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Nonprofits team up to serve Charlotte-area children facing homelessness

The Junior League of Charlotte teamed up with Bright Blessings in Matthews to package essentials and wrap gifts for kids facing homelessness this holiday season.

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Two nonprofits in Matthews are teaming up to make a real difference for children facing homelessness in the Charlotte area this holiday season. 

Bright Blessings works with local school districts and shelters in six counties to support homeless and impoverished children. In October, Bright Blessings surpassed a huge milestone by serving over 130,000 children in the area since opening in 2019. 

"The newborns and infants that we serve, children from pre-K all the way through senior year in high school, and that's through one or more of our programs," Marissa Nelson, a development associate with Bright Blessings, said. 

The program provides essentials to children facing precarious living conditions, inadequate nutrition and academic difficulties. Bright Blessings also helps with children's literacy by donating more than 6,000 books each year. 

"For them to receive something that they weren't expecting in the first place, and not just essentials like hygiene kits or snack packs, but to then get gifts that were specifically picked and curated for them, the stories we here are pretty incredible," Nelson said. 

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Bright Blessings is just one organization needing all hands on deck with volunteers to continue its mission to serve children this holiday season. 

The Junior League of Charlotte is another group of women in the community taking action.

"We work to develop women and empower women so that we can go out in the community to do great things," Junior League of Charlotte President Kellie Lofton said. "What better time to do it than right before the holidays?"

This week, more than 1,500 Junior League women will spend time lending a helping hand across a handful of nonprofits right before Thanksgiving. 

"Classroom Central, Promising Pages, and we just did an event at Reid Park Academy where we created 250 Thanksgiving bags," Lofton said. 

At Bright Blessings, the Junior League of Charlotte will help with its Helping Hands initiative. 

"We've got about 850 stockings for elementary school, middle school and high school kids that they are doing," Nelson said. "Those are going into the Christmas stockings that we send out to the kids. They're also going to be wrapping some holiday books."

With the holidays right around the corner, volunteers at Bright Blessings say even more help is needed to make sure kids are receiving essentials that aren't readily available to them. 

"I think that their work creates a bright light for children and one of the things I think our organization does do is help our children be school-ready," Lofton said. 

Click here to donate to Bright Blessings' initiative. Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities with the Junior League of Charlotte

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

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