A home for the holidays Sabrina Davis is a loving mother to two children — a 17-year-old son, Chazmon, and a 7-year old daughter, Joyous. She works as a nursing assistant and phlebotomist at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Raleigh. Helping other people is one of Sabrina's greatest joys in life, and she says she truly found her calling working in healthcare. For many years, Sabrina has dreamed of owning a home. “My children deserve this,” she said. “One day, I am not going to be here. I want them to have something in this world that belongs to them.” Sabrina considered applying for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County’s homeownership program for a long time before she actually followed through. She never thought she would be selected, but her application was approved the first time. The requirements to attend homeownership and budgeting classes and complete 250 hours of sweat equity are something Sabrina looks forward to. “I have enjoyed every minute of getting to know other families and helping them to build their own homes,” she said. Sabrina doesn't have to complete her family's sweat equity alone. As a 17-year-old, Sabrina's son, Chazmon, is old enough to help build as well. “Chazmon likes construction and working with his hands,” said his proud mom. “He is very tall, over six feet, so he is a handy person to have around on the job site.” After five months of accumulating sweat equity hours building other homes, Sabrina and Chazmon finally had an opportunity to start building their own home in October. And, because their family was chosen for the “Home for the Holidays" home, the Davis's home is being built on an accelerated schedule. The Davis family will be able to close and move into their own home before Christmas. “With homeownership, the key is stability for the family, so their kids can be stable in a school, for instance. That stability carries over into the community, because you now have stakeholders. The more there are, the chances are that deterioration won’t happen.” — Kevin Campbell, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County Since the Wake County chapter of Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1986, the nonprofit has partnered with more than 5,000 volunteers annually to build homes for 410 deserving families. The foreclosure rate of new homeowners assisted by Habitat is less than 2 percent. Applicants are required to show proof of income and go through a series of interviews, including a visit by Habitat staff to their current home to meet family members and assess the family budget. Prospective homeowners must prove that their current living conditions are overcrowded, substandard, too expensive, or unsafe. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, visit their homepage or read our Grantee Profile. CLICK BELOW TO READ PAST STORIES FROM OUR 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
Getting to the heart of Christmas Six years ago, Dulce Rodriguez went to the emergency room because her hand was numb. She was scared, didn’t know what else to do, and didn’t have insurance. Dulce was diagnosed with Rheumatic heart disease and needed regular medical care — care she simply couldn't afford. After connecting with Alliance Medical Ministry, she was able to get access to her own doctor and start a course of Coumadin to manage her heart issues. Alliance gave Dulce access to medical care despite the fact that she didn’t have insurance. But that’s only half of the story. For years, Dulce followed the advice of Dr. Sheryl Joyner to manage her health. She was also connected to one of Alliance’s volunteer specialty providers, Dr. John Paar, to have an in-depth look at her heart condition. Earlier this year, Dr. Paar felt that Dulce needed more help; she needed mitral valve replacement. Dr. Paar reached out to surgeons and the hospital and got a large portion of her heart surgery donated. “I am so thankful for Dr. Joyner, Dr. Paar and the rest of the team at Alliance,” Dulce said. “I don’t think I would be here right now without them, because I would not know where else to go.” For over a decade, Alliance Medical Ministry has brought together a community of patients, providers, caregivers, volunteers, and supporters to provide health care and health training for the working poor. “Alliance is about giving people a message that they might never have gotten from a doctor before: you’re important. It’s not just about popping pills and prescribing medicines and me hammering you about what is not right. Let’s start with the basics: you have value, and you have purpose.” — Dr. Tara Lewis, Alliance Medical Ministry’s Medical Director. Alliance provides a medical home for these deserving people. Conveniently located just inside the Raleigh beltline, the clinic is staffed with physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and medical assistants. It provides acute and chronic care, pharmacy services, health education, disease management, and pastoral counseling. Ninty-eight percent of Alliance patients have an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold. Most work in construction, retail, or service industries. All told, Alliance conducts 1,100 patient visits per month and is the medical home for more than 8,000 patients annually. To learn more about Alliance Medical Ministry, visit their homepage or read our Grantee Profile. (Photo credit: Simon Griffiths) CLICK BELOW TO READ PAST STORIES FROM OUR 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
