Update on our Kinship Kitchen

 Community Service, Family, Kinship, Kinship Kitchen, Mutuality  Comments Off on Update on our Kinship Kitchen
Jun 152021
 

During the past three months, LHCC has launched its first Kinship Kitchen at St Andrews United Methodist Church. Our brag sheet is about the progress that our culinary partners and families have made:

  • LHCC completed our first ever kitchen food safety training for our first group of parents, both men and women
  • LHCC provided over 1,000 kitchen-prepared meals for our program parents and their children for the past 3 months
  • We produced our first of many videos to provide a view into the lubricants of food, fun and fellowship and why we are serving our community
  • We certified all of our initial Serve Safe food handlers to equip them for workforce opportunities in the service industry
  • LHCC utilized our kitchen and newly acquired skills to provide kids meals during our summer program
  • LHCC is offering Friday evening family meals, prepared by our newly trained students
  • LHCC continues to seek and leverage partnerships to procure affordable food, train more parents and teach about nutritional versus traditional home cooked meals
  • LHCC welcomes volunteers and those excited about all things food to join our family and experience kinship as we break bread and build lasting relationships

For more information, please see our Get Involved link on our website or contact us at mail . Kindly mention Kinship Kitchen involvement

 Posted by at 11:23 am
May 102021
 

The CMS Board of Education recently viewed the CMS student proficiency scores report for the Fall of 2020, including the number of completed tests as compared to the prior school year. The results are not good, especially for black and hispanic students, whose math scores, for example, show a non-proficient percent of between 75% and 78% . These recent scores were at least 25% worse than the year prior. Yikes!

LHCC launched Connect Hub learning program this past September to address lackluster school attendance and the potential for sliding school grades and resultant proficiency scores. Connect Hub is our term for a safe, learning environment for students who sat at a desk, connected to the school learning platform under adult supervision and received two meals each school day. Our students completed learning modules, enjoyed outdoor time, and received healthy meals and snacks. Last week, our Connect Hub came to an end as schools finally return for five days of in-person tuition this week, just in time to wrap-up the school year at the end of the month. The past 15 months have been a challenge for so many. It’s been really hard on our younger kids for sure.

Summer is going to be very busy for our LHCC students. We have promoted Camp CMS to our parents to encourage participation, while they are away at work. About 75% of parents registered their kids for the six-week, school-side, four-days-a-week program, from June 14 to July 30. In addition, LHCC is providing Summer Enrichment Camps , with additional learning and extra-curricular fun for students from many of the Title 1 CMS schools close to South Blvd.

LHCC will once again be offering day-camps for seven Fridays, from Friday June 18 to July 30, as well as two five-day weeks of enrichment camp in August. Join us for the weeks of August 2 and 9 as we need volunteers and summer interns to help our students with daily enrichment.

As noted above, CMS has reported that school grades are down on prior year and while sustaining students through a combination of remote and in-person learning, with very mixed results, there is much to do over the summer, so that our students do not slide back even further, as compared to their English-speaking peers.

This summer, LHCC plans to add many fun activities liking swimming and outdoor adventures to the much needed summer learning curriculum. Come join us if you are able and experience the kind of kinship we have come to enjoy, as friendships develop between volunteers and families, one child at a time.

For more information, kindly email us and let’s make this summer special for all our students. Thank-you for reading to the bottom and for your support of our families

I am,

Brent Morris

Executive Director of Learning Help Centers of Charlotte

May 10, 2021

 Posted by at 8:02 pm

Día de César Chávez ~ 31 de marzo

 Hope, Immigrants, Kinship, Mexico, Racism, Relationships, Upward Mobility  Comments Off on Día de César Chávez ~ 31 de marzo
Mar 202021
 
César Chávez se ha convertido en un símbolo de esperanza para los pobres y los indefensos. Sigue siendo una inspiración para los latinos en todas partes y un defensor fuerte pero pacífico en la lucha contra el racismo en Estados Unidos. César demostró que las personas que se unen y hablan con una sola voz pueden ser mucho más fuertes cuando están unidas que cuando están solas.

