CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the coronavirus forces employers to shut their doors, unemployment rates are skyrocketing. More than 100,000 people in North Carolina filed for unemployment last week, and that was before Governor Roy Cooper ordered non-essential businesses to close.
“I can’t earn any money to take care of my little ones, I’m definitely concerned about it,” said Davon Beale, a Charlotte father of three boys.
“Birthdays are coming up, so I have a six-year-old, a four-year-old and a five-month-old,” Beale said.
Since Beale is self-employed at his hair studio A Salon By Davon in Elizabeth, for now, his main source of income is gone.
“It just kind of hit really this week knowing that we won’t be able to work beyond Wednesday,” Beale said.
Relief was on the way, though. Beale says a client told him about the organization Black Fathers Rock’s offering coronavirus assistance.
“She reached out to me and said hey Davon, I think this is something you could benefit from,” Beale said. “She said, ‘I nominated you.’”
“Especially thinking about the fact that there’s no end in sight right now, we just thought it made sense for an organization like ours to join the fight," said Aaron Best, a board member for Black Father’s Rock.
Best says they’ve given everything from money to food to household supplies.
“As schools have closed, we’ve started to get more requests from school supplies,” Best said, “some folks have reached out saying, ‘We need internet at home and we don’t have access to that.’”
Beale says initially, he was hesitant to reach out.
“I don’t like reaching out for help from any type of organization,” Beale said, “That’s not something that’s easy for me to do.”
Ultimately, Beale says he realized it wasn’t just about him.
“As a father, at this point, I can go without, I can handle it,” Beale said, “But the kids? No. So I just want to make sure they have what they need.”
“While there might be a stigma in reaching out and asking for help, in dire times like these we’re all here to be a support system,” Best said.
Beale says the money he received was able to go toward groceries and the internet necessary for his sons’ online learning.
“I looked at my CashApp and [the money] was there,” Beale said. “My heart feels good to know that people care.”
Despite the name ‘Black Fathers Rock’ Best says their organization will help anyone who needs it.
“I mean, we’re all one big communal family,” Best said.
If you need assistance, you can send Black Fathers Rock a direct message on Facebook, or visit their website blackfathersrock.org.
To donate money, you can send it three ways:
- Paypal: paypal.me/blkfathersrock
- Cashapp: $blkfathersrock
- Physical Check: Black Fathers Rock, PO Box 29739, Charlotte, NC 28229
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