“This is your time … you’d better not miss it" Those words rang through Latonya’s head. Her recent decision to leave New York City and return to the place she once called home — Raleigh, North Carolina — hadn't been easy. But she knew it was the right choice. Fleeing an abusive relationship and a soul-crushing job that barely enabled her to pay the bills, Latonya and her nine-year-old son arrived in Raleigh on a bus. She knew that she needed to find housing for them both, and fast. When she saw several homeless people, she boldly asked them: “Where do you go for help?” They pointed down the street to Raleigh Rescue Mission. That night, Latonya and her son were welcomed into the Mission’s emergency shelter. It was a huge relief. “We ate, we took a bath, and had a nice warm spot to sleep,” Latonya said. “It was a good place to be." That first meal and night of shelter led her to be part of the Mission’s recovery and rehabilitation services, where she began participating in Bible studies, life skills classes, job skills training, and other help to get a fresh start. “You remember those who lent you a hand when you were down,” she said. “I told my son: there won’t be a Christmas that we won’t come here and volunteer.” For over 50 years, the Raleigh Rescue Mission has been serving people in need of a hand up, like Latonya and her son. The need is significant: On a given night in Wake County, 1,115 men, women, and children are without shelter. The Mission serves them, providing 2,646 meals each week to individuals who otherwise might be forced to eat out of garbage cans. "There is something special about the Christmas holiday — celebrating the birth of Jesus, exchanging gifts, visiting with friends and family, and always great food. For some, this is a time of loneliness, broken promises, distant relationships, and just pure hopelessness. Many who we serve fall into the latter. The Mission is here to meet many needs and the holiday is no exception. We provide the love of Christ, great meals to many, and we also have special gifts for those we serve. In the end, we see happy faces, new friends and relationships, and restored faith, hope, peace, and joy. Merry Christmas!" — Lynn Daniell, Executive Director of the Raleigh Rescue Mission This Christmas, the Mission is busy serving the most needy in our community. Through its “Gobbles to Go” outreach on Christmas Eve, staff and volunteers will deliver 750 meals to the elderly, infirm, and low income. Because no Christmas is complete without the exchange of gifts, the Mission also is sponsoring a “Christmas Blessings Gift Program” that provides gifts for its clients. Around the holiday, the need is always significant for coats, blankets, gloves, and scarves — anything that will help keep men, women, and children warm during the cold months. To learn more about the Raleigh Rescue Mission, visit their homepage or read our Grantee Profile. CLICK BELOW TO READ PAST STORIES FROM OUR 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
The little fighter Only days old, eyes not even open yet, and all by herself — that’s how a cleaning crew found Swiffer, a short-haired tabby cat stuck in a bush. Taking time out of their busy workdays, the unselfish cleaning crew brought Swiffer to SAFE Haven for Cats, a nonprofit in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose mission is to end the suffering of cats and ensure the well-being of every animal. From the moment of her rescue on, Swiffer began a journey toward a permanent, loving home. Although completely helpless, Swiffer quickly caught on to bottle feeding, using the kitty litter box, and keeping warm on a heating pad. Her eyes opened at 10 days, and she started learning how to play, socialize with other kittens, and eat solid food. Today, thanks to the generous support of individuals and foundations in our community, Swiffer is healthy, happy, and ready for her new home just in time for Christmas. SAFE Haven for Cats is Raleigh’s “no-kill” shelter and spay/neuter clinic. Annually, SAFE Haven shelters and adopts 550 homeless cats, sterilizes 3,000 cats and small dogs, and provide 10 tons of free dog and cat food to community members. Volunteers provide much of the labor and love at the shelter. This Christmas season, a group of anonymous donors has offered a matching challenge of $118,310 for SAFE Haven. Every dollar donated through Dec. 31, 2013, will be matched dollar for dollar. “As the weather turns cold and damp, we must step up our efforts to rescue strays in our community. The Holiday Matching Challenge allows us to have the funds to provide immediate shelter, unlimited veterinary care, and loads of love to strays that would not make it through the winter.” — Pam Miller, SAFE Haven Founder and Executive Director During the last 20 years, the clinic has adopted out over 5,900 cats and sterilized over 15,000. Their goal is to ensure that animals will only be euthanized due to fatal illness, and then only by lethal injection. SAFE Haven also has a food pantry that provides temporary, supplemental assistance for up to three months. The mission is to help people keep their pets who otherwise might have to give them up for economic reasons. To learn more about SAFE Haven for Cats, visit their homepage here. CLICK BELOW TO READ PAST STORIES FROM OUR 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
The Daily Dispatch, based out of Henderson, N.C., yesterday reported on the Pope Foundation's $35,000 in grants to food pantries in Vance County. The grants were part of a larger $185,000 given by the Pope Foundation in October to humanitarian charities. LifeLine Outreach Inc., a nonprofit based in Vance County that alleviates homelessness and assists women and children in crisis. (Photo credit: Daily Dispatch) The Dispatch reported: Local non-profits and faith-based organizations took a hit when the federal government closed for 16 days. The John William Pope Foundation made its yearly donations to Vance County charities a few months early this year to help offset the impact of the shutdown. “We heard on the ground that the federal government shutdown was having an effect on these charities doing this humanitarian work and what we decided to do was to expedite our end of the year funding to cover the shortfall caused by the shutdown,” said David Riggs of the Pope Foundation. The foundation is a private family foundation focused on humanitarian charities in Wake and Vance counties. The foundation donated $5,000 to Area Christians Together in Service, $10,000 to Life Line Outreach Inc. and $20,000 to the United Way of Vance County. Twanna Jones, executive director of ACTS, said her organization has not received a Pope Foundation grant in the past. “They heard about the great work that we were doing in the Vance County community,” Jones said. ACTS provides a daily soup kitchen on weekdays, a food pantry, backpack buddies, and Meals on Wheels for the disabled and elderly. Jones has plans to expand her operation with a mobile feeding program that supplies meals to all areas of need. She said the grant money would help with the expansion as well as day-to-day operations. “My goal is to have a seven-day a week soup kitchen that feeds twice a day,” Jones said. For the first time this year, ACTS will serve lunch on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to noon. (Note: A subscription is needed to view the entire article, but there is no cost.)