Nació en Arizona en una familia de aparceros donde trabajaban como trabajadores agrícolas migrantes. Comenzó a recolectar cultivos a la temprana edad de doce años. En 1962 cofundó la Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Agrícolas. Se convirtió en el activista latinoamericano de derechos civiles más famoso. Fue más que el comienzo de una unión; fue el comienzo de un movimiento: un grupo de personas con ideas afines que trabajan juntas para compartir una idea y lograr un cambio. Su lema era Viva La Causa - Larga vida a la causa. Abogó por mejores salarios de las organizaciones que empleaban a trabajadores agrícolas para que pudieran ganar un salario decente y mantener a sus familias.

Chávez se inspiró en un sacerdote católico que le inculcó la necesidad de que todas las personas sean tratadas con justicia y respeto. Estos aprendizajes incluyeron la vida de un líder político llamado Mahatma Gandhi, un líder político en la India que creía en la paz y la no violencia. Gandhi se interesó en la lucha por los derechos civiles mientras trabajaba como abogado en Sudáfrica.

Era tímido y no era un buen orador, pero era un hombre decidido y trabajador. Creía en sacrificar tiempo y dinero para ayudar a los demás. Creía en la protesta, pero siempre de forma pacífica.

El día de César Chávez fue declarado por el presidente Barack Obama, el 31 de marzo que también es su cumpleaños. Hizo un llamado a todos los estadounidenses a celebrar los logros de César Chávez en todo Estados Unidos, ayudando en sus comunidades. Qué gran legado y mensaje para inspirarnos a todos a amar a nuestro prójimo, ganar perspectiva y reavivar lo que uniría a todos. Hablar con una sola voz ... unidos, como se esforzó por hacer Chávez.

Dios lo bendiga

Brent M
LHCC
Marzo 2021
 Posted by at 2:16 pm
Mar 192021
 

Who was Cesar Chavez and what did he have in common with Mahatma Gandhi?

Cesar Chavez has become a symbol of hope for the poor and powerless. He remains an inspiration for Latino’s everywhere, and a strong yet peaceful advocate in the fight against racism in America. Cesar proved that people who come together and speak with one voice can be much stronger when they are united than when they stand alone.

He was born in Arizona to a family of sharecroppers where they worked as migrant farmworkers. He began picking crops at the early age of twelve. In 1962 he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association. He became the most famous Latino American civil rights activist. It was more than the start of a union; it was the beginning of a movement – a group of like-minded people working together to share an idea and bring about change. Their motto was Viva La CausaLong Live the Cause. He advocated for better pay from the organizations that employed farm workers so that they could earn a decent wage and provide for their families.

Chavez was inspired by a Catholic priest who instilled in him the need for all people to be treated fairly and with respect. These learnings included the life of a political leader by the name of Mahatma Gandhi, a political leader in India who believed in peace and nonviolence. Gandhi became interested in the struggle for civil rights while working as a lawyer in South Africa.

He was shy and not a good public speaker, but he was determined and hard-working man. He believed in sacrificing time and money to help others. He believed in protesting, but always in a peaceful manner.

Cesar Chavez Day was declared by President Barack Obama, March 31 which is also his birthday. He called upon all American’s to celebrate the achievements of Cesar Chavez across the United States, by helping out in their communities. What a great legacy and message to inspire us all to love our neighbor, gain perspective and rekindle what would bring everyone together. To speak with one voice … united, just like Chavez endeavored to do.

God bless you

Brent M

Learning Help Centers of Charlotte

March 2021

 Posted by at 11:28 am
Mar 092021
 

In the book, Peaceful Neighbor, the author eloquently described how some people get so wrapped up in consumerism and materialism, the trappings of life, that they lose what is real. He is of course referring to a quote by Roy Rogers who made the TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood famous in the 80’s. Rogers’ overwhelming desire was to help children realize that deep and simple are more important than shallow and complicated and fancy.

