UCCAC, sponsoring dozens of cultural events each year. Over 130,000 residents received the benefit of community events in 2020.
. Grant Programs – offering grant opportunities for Union County artists and art organizations and for system-wide teacher and school projects related to the arts. Over $160,000 was awarded to artists, artists organizations, schools and community organizations in 2020.
For more details, visit www.unionarts.org or find the Arts Council on Facebook!
THANK YOU ARTS COUNCIL!!
Monday, July 20, 2020
Regular shopper Tina says Common Things was her "favorite shopping place" and she "can't wait" for the auctions to start!
Sharon posted "I am just heartbroken about the closing but I will continue to support you online."