Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Volunteer Ron Spang
The holiday giving season is here. While financial gifts are vital to Common Heart's operation, that's not the only way you can help. We always need volunteers and as Ron Spang will tell you, any age is the right age to give back.    
   Describing himself as “ part of the over hill gang,” Ron Spang says he volunteers at Common Heart because he can.
   Ron, who lives in Indian Trail, retired from the City of Charlotte where he worked with the Department of Transportation's computer systems.
   Now you'll find him three days a week giving his time at Common Heart. On Wednesdays he mans the vacuum and helps with “janitorial duties.” Thursdays he sorts and stocks food in the Common Cupboard and he's a regular Saturday morning volunteer helping to get food ready for volunteer drivers to deliver to local residents in need.
   Ron has been an asset at Common Heart for about four years.
   “God has given me health. (Volunteering) … this is what you have to do,” he said. “I always felt guilty … that I didn't do this way back when and I just feel so humble because that could be me looking for food. You just take your life for granted and I'm just very grateful to do it.”
   There's always room for more volunteers at Common Heart. If you can help, visit

Monday, December 2, 2013

People of Common Heart

Many of our long-term volunteers got their first experience with Common Heart during our Great Turkey Countdown. That's where Colin Albert's story started.  
Here's a peek at his story from our Common Good newspaper ... what's your Common Heart story? 

Volunteer Colin Albert has seen “life go through a lot of ups and downs” during the past five years he's delivered food to Common Heart's neighbors in need.
The Waxhaw resident has delivered meals to a family who later suffered a fatal fire and a woman who had a severe heart attack. Among his current six families on his delivery route is a woman whose arms bear the scars of years of drug use and cutting.
“She is fighting to bring her life back from where it was,” Colin said. “A lot of us are just one mishap or one life choice away from that. What I think we're doing is coming alongside people and saying 'It doesn't matter where you've been. Let's focus on where you're going.'”
It's important that those served by Common Heart understand just how important they are – by their neighbors and by God, Albert said.
“It really comes down to I care so much about those people … I realize that my involvement in their lives can do a lot to show them that they're worth caring about,” he said. “A lot of the people in our world that are down and out are down and out partially because they think they're not worth caring about. But going to and delivering (food) to people that may not have a car or whatever and asking them about their life you can actually do a lot to show them … that they're loved. Through what we do, we tell people 'We care about you unconditionally and God cares about you in that way, too.'”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

An Adventure into Common Heart (part 1)

To give you a taste of our year, here is what a new friend of Common Heart might write in a journal during 2013 -14.

October 18:  A friend from work asked me to go to this banquet called Love in Action. I had never heard of Common Heart but I decided to go.  It was fun.  I was surprised. They talked about wanting to promote a “small revolution of kindness” through personally serving families in need.  They need volunteers.  I think I might volunteer one of these days.

November 24 : Well, we did it.  My family went over to Common Heart this morning and helped during the Great Turkey Countdown delivery day.  We were assigned deliveries to four families in Waxhaw.  I had never met these people, but I came away so touched.  My kids were amazed that there was so much need so close to home.  It made us all grateful for the blessings God has given us.  One of the kids we met danced around my legs because they were so happy to have a turkey this year. I imagine this happened over and over again with other delivery drivers.  I think I heard them say that 600 families were being blessed today!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ambassadors Needed

On July 4 Common Heart is hosting the inaugural Common heart Firecracker Run in Lake Park, NC.  The run features a professionally timed 10K & 5K race as well as a 1K and Kids Firecracker Dash.   Lake Park provides us with a great flat course circling the village area with its greens and lakes.  It will be a wonderful day.   We are hoping for a good showing for this event. The public is encouraged to register and join us. There is more information and online registration at

But there other ways to participate in the race and support the work we do through our food pantries, thrift store, free tax service and referral network. We need plenty of volunteers to work on July 4th. We need others to help organize and plan. But there is yet another way to help!

We are looking for some Ambassadors.  Ambassadors are runners/walkers that will participate in the race, plus they go the extra mile. Instead of paying a registration fee, they ask their friends, relatives and co-workers to sponsor them.  They tell our story and invite others to help.  We have some great prizes for participation too.  Ambassadors can win Gold Passes to Carowinds, an iPad or a vacation for example.

Ambassadors do not work by themselves.  Our Ambassadors are part of a team.  They get support, training and tools to help them spread the word and collect donations.  Right now we are looking for team captains and team members.  A captain recruits other ambassadors and encourages them.  Contact for more information about being an Ambassador captain or team member.  Captains are recruiting Ambassador team members right now.

