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Social Issues

Serving soldiers

Since launching in February 2021, 29 veterans have participated in HopeWay’s Veterans Program. About half of referrals to this new program are made by Veterans Affairs. Many are U.S. Army and U.S. Marines veterans, though there’s been representation from every branch of the military. PHOTO: Courtesy of HopeWay

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PFLAG Opens Doors and Hearts

PFLAG Charlotte, founded in 1987, is a nonprofit focused on advocating, educating and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents, families and allies. The Charlotte chapter is part of PFLAG National, the first and largest organization of its kind. PHOTO: Crista Eve Photography

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National nonprofit supports the LGBQT+ community

Jeanne Manford founded PFLAG, a nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ+ issues, after marching with her son in the Christopher Street Liberation Day March in New York City. She made her own sign that said, “Parents of gays unite in support for our children.” PHOTO: Courtesy of Gizella Czene

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A master plan for multiplying wealth 

California native Gary Acosta is determined to triple Hispanic wealth over 10 years. As the co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic

Real Estate Professionals, Acosta was inspired to

take action in 2012 when the Pew Hispanic Center

reported a loss of 66% in net worth for Hispanics during the Great Recession, 2005 through 2009.

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Kidz That Care

Several years ago, Maia Campbell, now 15, and her three younger siblings observed their mother volunteering in the community. They became interested in helping too. Yet, they quickly realized service opportunities for kids are limited, usually because of minimum age requirements. PHOTO: Kidz That Care

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First-generation farmers promote fresh food

The 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture census counted about 46,000 farms in North Carolina, of which about 75% are not owned by families with long-term access to land and equipment. PHOTO: Devin McAllister

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The Gift of Greenwood

In 1998, Marjorie Knight Crane ’90 fell in love with a Charleston low country-style home in South Charlotte before ever stepping inside. “I saw the deer, and I said, ‘sold,’ ” recalled Marjorie. “I hadn’t even seen the house.”

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Changing Lives while Honoring a Legacy

When Patsy Jo Guyer ’61 accepted a scholarship to attend Queens College in 1959, she set in motion a series of events that would lead to a lifelong friendship, in addition to a scholarship named in her honor.

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Catalysts for change: It takes a village

A stay in an orphanage on a family mission trip to Mexico in 2013 prompted Costco member Chrystal Smith of Austin, Texas, and her husband Nick, to think about fostering a child. Although they had three sons of their own, they fostered an 8-month-old girl a year later. PHOTO: Joy Prouty

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Charlotte music therapy patients connect with feelings through songs and instruments

It isn’t unusual for Joan Kleinmann to ask group members in her music therapy sessions to rewrite lyrics or share a meaningful song. She’s a board certified music therapist with HopeWay, a nonprofit mental health treatment facility in Charlotte. 

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Discover good works in the Upstate

Listen to the news and you might think the world is ending. It's hard to find the positive when everything appears dramatic and traumatic. But look around Upstate SC and discover the good. There are nonprofit organizations operating working... PHOTO: Paige Ramsey Photography

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Mint Museum exhibit examines complexities of border walls around the world

Fences and borders are not a national phenomenon.

“(They’re) a human response to anxiety and perceived threats,” said Jen Sudul Edwards, the chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the Mint Museum in Charlotte. PHOTO: SHAN Wallace

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Housing First once drew doubts, but it's hard to argue with results 

Stacy Smith* is a 35-year-old Charlottean. She was at the top of her class when she received her GED through a joint Charlotte Area Fund and CPCC program.

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Mental Health First Aid

Sneeze or cough, and a friend or family member responds with the offer of a tissue, throat lozenge or even the suggestion to see a doctor. Most people know how to extend help when a loved one has a physical ailment. And when the...

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How a cancer diagnosis at age 26 inspired one woman to leave the corporate world behind

Brooke Thomas was diagnosed with stage-three melanoma when she was 26 years old and pregnant with her first daughter.

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How do you define ‘American’? Watch these and that may change

Moises Serrano says the first thing people tell him, after watching the film about his journey, is always the same: “I didn’t know.” Serrano, raised in Yadkin County, tells his story in “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America.”

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Fishing with Heroes

Until last year, John Boye, 69, hadn’t used a fishing pole since he was 18 years old. These days, he keeps a pole in his car and uses it any chance he gets. Boye served in the U.S. Army with the 23rd Infantry for three months during the Vietnam War. One day in August 1970, he and a point man were leading the troops down a trail near a small village. 

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Welcoming Community

Ballantyne is a diverse and vibrant community made up of individuals and families enjoying local activities, schools and shops. One such resident, Mariam, 19, graduated from Ardrey Kell High School and now at-tends Central Piedmont Community College. Like any teen, she feels the pressure from her parents to choose a major. 

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The Inspiration Challenge: We asked 4 people to take their role models to coffee

I serve on the steering committee for Special Olympics Mecklenburg County. 

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Mind the gaps

Ordinary Folks Are Helping Those Who Fall Through the Cracks of Charlotte's Mental Health System

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Addicted to acting

Lindsey Whitus is not your typical high school sophomore. At 15 years old, she is kicking ass and winning awards for it.

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