As promised in the February post, I want to introduce you to Tucker. Three days before the start of summer camp programs, in the middle of a pandemic, I received a phone call from Tucker. She is a dear lady with a heart of gold, and a dog handler with four trained pups of her own. She is associated with Invisible Pawprints, a wonderful organization that trains therapy dogs to provide hope to children and folks in hospital.

Tucker had learned of our LHCC ministry and was calling to inquire about bringing the pups and their dog handlers to our program to interact with our campers. My first reaction was “it’s too late”. The host church would probably give me a hard time about bringing dogs onto the campus. Besides, I would need to request further permission and amend our contract. There simply was insufficient time before the start of camp. Tucker explained that the pups had not been out to hospitals and schools since March and needed to put their therapy training into practice. As Tucker continued our phone conversation, it dawned on me that the pups needed the excursion outlet as much as the students needed the distraction from their reading chores. Our students genuinely needed their daily reading time. The dogs surely needed reading partners. The rest is history and we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with all the handlers and their pups ever since. You see, Tucker and her volunteers, along with their cute pups of course, have faithfully returned each week of our program

It really is a beautiful partnership, and one that extends from camps last summer and continues to this day. Our church partner, St Andrews United Methodist, is also very gracious and never hesitated to welcome our new so-called readers. The pups are the catalysts that brought an 80-year young lady and her crew together with our young students.

Greg Boyle, the author of Barking at the Choir and Tattoos on the Heart, and the biggest proponent of kinship I know, made a lot of great points about what it takes to reach kinship relationships. Fostering trusted relationships are what we seek. They are what Father Boyle refers to as the hallway to the ballroom. The ballroom where both parties are liberated and discover relationships that may lead to kinship, sometimes in unlikely places.

 Posted by at 10:25 am

Kinship for the King

 Connect Hub, COVID-19, Kinship, Kinship Kitchen, Neighboring  Comments Off on Kinship for the King
Feb 062021
 

For centuries Christians have faithfully removed stones, plowed the field, and sown the seed of the Gospel. We are in a season of harvest. Not because of what we have done, but because the Lord moves in the  hearts of people, perhaps based on our testimony and willingness to actually love our neighbor.

LHCC is embarking on a new initiative in 2021. Something very exciting, even extraordinary, that we see as synergistic with our existing program service offerings. In short, it is our belief that people generally want to love their neighbor, make an impact and build relationships across cultures all across the city. We are referring to the launch of our new Kinship initiative. Click here to learn more. We believe that mutually fulfilling cross-cultural relationships are the recipe for joy and happiness in the lives of our team members, volunteers and program recipients.

LHCC has been providing scholastic, spiritual, and social support to students and their families since July 2012 through homework assistance programs, enrichment activities, summer camps, and family stabilization services. We have learned that the most effective and helpful vehicle for change is mutually beneficial relationships which are based on trust and mutual respect.  Each party beings something of value to the relationship, and each receives something of value. We know that a hand up is better than a hand out; even better are hands together, working to achieve a common goal. That is the essence of Kinship. Kinship that is pleasing to the King and king of kings.

During Covid-19, out of necessity, we pivoted away from our traditional programs and took some new approaches to serving our students and their families, including support of on-line learning and food support. We were able to provide income to one of our families by utilizing their home-based catering services to provide meals in for our families in addition to meals from CMS and other charities.

In closing, here’s a reminder from the apostle Paul that we “were in darkness, but now we are the light in the Lord. Live as children of light” Ephesians 5:8. This verse means taking an interest in the well being of others, conforming to God’s standards, not the ways of the world and following the truth of scripture. It’s a testimony of goodness, righteousness and truth. That’s also the essence of kinship and of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Next post will delve into just such a picture of mutality between an eighty years young lady and her friends and our students, and what brings them together each week.

Until next time,

Brent M

February 2021

 Posted by at 1:41 pm

The space between us

 Attitude, COVID-19, Encouragement, Kinship, Mutuality  Comments Off on The space between us
Jan 202021
 

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for some time, but first, let me start by saying that today, more than ever, I pray for unity in our country. As our new president and vice president are sworn in at noon today, my hope that we are more accepting of our kin and our neighbors. This undoubtedly starts in our homes, schools and workplaces. Whether or not you voted for President Biden, we are called to respect our elected officials and the authority that their offices represent.