The Ambassador Kick Off Meeting is just around the corner on June 5 at New Covenant Baptist Church Indian Trail.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Big Day Planned for June 18

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C., - Local nonprofit, Common Heart, will team up with Speedway Children's Foundation and Feed the Children, to provide groceries to 800 families in Union County on the afternoon of Tuesday June 18.  The distribution will be just in time for summer when many local low income families find it difficult to make ends meet.
 "We got a call from our friends at Speedway Children's Foundation asking if we could distribute two trailer loads of food in one day," Keith Adams, Executive Director of Common Heart shared.  "Because we distributed 525 turkey baskets to families last fall, I felt like we could do it. There are a lot of families in our area in need right as schools let out.  It comes at a good time."  
Food Lion parking lot on Independence Blvd in Indian Trail will serve as the distribution point for the two tractor trailers filled with boxes of can food.  During the next 30 days Common Heart volunteers will be working with local schools, nonprofits and agencies to identify the neediest families in the community.  Each family will receive a box and information about how to access local services during the three hour distribution time.

nlike our Great Turkey Countdown which delivers Turkeys and fixins in time 
for Thanksgiving. This  distribution will see  800 families come to us. "I am expecting 600 cars to come through the distribution line on the 28th." Keith said, "So we are going to need about 60 people to direct traffic, work with the families, unload the trailer and pack the cars." 

The other volunteer need will be for caring people to get on the phone with schools, churches, and families to find the need and coordinate distribution.   We also need some detailed oriented volunteers to serve in planning and organizing this event.  

To sign up to help please use this link.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Common Heart Firecracker Run - July 4

The inaugural Common Heart Firecracker Run is an event for everyone on July 4th in Lake Park, NC. This small village built around scenic parks with a hometown feeling is the setting. Professional timing is provided for both the 10K and 5K race by Charlotte Sports Timing. Two additional races will include a 1K and the Firecracker Dash for children. Enjoy the Fourth of July festivities after the race that Lake Park has to offer.

Common Heart is a nonprofit organization promoting personal action to address hunger and poverty. Encouraging a "small revolution of kindness" is Common Heart's mission. Through Common Cupboard, a hundred volunteers each month gather and pack groceries then deliver them to hungry families. An additional pantry invites families to come and choose from fresh produce and baked goods, along with meat and canned goods. Through these two pantries over 15,000 people are provided a week's worth of groceries each year.

Common Heart also operates Common Things Thrift Store, a free tax service, and a referral network to meet the needs of low income families at 116 Business Park Dr, Indian Trail.

This benefit race hosted by Common Heart will support its work mobilizing volunteers to bridge the gap, transforming lives and our community.To register go to

A Heartfelt Thank You & Update

Dear Friends,

I would like to take a moment to thank all the people who helped make the Feinstein Challenge an amazing success.  You and all of our supporters mean a lot to this small nonprofit, its volunteers and staff.  Because so many people give donations, both large and small, we are able to help over 15, 000 families a year.  As you know March and April were Million Dollar Challenge months.  Gifts of groceries, pledges and cash for the two months equaled $45,594.  This is substantially more than we have ever collected in 2 months.  Thank you so much for helping make this campaign a success!
The summer is gearing up to be very busy with opportunities to serve the community and to get the word out about Common Heart’s “small revolution of kindness.”
  • I am scheduled to speak at two churches thus far.  We are excited about our partnerships with two local United Methodist congregations – St Francis and Mill Grove. I will be sharing our story during three services at Mill Grove on May 19th and at the Crossroads series at St Francis on June 30th.  I am sure they wouldn't mind a few guests. I would love to share at your church, Sunday school or men’s/women’s group.
  • We will be at the Indian Trail Family Fun Day on June 8th letting people know what we do and how they can get involved.  Stop by and visit our booth or sign up to volunteer.
  • Tuesday June 18th, we have the privilege of partnering with Speedway Children’s Foundation and Feed the Children. Two tractor trailers full of food will be delivered here to feed 800 families just as school gets out.  It is going to be busy here arranging the logistics to get all that food out to families in 3 hours!  If you want to help, there is a lot to do between now and the day of distribution!
  • June 24th is the rescheduled date for the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, and just 10 days later we will be putting on the first Common Heart Firecracker Run in Lake Park on July 4th.
As you can see, I need your prayers and so does every member of our team! Good stuff going on.  
Thank you for sharing and giving!
Together, Bridging the Gap,

Keith Adams
Executive Director