As a tech lover, I feel the need to use technology to solve most of life’s challenges. So when I learned that a friend was starting a SAS (software as a service) company to introduce Charlotte residents to local nonprofits, I immediately asked myself the age old question “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT.”
SHARE Charlotte has been in business for more than three years and has 358 nonprofits on its site (www.sharecharlotte.com). This website exists to bring communities closer together and is a tremendous resource that I encourage you to discover.
When SHARE Charlotte founder (and friend) Kelly Brooks told me about a local giving campaign that her team had been developing I immediately got excited as it was a way for me to learn more about the Charlotte nonprofit community, and since I had recently started my own company, I honestly had the available bandwidth to help. Kelly and the team have partnered with the well-established national giving campaign #GivingTuesday to create a Charlotte, North Carolina, local giving collaborative named #GivingTuesdayCLT. This campaign was designed to encourage Charlotte residents to learn more about local nonprofits in need and encourage them to not only think about the days following Thanksgiving as Black Friday or Cyber Monday but most importantly Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1).
I entered into this opportunity not knowing a lot about the Charlotte nonprofit scene, but throughout the last four months I have learned a ton and found several charities that I plan on supporting in a larger way in 2016.
Brave Step – Just over a year ago a dear friend of mine asked for help in starting a nonprofit for sexual abuse victims. Brave Step strengthens men and women impacted by sexual abuse through inspiration, education and personalized care. This is an extremely difficult cause to raise money for yet sexual abuse will effect one in four women and one in six men this year. Please visit bravestep.org to learn more.
Heart Meter Inc. – Heart Meter is a nonprofit that donates video games to children’s hospitals. This very simple mission is what I love about it most. More than 40 children are diagnosed with cancer each day and through the generous donations of Heart Meter, they are able to relieve some of the stress and anxiety related to going to the hospital for treatments. Through my time at NASCAR, I have met numerous people that had closets full of licensed games and consoles. If you have the keys to that licensing closet, please give me a call so we can make a difference for kids going through a difficult time here in Charlotte. Learn more about Heart Meter at www.heartmeter.org
Men’s Shelter of Charlotte – The Men’s Shelter is dedicated to providing safe emergency shelter while working to end homelessness for each man. Every day the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte provides immediate stability and basic needs to men experiencing homelessness. All men develop an individualized plan that sets measurable activities to increase income, secure appropriate housing and access supportive services. Learn more at www.mensshelterofcharlotte.org
Kelly and I have received an immeasurable amount of blessings in our lives, and now it’s exciting to see how we can pass those blessings on to others. After overdosing on turkey, buying everything you ever wanted on Amazon and learning about #GivingTuesdayCLT, I ask #WhatsYourGift?