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Becoming Trauma-Informed OPEN DOORS EVENT

6:30 pm / 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte, NC, 28215 (Corner of Tipperary and Shamrock)

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Dear community partners,


What started in March as an initiative to aid in the food insecurity issue within our 110 families, became a major interfaith, inclusive, community-wide effort. ourBRIDGE provided over 134,000 culturally-appropriate meals throughout the city by creating over fifty connections and collaborations, both local and national. We are honored by the support and the recognition we’ve received (including the 2020 Dr. Nish Jamgotch Humanitarian Award!). It is important to acknowledge that we could not have been nearly as effective without the already established trusting relationships with neighbors and leaders in our immigrant and refugee community. I invite you to see below some of what we were able to do between March and October with such a quick turnaround.

Now that school has started, the community concerns have shifted. As per the ourBRIDGE Way, our families informed our decision on how to move on to our next phase of COVID-19 relief work: Opening our doors as a Trauma-Informed Learning Center, welcoming Bridge Kids in K-5 from 8 am to 4 pm. We have strict, comprehensive COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Kids will receive technological and academic support, without compromising what ourBRIDGE has always offered: English literacy tutoring, full meals, hands-on STEAM curriculum, plenty of outdoor playtime and experiential learning in a Trauma-informed environment. We are ready!

We know our 7th year will be like no other and in a couple of weeks I am going to invite you to help us make the best out of it (you can of course make a donation to ourBRIDGE today as well 🙂

As always, please let me know if there is any way we can work together. If there are opportunities for funding or people you believe should know about us, feel free to contact me directly at 704-620-8555 or

Stay safe and hopeful. We will overcome this together.

Much love,
(Photos courtesy of Lisa Howell)

Throughout the summer we reinvested our funding in the community by providing culturally-appropriate products, proteins and produce.

With two United Way/Foundation for the Carolinas COVID-19 Relief grants, and the help of volunteers and staff representing each of the major cultures of our families, we prepared over 2000 grocery bags with culturally-appropriate products and produce. Each bag had enough to cover the meals of a family of four for at least two days!

We purchased groceries from several immigrant and refugee-owned grocery stores.

WOW Supermarket on South Blvd not only selected each of the items for our 72 Mexican, Central and South American families for eleven weeks, but they also gave us tons of produce for free! From green bananas to tomatillos and Maseca, each country has amazing flavors to share!

Please visit them and support this incredibly generous store.

Halal International is located on Sharon Amity Road. Their managers helped our staff selecting the appropriate products so that our Middle Eastern families, which represent Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, had a full pantry every week.

We had the opportunity to try the BEST Ma’amoul too!


ROHAN NEPALI GROCERY STORE has been a partner of ourBRIDGE since 2017 when we moved to our new home in Aldersgate. