The cost of allowing children to live in poverty will have disastrous consequences for our nation’s future. The wealth gap continues to increase while the quality of education and the number of opportunities decrease.
Our youth can’t afford to suffer the consequences of the preceding generations’ mistakes. We can’t allow them to fall further behind. Right now, the bottom is too low. We can do better.
According to Data USA, 144,770 Charlotte residents live in poverty, with African American families making up 36% of that number.
In this article, we’re going to address some of the issues Charlotte’s youth face, fill you in on current initiatives and show you how to get involved.
Charlotte’s Youth Face Many Difficulties
In North Carolina, 1 out of 4 children live in poverty. Of those children, 40% are African-Americans. In addition, a 2014 study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty ranked Charlotte 50th out of 50 for economic mobility.
Without the prospect of moving up the income ladder, Charlotte children born into poverty are more likely to become impoverished adults. The vicious cycle continues and seems inescapable.
Poverty has one of the most destructive effects on a child’s well-being. Investing in the children of Charlotte lays the foundation for a better community.
Improving Charlotte’s Education System Can Accelerate Change
Every child deserves a quality education. The reality in Charlotte doesn’t match this idealistic hope. Children living in poverty receive low-quality education. Full stop.
Some parents can’t even afford to buy food for lunch. In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, over 50% of the students receive a school-provided lunch or reduced-price lunch.
Do you remember the food in your school’s cafeteria? These kids have to eat that crap every day. The highly processed food served at these schools has low nutritional value, interferes with a child’s cognitive development and can even cause health problems.
Furthermore, the world grows more competitive every day. Without proper education, the kids of Charlotte won’t be able to keep a competitive edge.
This results in kids having to take low-skilled or middle-class jobs when they’re adults just to make ends meet. Unfortunately, most companies will outsource these types of jobs to automation or robots.
Minorities also have a more difficult time obtaining higher education, as you can see from the statistics below.
Demographics of University Graduates in Charlotte, NC—Data USA
- White: 7,013 (55.8%)
- Black or African American: 2,807 (22.3%)
- Hispanic or Latino: 1,240 (9.86%)
- Asian: 643 (5.12%)
Giving the children of Charlotte a quality education across the board can lead to a better future for the entire community.
They’ll have the knowledge and know-how to start more small businesses. This will create more jobs and lift more people out of poverty. The new small businesses will also increase tax revenue for the city and state. Everybody wins!
What’s Being Done Right Now to Help Charlotte’s Children?
It’s not all bad for the Children of Charlotte. Plenty of organizations and government programs accepted the challenge to lift children out of poverty.
Monarch Tackles Charlotte’s Youth Mental Health Problem
According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 10 children in America under 18 suffer from a mental health condition. Unfortunately, North Carolina ranked last in providing children with adequate mental health treatment.
In response to this startling statistic, Monarch opened North Carolina’s first Youth Crisis Center in Charlotte in December 2017. Several months after opening, the Youth Crisis Center flooded with over 550 at-risk children.
Most of the children are between the ages of 6-17. Some of these kids battle major mental health issues. Others threaten to harm themselves or others, according to counselor’s reports. The Youth Crisis Center admits them to the facility and provides the mental health treatment they need.
“Having these 580 kids has made an impact on schools. We are seeing kids stay in school longer – it has had an impact on families. We are seeing children get the treatment they need and stabilize that crisis.” — Monarch’s Executive Vice President Blake Martin
Charlotte’s Youth Crisis Center does a great job of doing its part.
The Charlotte-Opportunity Insights Partnership Works to Improve Economic Mobility
This partnership allows local nonprofits, public and private organizations to share data and inform policy. The partnership was launched in 2018 in response to the economic research done by economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues.
Who’s in the partnership?
- Harvard University: Opportunity Insights Research and Policy Institute
- Foundation For The Carolinas
- Leading on Opportunity
- The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
- Brookings Institution
The reliance on data to make informed decisions can encourage real change in the community. This partnership works to build a community where opportunities exist for everyone.
Families Forward Charlotte Invests in Families
Families across Charlotte work hard towards long-term stability, but the lack of economic mobility keeps families of all sizes living in poverty.
Families Forward Charlotte provides mentoring, education opportunities, and essential support to families in need in Mecklenburg County, NC. Since 2017, they’ve helped 81 families connect, delivered over 5,000 bags of food, provided over 250 essential needs baskets and given away over $250,000.
This organization has the goal of eradicating poverty by investing in families. Ensuring the children’s needs are met and the parents can pay their bills significantly improves their future.
How Does DMP Help the Children of Charlotte?
With the help of local non-profits and the community, DMP locates these children in need and provides them or their parents with immediate assistance.
- 187 Needs Fulfilled
- 1,921 Lives Impacted
- 18,401 Volunteer Hours
DMP has provided a variety of needs for families. For example, we provided essential care items and a minivan to a family without transportation.
We seek to give Charlotte’s youth the best opportunity to overcome the challenges they face and succeed in society.
How Does DMP Work?
Doing My Part™ (DMP) is 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2011 in Charlotte. Through our team’s hard work, our small grassroots effort between friends and family evolved from a duct-tape non-profit, into a movement of individuals that built a foundation that supports the most vulnerable children today and lifts up our youth in tremendous ways.
DMP accepts requests from the community and local non-profits. Every request for help gets verified for its authenticity. After verification, DMP documents the process and creates success stories with images and videos. Finally, we share these stories with our DMP members by SMS, email, social media, and the website. So you get to see your impact in real-time. You can join DMP for as little as $9 per month!
We believe in delivering transparency around each story for two reasons. First, we want to encourage people to join our cause by showing the struggles people in poverty have to endure. Second, we want you to know precisely how we used your money.
DMP provides two ways to invest in the families and children of Charlotte. The first line of aid comes from our crowdfunding and subscription model. You can also purchase different products, and 90% of the proceeds go to a Charlotte child in immediate need.
If everyone gives a little, then we can do a lot for Charlotte’s youth.
Families We’ve Helped Over the Years
A Single Mom of Four Children in Need
Name: Heather and Kids
Date: April 8, 2021
The Urgent Need: Rent and Bills
Heather was a victim of sexual harassment at work. She reported the incident to management. Guess what happened next? They fired her!
She’s currently interviewing for jobs. But, with four kids to support and bills coming due, she needed a lifeline to help her stay afloat. So we helped Heather raise money to pay…
Car Payment: $192
Car Insurance: $161
With the power on and a roof over their head, her kids can continue their virtual learning. Falling more behind in school could hurt their future.
A Place to Finally Call Home
Name: Brianna and Kids
The Urgent Need: Apartment Rent and Security Deposit
Brianna and her two kids have roughed it in a hotel for four years. The pandemic only made her search for an apartment that much harder.
She works part-time while waiting for her work schedule to return to full-time. After a long search, Briana finally got approved for an apartment, but she didn’t have enough money to cover the move-in costs.
DMP helped her raise the remaining $1850. Briana and her children are moving into their new apartment in the coming weeks. Her children will finally have a place to call home.
Rain Coats for Kids
Name: Hornets Nest Elementary Rain Coats
The Urgent Need: Raincoats
Mother nature can be brutal. During rainy days, the kids from Hornets Nest Elementary were running back and forth between the main buildings and portable classrooms.
Many of the kids didn’t have proper raincoats. They would get drenched and sit all day in soaked clothes. It wasn’t long until kids started to get sick.
We helped these kids raise money for raincoats. Now, they can focus on learning instead of missing school over an illness.
A Mother of Two With Rent Past Due
Name: Lakita and Kids
Age: Daughter (1) and Son (11)
The Urgent Need: Bills and School Supplies
Latika roughed it over the past year. First, her baby got infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and had to stay in the hospital for over a month. Then COVD-19 hit.
Two children tested positive for the Coronavirus at Latika’s daycare center and they closed it down. With no daycare to watch her kids, Latika couldn’t work to pay the bills and she fell behind on 3 months of her rent.
If that wasn’t enough, virtual schooling left her 11-year-old son without essential supplies usually provided by the school.
DMP’s subscribers provided Latika with the needed funds through their monthly micro-donations. This allowed Latika to pay her rent and bills and to make sure her son started the school year with the needed supplies.
Kids Clothing: $X
Kids Desk: $X
School supplies: $40
A Princess With a Fighting Chance
Age: 4 years old
The Urgent Need: Family Essentials
Four-year-old Bella had been at Levine Children’s Hospital for more than 3 months. This little princess contracted a rare form of Brain Cancer called Medulloblastoma or Central Nervous System Embryonal Tumor of the Brain. Her treatment consists of chemotherapy and multiple stem cell transplants.
Bella’s mother, Karen, submitted an urgent need for help to DMP. Karen’s been unable to work since November of 2020. She also has a 10-year-old son at home being cared for by her husband. With Bella living at the hospital, Karen hasn’t seen the rest of her family for weeks.
This entire situation has made it hard for Karen to buy groceries and household supplies like toilet paper. We helped Karen raise the money she needed through our network of subscribed donors and their monthly micro-donations. Bella received a little visit from DMP at the hospital and we put a smile on her face with a $600 Costco gift card.
Karen and her family can now focus their energy on making sure Bella makes a full recovery. If everyone works together, we can change people’s lives.
Ready to Do Your Part?
The longer we keep avoiding the problem of impoverished youth, the worse the situation will get. We can’t turn our backs on them. Our future depends on it.
DMP offers a variety of ways to help Charlotte families and children in need. Investing in Charlotte’s youth can have a dramatic impact on the community as a whole. You can join DMP for as little as $9 per month and help kids in our community meet their urgent needs. Together, we can help give over 140,000 of our fellow neighbors more opportunities and a better quality of life. Join the movement and do your part to help kids in Charlotte.
You’ll put smiles on kids’ faces. You’ll allow parents to get ahead. To improve our own overall quality of life, we must lift others from poverty. Change comes from the bottom up, not the top down. If we invest in our youth, then we’ll all benefit.
Shop to Do Your Part
Our shop currently has different products for sale. 90% of the proceeds go to helping a child of Charlotte. The category you choose to make your purchase directs your money towards a specific need.
Green Logo: Meals and Nutrition
These purchases help provide meals to kids and families without food.
Blue Logo: Learning and Development
Buy from this category to help kids get their essential school needs.
Red Logo: Shelter and Safety
Provide kids with safe shelter and basic home needs by buying items with red logos.
Subscribe to Do Your Part
Become a member of DMP with a monthly micro-donation starting as low as $9/month. Remember, 90% of your micro-donation goes directly to a new child with an urgent need every month.
We make sure to show you the impact you’re making in real-time with timely updates, videos and images. You’ll see precisely how we use your money to help kids and families escape poverty.
If you are able to give more, subscribe to other contribution amounts.
- Overachiever: $25/month
- Catalyst: $50/month
- Hero: $100/month