RALEIGH, N.C. OCT. 21, 2013 — To mitigate the effects of the federal government shutdown that spanned the first half of October, the John William Pope Foundation has announced $185,000 in grants to humanitarian charities in central, eastern, and western North Carolina. “The Pope Foundation is always honored to help these vital humanitarian nonprofits with financial support, support that is leveraged by their great volunteers and staff,” said Art Pope, President and Chairman of the Pope Foundation. “With the added uncertainty and potential increase in need due to a partial federal government shutdown, the Pope Foundation decided to give earlier and more to help these private and volunteer charitable institutions fill the gap and offer a hand up to those most in need," Pope said. ___________________________________ ___________________________________ Thirteen organizations will benefit from the accelerated grants. These organizations meet the immediate needs of children, women, and men by providing food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. "With these extra funds, we'll be able to go and buy meat, baby formula, and diapers," said Dorothy Hunt, Executive Director of Lifeline Outreach Inc., a nonprofit based in Vance County that alleviates homelessness and assists women and children in crisis. "The grant will enable us to continue doing what we're already doing, but on an increased level," she added. "Helping these people is the call of God on us." The grants are: $25,000 — Alliance Medical Ministry $5,000 — Area Christians Together for Service $15,000 — Food Bank of the Albemarle $20,000 — Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C. $20,000 — Habitat for Humanity of Wake County $10,000 — Interfaith Food Shuttle $10,000 — Lifeline Outreach Inc. $15,000 — Raleigh Rescue Mission $10,000 — Salvation Army of Wake County $15,000 — Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest N.C. $10,000 — Shepherd’s Table $10,000 — Urban Ministries of Wake County $20,000 — United Way of Vance County Since its founding in 1986, the Pope Foundation has given millions to humanitarian charities, mainly in Wake County and adjacent regions. For more information, interviews, or details on the application process, contact Dave Riggs or David Bass at 919-861-6445 or email@example.com. ABOUT THE POPE FOUNDATION The John William Pope Foundation, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, works to improve the well-being of the citizens of North Carolina and the nation through the advancement of individual freedom and personal responsibility. From its first grant in 1986 to the present, the Foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million, primarily to charities and organizations in North Carolina. The Foundation is a private family foundation supported by the late John William Pope Sr. and his wife, Joyce W. Pope, and their children: their late son, John William Pope Jr.; Amanda Pope; and Art Pope. The Pope Foundation receives additional support from the family’s business, Variety Wholesalers Inc., which owns and operates Roses, Maxway, Super 10, and other discount stores, and has its offices and distribution centers in Raleigh and Henderson, North Carolina. ###
Oren Cass, Gov. Mitt Romney's domestic-policy advisory during the 2012 presidential campaign, outlines the inherent tension between welfare and work in this article (subscription required) for National Review: By some measures, the War on Poverty has already succeeded. If the goal is simply to guarantee that every American has access to food, providing an average of more than $3,000 of food stamps each year to households in need is a nearly unqualified victory. If the goal is access to medical care, a Medicaid program spending an average of $7,000 each year for a family of three represents extraordinary progress. Indeed, counting the full range of federal benefits as “income” to low-income households leads to a substantial reduction in the poverty rate. But simply transferring enough resources to someone so that he is no longer “poor” treats only the symptom; it does not move him toward self-sufficiency or a foothold at the bottom of an economic ladder that could lead to better opportunities. To the contrary, it hinders that process. Therein lies the paradox at the heart of anti-poverty policy. Every dollar spent to reduce the suffering of an impoverished person reduces the incentive for that person to improve his own condition by earning an income—not only because the need has become less pressing, but also because the system will in fact punish him for any success by taking the dollar away once he earns one of his own. The “handout” is locked in perpetual battle with the “hand up.” One could say, “So what?” Why not just spend the money to ensure everyone’s needs are met, and let work be its own reward? For one, fiscal constraints preclude the possibility of further expanding benefits for the further-expanded pool of beneficiaries that this approach would attract. But even if one were prepared to undertake the taxation and redistribution necessary to implement such a policy, the result would undermine societal values of individual responsibility and self-reliance and impede the upward economic mobility that is possible only for those who enter the work force in the first place. Thus the conservative emphasis on work requirements and other incentives to move people into jobs. And thus the effectiveness of welfare reform in the 1990s, one of the great conservative policy successes of recent decades.