Now on to my thoughts on the road forward, and a question to think about. Have you wondered how you’ll respond when we get the post pandemic all-clear? I think I’m going to go hug 50 people … from the physical distance of the pandemic CDC guidelines to invading that infamous 6 foot distance and show some compassion and care, sans the mask.

God loves to use people that others seemingly overlook. Maybe that’s you, if you consider that you, yes you, can be the encouragement that others need. Perhaps put your, and their isolation and discouragement, to bed. Maybe reach out to the worker at the hotel, or the attendant at a gas station. Over the past two weeks, being the start of 2021, I have tried to put myself out there. I have two examples to share. The first instance was at a breakfast place where Jim was sipping coffee at the kitchen bar, minding his own business. We simply struck up a brief conversation. Delightful old man, with lots to share. The second was Robert, who I had seen previously at an out of town coffee shop. The quintessential village coffee shop greeter and PR guy. Interesting as all get up was Robert, single, never married, strong believer in Gods grace and mercy, who moved to Ashe county six months ago to be near to his niece, whose hubby is a local church pastor. Both these new friends were alone, and remarked that they were lonely, which is why they were out in public. Both were, however, strategically placed there for more than coffee. This is how God uses people to put a smile on someone’s dial, and make a new acquaintance, just by being out there and looking for divine appointments. People who have more to offer than receive. That could be you as well, if you, like me, take the time to slow down and listen. These are the beginnings of kinship relationships. All who wonder are not lost, but perhaps on a mission to improve life for someone else.

Whose quiet faithfulness has made a difference in your life? Do you wonder how you can perhaps serve God by serving someone else today?

Lord God in heaven, thank you for never overlooking me. I am thankful You can use me to make a difference wherever I am. Use me to show the love You have shown me as I seek to help your people, here on your mission field. Amen

God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people” Hebrews 6:10

May this year be filled with many conversations, with overlooked strangers, friends and neighbors, whether physically distant or not …

Brent M, LHCC

Adapted, in part, from a daily devotion by Our Daily Bread, written by James Banks, January 2021

 Posted by at 10:50 am
Nov 242020
 

This has been a tough year. A once-in-a-lifetime year of uncertainty and perhaps even loss, of someone or something. I lost my dad, as did my ministry partner, and my close friend. Three fathers all elevated to a higher status, all in the last 4 months. 2020 has been like a centennial flood that can be devastating. I was recently reminded of that with a slogan about storms, associated with Tropical storm Eta, “Not all storms come to disrupt our life, some come to clear our path.” Is a rainbow not a sign of hope, as promised by God?

Our pastor at Life Church Charlotte, mentioned this recently, in reference to the Platte River, 310 miles long but mostly shallow. Miles wide and inches deep is the expression.

At LHCC, it has never been about how many people we help. Instead, it’s about the hope we provide and the love and kindness we share to those we call the LHCC family. We would prefer, instead, to be miles deep and inches wide.

We have recently started down an exciting path in planning a new initiative around kinship. My last blogpost outlined a perspective on this topic.

Jesus has high hopes that we will move from separation and division to unity and kinship. Our quest for mutuality is fueled by the engine of hope. If there is no hope, there is nothing to give others living on the margins of society. No kinship means no peace. No peace, no justice, no kinship, no equality. Quoting my latest read by author Father Greg Boyle, we ought to seek first the kinship and watch what happens. My thinking at this present time and given my experience with the LHCC family is this: we ought to see those we serve for the contribution they make in the relationships we share. There is much to receive and learn from those classified as being on the margins.

I was hungry, and you gave me to something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was hopeless and you gave me some. Adapted from Matthew 25:34-40

Thank you, Life Church, for joining LHCC in rolling out hope to our LHCC family this week with food hampers. We are grateful for your kindness and generosity.

Happy New Year from our LHCC family to yours.

Brent M, ED of LHCC, December 30, 2020

 Posted by at 3:15 pm