by Ryan Bailey

During this uncertain time, there are numerous ways in which you can support those in need across Charlotte and the Carolinas. Here’s a selection of charities and initiatives looking for donations and support…

The Creative Player Foundation
For over a decade, this soccer-based initiative has used the beautiful game as a tool for education and opportunity for underprivileged children on the west side of Charlotte.

They have moved their tutoring, mentorship and afterschool programs online, and are currently seeking donations and volunteers.

The Soccer Foundation of Charlotte
Since 2017, Soccer FC has provided free after-school soccer and literacy programming to Title 1 elementary schools.

They have continued to help underserved communities during the pandemic by assisting with grocery shopping, connecting those in need with food distribution centers, and providing books and soccer balls.

You can donate your time or help with items on their Amazon Wishlist.

Project 658
Operating in East Charlotte, Project 658 is a soccer charity initiative that helps at-risk members of the community, including immigrants and refugees.

They have established a relief fund to provide food, medicine and other necessities to program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Feed the Front Line Charlotte
Set up specifically to support Charlotte healthcare workers and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, this non-profit organization is dedicated to supporting hospital workers with meals.

They are gathering donations to give to local restaurants, who in turn are supplying meals for essential workers. In this way, the initiative is helping local businesses and essential workers.

Make a donation here.

Loaves & Fishes
Loaves & Fishes provides nutritionally balanced groceries to individuals and families in Charlotte-Mecklenburg who are in short-term crisis, through pantries throughout the county.

They are seeking financial support to help feed our neighbors in need, and also have volunteer opportunities.

The CMS Foundation
In response to extended school closures, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation has established a COVID-19 Relief Fund to ensure all students continue to have access to learning.

The Tepper Foundation contributed a gift of $650,000 to the CMS Foundation that is providing 6,000 hotspots and prepaid internet service to students without home connectivity.

The foundation is accepting donations to supporting learning and critical needs for CMS students and their families.

The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte
The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte provides a safe, affordable and caring “home away from home” for families of children receiving treatment in Charlotte-area medical facilities.

Volunteer activity is currently suspended, but they are accepting donations to cover the costs of their operations during this time of heightened need.

Friendship Trays
Friendship Trays is the Meals on Wheels service for Charlotte-Mecklenburg, which delivers nutritious meals to elderly or infirm members of the community.

They have refocused their efforts on their most vulnerable recipients, who have no other sources of food. Friendship Trays is accepting donations of canned food at their headquarters and have produced an Amazon wishlist of their most desired items.

A Child’s Place
Since 1989, A Child’s Place has been working to improve the lives of children and families experiencing homelessness in Charlotte.

During this difficult time, they are seeking donations for accommodations for their highest risk families, and to supply food outside of CMS provisions.

Donate blood and plasma
The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage and is accepting blood donations from healthy individuals at drives across the Carolinas.

The Red Cross is also seeking people who are fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma. Recovered patients may have antibodies in their plasma that can help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.