The Relatives’ Family Update – April 2017
We Walk for Robert
Safe Place Week was held March 19-25 and culminated with Robert’s Walk. Each year we take this walk from a bench at Freedom Park to our Crisis Center on East Boulevard because six years ago, a teenage boy named Robert had the courage to take those same steps. Unlike those who participated in our walk this year, Robert’s steps did not lead him to a front yard celebration. His walk to our door was lonely and full of uncertainty. For him, this walk was his last chance at safety and a future. At school, Robert learned that businesses and organizations with a big, yellow, diamond-shaped sign reading “Safe Place” could help kids in trouble get to safety. When he saw that sign on the front door of The Relatives’ Crisis Center, he knew he would find a welcoming place.
For Robert, the trouble was that he landed in a juvenile detention. After serving his short time, he came home to find that his parents had moved without so much as a word about why or where they were going. Robert was alone, with nowhere else to sleep but a bench at Freedom Park. When Robert knocked on The Relatives’ door that lonely night, he found hope and people who cared about his well-being. With the guidance of staff at The Relatives, he was able to find the resources for a brighter future. He worked hard to graduate and landed a job at a local retail store in Charlotte, eventually becoming the store manager. Today Robert remains an independent, stable young adult and every year, we walk for Robert and other young people who face a crisis.
Safe Place Week was a huge success this year. We gained media exposure from news outlets such as WCCB Wilson’s World, WSOC and radio stations, Streetz 103.3 and Charlotte ESPN. In partnership with CATS, The Relatives held the annual Safe Place Week art contest in which teens created art around the theme ‘Helping Youth Reach a Brighter Future.’ The winner was honored at a ceremony at the CATS Transit Center on March 23 with special guest speaker Council member Patsy Kinsey. The winner’s art work will be displayed in all CATS buses for an entire year. Robert’s Walk and Community Celebration was held on Saturday, March 25 and brought together over 25 Safe Place and community partner organizations to share information with community members and garnered support from local performers and businesses such as Discovery Place.
To top off a great week of awareness around The Relatives’ Safe Place program, CMS officially announced that all 168 schools are safe now Safe Place sites for youth to access help within Mecklenburg County, brings the total number of Safe Places that The Relatives manages to 676.
We Love Our Volunteers!
National Volunteer Week is April 23-April 29. We want to thank all of our volunteers for all you contribute to the youth and young adults we serve.
The spring always brings corporate volunteer groups out in large numbers and we love these groups because they can put a lot of manpower behind big facility projects. This year we were excited to kickoff this busy season with Publix. On April 4th, during their Day of Caring event, Publix chose The Relatives as their local nonprofit to support.
They spent the entire day at both The Relatives’ Crisis Center and On Ramp program. A team consisting of 10 store managers and other associates painted all three bedrooms at our Crisis Center, served lunch and spoke about careers in the grocery store business to our young adults at On Ramp, and provided dinner to our kids at the Crisis Center. They kept the best surprise for last when they gave each kid at the house a pair of Nike slides. “This is the best gift ever!” exclaimed one of the boys. Publix left with hugs and hopefully a huge place in their hearts for The Relatives.
We are looking forward to sharing these same important moments with these other corporate groups this spring:
- Lending Tree
- Liberty Mutual
- The Housing Opportunity Foundation
- Fifth Third Bank
- Bank of America
- Wells Fargo
- Google Fiber
- TTI Floor Care
A huge thank you also to all the church groups and individuals who came out these last few months and helped keep our meal and activity calendar full at our Crisis Center. We look forward to keeping it full throughout the summer, so please feel free to reach Erica Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how you can volunteer.
We had another successful Job Fair for our young adults on April 13th. Over 18 vendors attended and almost 20 young adults were able to brush up on their interview skills before going upstairs to meet potential employers.
We realized that we need more professional clothes for our young adults. We would greatly appreciate more of the items below:
• Men’s suits and dress clothes sizes 28-36 and small to medium
• Women’s suits and dress clothes sizes 14-22 and large to xxl
• Belts for both men and women
• Dress socks for both men and woman
• Undershirts for men
• Dress shoes for men sizes 10-12
• Dress shoes for women sizes 5-12
If you have any of the items above please reach out to Erica Ellis at email@example.com.
We want to extend a huge thank you to the board and staff at Charlotte Wine & Food for choosing The Relatives as one of the benefiting charities of this year’s events held on April 19 -April 22. The events brought together leading wine makers and chefs from around the world to celebrate and advance public knowledge of great wine and food, while making significant contributions to charitable organizations like The Relatives. Click here to find our more.
Save The Date
Come join us on Thursday, June 15 at Three Spirits Brewery from 5:30 to 9:00 pm. One dollar from every pint sold will go to The Relatives. Staff will be there to talk about ways to get involved and help the youth and young adults we serve. Three Spirits opened in 2015 and they specialize in beers that are easy to drink, moderate in alcohol content, and high in flavor. To learn more about Three Spirits Brewery, click here.
Be a Relative
In May we are excited to kickoff our “Be a Relative” campaign. We look forward to showing you ways to join our family and grow the support system around the youth and young adults we serve. We will be sharing stories of those we serve, our 2016 results and the ways we are tackling some of the issues around Charlotte’s economic mobility problem. Stay tuned and be ready to share with your family and friends.