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Donate to give kids a chance to play baseball

Baseball is a national pastime, but the sport is out of reach for many families in Charlotte as it is no longer affordable.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Carolinas Metro Reds

Carolinas Metro Reds is a nonprofit in Charlotte that helps underserved youth play baseball. The Carolinas Metro Reds provides a diverse, family environment for underserved youth to develop their baseball, academic and life skills by way of high-level coaching, teaching and mentorship.

Baseball is a national pastime, a team sport that millions of youth have enjoyed and benefitted from for over a century. However, baseball is out of reach for many families in Charlotte as it is no longer affordable. Many families can't pay the team fees that provide access to baseball fields, equipment, and coaching.  But through Carolinas Metro Reds, hundreds of youth are able to take the field.

A donation of $50 supports one player for a season with Carolinas Metro Reds.

WCNC Charlotte, the TEGNA Foundation, Steel Skin Realty and the Parham Family Charitable Fund will match up to the first $5,000 donated to Carolinas Metro Reds..

DONATE to Carolinas Metro Reds

Morris Madden, a former MLB left-handed pitcher, is the founder and President of the Carolinas Metro Reds.  For years, Morris noticed a concerning lack of growth among young African-American players in baseball. Not nearly enough kids under the age of eighteen had the awareness or access to the game of baseball and he knew that he had to help. Shortly after his MLB playing career, he decided it was time to take an active role in being a part of the solution.  

There are currently almost 200 players in the organization and additional funding will help additional undeserved players and families to participate in baseball, and also benefit from the life skills and education support provided.

SEE OUR COVERAGECarolinas Metro Reds tees up west Charlotte kids for success

=== Our April 2022 spotlight ===

Hickory Public Schools Education Foundation

Dozens of teachers in Hickory Public Schools applied for grant money to help meet educational needs in the classroom.  

But due to the pandemic, Hickory Public Schools Education Foundation hasn't been able to host a fundraiser for the past two years. That means funds are limited.

It's hard to tell a teacher no when they're trying to help better student education, but the foundation has been forced to turn down teacher requests.  

The foundation was elated to learn they could say yes to teacher requests thanks to WCNC Charlotte, the TEGNA Foundation, Steel Skin Realty and the Parham Family Charitable Fund's donation of $5,000.

But there are more teachers asking for money and that's where you come in. Donate now to help fund teacher requests through the Hickory Public Schools Education Foundation.

Donate to Hickory Public Schools Education Foundation

Teacher Daniel Ernenwein of Longview Elementary School received grant money so he can purchase books for his bilingual class so kids can go home and exchange from English to Spanish with their parents.

Teachers Laura Marvin and Dorothy Dalton received grant money so both of their classrooms at Oakwood Elementary School could expand on science.

“This money will go for hands-on science that will help students actually touch, feel, manipulate the curriculum,” Marvin said.

All money donated goes toward making a difference in the classroom for students.

=== Our March 2022 spotlight ===

Beatties Ford Road Vocational Center

The Beatties Ford Road Vocational Center has a waitlist of more than 300 people interested in taking their trade classes.  They can't afford to pay to attend classes, so they're waitlisted until the nonprofit has enough funding to grant them a scholarship.

DONATE to Beatties Ford Road Vocational Center

Beatties Ford Road Vocational Center provides students who are chronically underemployed or unemployed with skills in traditional and non-traditional trades that will enable them to obtain permanent employment and compete for advancement in the job market.  Make a difference by donationing to help young man or woman who has dropped out of high school to get a second chance of getting their high school diploma and a trade.  A $50 donation could help purchase a required training textbook.  

WCNC Charlotte, the TEGNA Foundation, the Parham Family Charitable Fund and Steel Skin Realty will match up to the first $5,000 donated.

SEE OUR COVERAGE: Beatties Ford trade school seeking solutions to help more trade students

=== Our February 2022 spotlight ===

The Academy of Goal Achievers

The Academy of Goal Achievers, a Charlotte-based nonprofit, has impacted the lives of over 500 local high school students by providing mentorship and programming for them to prepare them for life after high school.

DONATE to The Academy of Goal Achievers

The Academy of Goal Achievers helps students learn life skills they don't usually get in the classroom to help them get to that next level: college or a trade. 

