If you want proof of the region's economic troubles, visit its charities. Many are seeing record numbers of people who need help, including families who can no longer make ends meet because of lost jobs and rising inflation. Here are the wish lists of some of the dozens of charities that do good work in our community – part of the Observer's annual Giving Guide, which will be published in its entirety on Nov. 27. Each Tuesday, we will run an abbreviated version of the Giving Guide in the Local & State section. Mark Price
2705 Baltimore Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28203
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Program: Provides elementary-age after-school enrichment programs, after-school tutoring and teen life skills training, alcohol, drug and gang prevention, scholarships for college-age students, emergency assistance and Head Start programming in Mecklenburg County.
Material wishes: Angel Tree gifts – unwrapped toys, sweat suits and books for children kindergarten age through 18 years. Also, Christmas sponsors for families and seniors. Names and sizes available. Gifts are needed by Dec. 7.
Volunteer needs: Volunteers to wrap gifts. Please contact Amy Hutchison to set up a time at ahutchison@bethlehemcen ter.org.
To help: 704-375-1417 or go to www.bethlehemcenter.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte
P.O. Box 31128
Charlotte, NC 28231
Program: Provides character and leadership training, education and career counseling, health and life skills, tutoring and fun events at nine locations.
Material wishes: Arts-and-crafts supplies, sports equipment, game-room equipment.
Volunteer needs: Tutors, mentors and handyman.
To help: Mail financial contributions to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte, P.O. Box 31128, Charlotte, NC 28231. Call 704-714-4709.
BRIDGE Jobs Program
7701 Sharon Lakes Road, Suite W
Charlotte, NC 28210
Program: Provides education, vocational and employment services to teens and adults who have dropped out of school so they can finish high school and find employment.
Material wishes: Financial donations, educational materials, games and gifts for teenagers.
Volunteer needs: Reading and math tutors, mentors.
To help: Call Jerry Taylor at 704-377-5371.
Charlotte Area Fund
901 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28206
Program: Provides self-help programs in employment, budgeting and money management, and nutrition. Also provides limited financial assistance for medication, rent and utilities for low-income Mecklenburg residents.
Material wishes: Donations to buy special tools and equipment required for clients who have obtained jobs, donations to help families pay utility bills, donations and food for Christmas boxes for families in need, a 10,000-square-foot building.
Volunteer needs: Computer consultants and trainers, data-entry clerks and food-distribution workers in the nutrition program.
To help: Contact Karen Brackett Browning, 704-372-3010, ext. 202, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, or e-mail karenbb@charlotte areafund.org.
Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice
740 W. Fifth St., Suite 210
Charlotte, NC 28202
Program: Dedicated to developing youth leaders who will promote appreciation of and respect for diversity, and address issues of bullying, alienation and violence among young people.
Material wishes: Scholarships for residential youth programs, assistance with transportation for youth to attend programs, printing services, electric typewriter.
Volunteer needs: Any town advisers, youth mentors, drivers, Web site design, special-events volunteers for annual awards dinner, Charlotte Walks Together walkathon. Training provided.
To help: Call Nyala Hunt at 704-334-0053 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dress for Success Charlotte
202 E. Woodlawn Road, Suite 104
Charlotte, NC 28217
Program: Promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Material wishes: Portable, collapsible clothing racks; flip chart; easel; computer quality copy paper; printing services; laptop and LCD projector; pantyhose and knee-highs in unopened packages; women's professional suits in sizes 18 and larger; gift cards to office supply stores and plus-size clothing stores; interview appropriate shoes, especially in sizes 10 and larger.
Volunteer needs: Special event committee members, marketing expert to help create annual report, ambassadors to help communicate organizational information via various distribution channels, professional organizer to help maximize current space.
To help: 704-525-7706 or e-mail email@example.com.
Family Outreach and Counseling Center
Belmont Regional Center
700 Parkwood Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
Program: Counseling center serving low-income, at-risk families. Offers workshops and monthly support groups for noncustodial fathers and the Responsible Fatherhood Program to mediate development of a parenting agreement.
Material wishes: Laptop computers, movie passes, bowling and skating passes, family-activity passes, office supplies, printing services.
Volunteer needs: Office staff, help with evening support group, male mentors for noncustodial fathers, grant writers, fund developer, someone to develop and write a monthly newsletter, someone to make a daily presentation each morning on the Responsible Fatherhood program in child-support court.
To help: 704-333-2033.
FLAGS Across The Nation
Charlotte, NC 28271-7045
Program: Reaches out to children and adults to send letters and art to deployed and wounded troops. Promotes patriotism through art with a children's annual art contest.
Material wishes: AT&T phone cards for deployed troops, quilts for wounded troops, money donations to pay for postage.
Volunteer needs: Helpers to promote art contest, children and adults to write letters, children to create artwork for the troops, quilters.
To help: Call Eileen Schwartz at 704-654-8529 or e-mail eileen@ flagsacrossthenation.org.
Greenville Community Combined Youth Organization Inc.
1211 Spring St.
Charlotte, NC 28206
Program: Provides positive neighborhood-based activities for youth – a safe house, reading, music, computer literacy, art and marching corps. The organization also addresses the needs of the family, such as nutrition, relationships, Bible studies and family visitations.
Material wishes: Financial support, computers, marching drums, horns, kitchen appliances, jukebox to help introduce youth to doo-wop music, uniforms/T-shirts for marching corps, new carpet installed.
Volunteer needs: Grant writer, sponsors for youth summer jobs, summer camp sponsors, sponsors for adult jobs.
To help: Please call Pop or Marie Sadler, 704-335-0887, 704-622-1861 or e-mail Greenv@vnet.net