But they can't do it without your help. Can you volunteer as a career coach? Or do you work for a company that could offer job shadowing or an internship? You can also make a difference by donating money to help fund the program. WCNC Charlotte, the TEGNA Foundation, the Parham Family Charitable Fund and Steel Skin Realty will match up to the first $5,000.

Donations go to support programs to eliminate financial barriers, pay the tuition gap, pay for books and tutoring.  A donation of $35 will support of tutoring session for a student.  

SEE OUR COVERAGE: Charlotte mentorship program wants to change students' mindsets, increase resources

Credit: WCNC


=== Our January 2022 spotlight ===

Scouting For Food

WCNC Charlotte teamed up with the Boy Scouts of America to help fight hunger in the community through the Scouting For Food drive.  

Scouts collected donations in the following counties: Mecklenburg, York, Lancaster, Anson, Union, Cabarrus, Rowan and Stanly. 

In the small town of Clover in York, South Carolina, donations benefited the Clover Area Assistance Center.

DONATE to Clover Area Assistance Center

Karen Van Vierssen is the director of the Clover Area Assistance Center. Tax credits and extra benefits ended Dec. 31, 2021.  Van Vierssen said they’re expecting more people will turn to them this month for help. 

"People don’t want to ask for help, but reality is starting to hit," she said.

Scouting For Food helped fill their shelves with much-needed donations.  The Clover Area Assistance Center provides food for approximately 180 households a month.

If you would like to donate money instead, make a difference by donating online to the Clover Area Assistance Center.  WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation will match up to the first $2,500 donated.

SEE OUR COVERAGE:  South Carolina food pantry counting on Boy Scouts to help feed hungry families

Credit: WCNC

=== Our December 2021 spotlight ===

She Built This City

Nearly two million women have dropped out of the labor force amid the pandemic. How will they come back?

A nonprofit based in west Charlotte is trying to make a difference. It’s called She Built This City and was founded by Demi Knight Clark, a residential construction industry executive for over 20 years.  They empower women and girls in the construction and manufacturing trades.

DONATE to She Built This City

You can help by making a donation. $25 provides one youth experience in the explorer kids program to spark interest in construction and maker trades.

A $50 provides one youth with an opportunity to learn 3D printing, virtual reality and other 2030 technology pathways.

WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation will match up to the first $2,000 donated.  

SEE OUR COVERAGENonprofit training women in construction: She Built This City

=== Our November 2021 spotlight ===

PATH, Inc.

PATH, Inc. is making a difference in York County by providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need this holiday.  The non-profit needs to distribute a total of 125 boxes of food for Thanksgiving to families in western York County.  But they need donations to help make that happen.

DONATE to PATH to help this Thanksgiving

WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation will match up to the first $2,000 donated.  

SEE OUR COVERAGEYork County organization needs help feeding people in need

After Thanksgiving, the nonprofit starts working on distributing food boxes for Christmas.  So no matter how much money you donate, it all goes back to the community.

=== Our October 2021 spotlight ===

Camino Health Center

Camino Health Center is a bilingual and multicultural health center located in west Charlotte that provides excellent and affordable integrated care to the underinsured and uninsured populations. Their mission is to equip people to live truly healthy lives.  

DONATE to Camino Health Center

At Camino, they believe nutrition is a key component to living a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people don’t have access to food, let alone meals rich in nutrients. It’s through their Food Pantry, called “The Food Farmacy”, that they help alleviate food insecurity in our community. A $25 donation will help feed one person for a week.

SEE OUR COVERAGE:  How to help fight food insecurity in Charlotte

=== Our August and September 2021 spotlight ===

The month-long WCNC Charlotte Clear The Shelters event ended September 18 with a fantastic adoption day.

Making a difference in the Charlotte area, TEGNA Foundation and WCNC Charlotte donated a total of $11,000 to Clear The Shelters. Each shelter and rescue will receive $1,000.  A total of $21,000 was raised and more than 240 pets were adopted.

SEE OUR COVERAGE:  Animals find fur-ever homes on Clear The Shelters Day

There are a variety of shelters in our area that participated. The goal was to make a difference in the animal community to help them adopt out all of their animals and raise money to support their shelter.

=== Our June 2021 spotlight ===

Carolinas Metro Reds

Carolinas Metro Reds is a nonprofit in Charlotte that helps underserved youth play baseball.  The Carolinas Metro Reds provides a diverse, family environment for underserved youth to develop their baseball, academic and life skills by way of high-level coaching, teaching and mentorship.

Baseball is a national pastime, a team sport that millions of youth have enjoyed and benefitted from for over a century.  However,  baseball is out of reach for many families in Charlotte as it is no longer affordable.  Many families can't pay the team fees that provide access to baseball fields, equipment, and coaching.  But through Carolinas Metro Reds, hundreds of youth are able to take the field.

A donation of $50 supports one player for a season with Carolinas Metro Reds.

WCNC Charlotte will match up to the first $2,000 donated to Carolinas Metro Reds.

DONATE to Carolinas Metro Reds

Morris Madden, a former MLB left-handed pitcher, is the founder and President of the Carolinas Metro Reds.  For years, Morris noticed a concerning lack of growth among young African-American players in baseball. Not nearly enough kids under the age of eighteen had the awareness or access to the game of baseball and he knew that he had to help. Shortly after his MLB playing career, he decided it was time to take an active role in being a part of the solution.  

There are currently almost 200 players in the organization and additional funding will help additional undeserved players and families to participate in baseball, and also benefit from the life skills and education support provided.

In 2020, WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation awarded Carolina Metro Reds a grant, which supported two entire teams for a season of baseball.

SEE OUR COVERAGECarolinas Metro Reds tees up west Charlotte kids for success

=== Our May 2021 spotlight ===

Esther's Heart

Help feed hungry children in the community. Esther's Heart Backpacks of Hope Program is in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County School Systems. 

DONATE to Esther's Heart

Esther's Heart receives applications ongoing throughout the school year and needs support from the community to make this happen continually. Backpacks of Hope provides meals for the entire weekend for the youth.

SEE OUR COVERAGE: Esther's Heart helps feed children across the Charlotte area

=== Our April 2021 spotlight ===

For The Struggle, Inc.

Help seniors stay in their homes by donating to For The Struggle, Inc, a nonprofit that focuses on advocating for homeowners at risk of losing their property to gentrification.  

DONATE to For the Struggle, Inc.

The Elder Response Initiative provides free services to seniors in historically and predominately black neighborhoods, primarily Charlotte's Beatties Ford Road corridor.  

The initiative was created by For The Struggle, Inc. because Charlotte has experienced rapid gentrification that has heightened the risk of displacement, particularly on the corridor. The corridor has a large senior population at risk of displacement. As such, the initiative provides seniors with assistance obtaining critical home repairs; future planning (e.g. wills, powers of attorney); and property tax relief.   

SEE OUR COVERAGECharity battling gentrification in Charlotte's historic Black neighborhoods

=== Our March Spotlight ===

Turning Point

One in four families we know is impacted by domestic violence. It’s a startling statistic. And because of the pandemic, victims are in isolation from their abusers. 

Turning Point is a nonprofit in Monroe that is a safe shelter for women and children who have experienced domestic violence. They’re in need of financial donations. 

SEE OUR COVERAGE: Monroe domestic violence shelter needs your donations

Make a difference and help those trapped in domestic violence. Donate now by texting the word MONROE to 50155 or you go online to donate.

=== Our February 2021 spotlight ===

Bountiful Blessings Food Pantry

WCNC Charlotte is teaming up with the United Way of Gaston County to make a difference for an organization in need.

Bountiful Blessings Food Pantry served about 300 people per week before COVID-19 hit. Now, volunteers are serving nearly 4,000 a week and need upgraded equipment to keep feeding the community. 

SEE OUR COVERAGEMake A Difference: Bountiful Blessings receives $10,000 donation from Junior League

Donations can be made online or you can text BOUNTIFUL to 71777.

Making a difference

With millions of people turning to charitable nonprofits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WCNC Charlotte is raising awareness of nonprofits in the Carolinas that are in desperate need of help.  Additional funds are needed in an effort to continue to serve those who need it most. 

Each month, WCNC Charlotte will share information about a nonprofit making a difference in the community. These nonprofits are all 501c3 verified through the IRS. If you are in a position to give, any donation amount can make an impact.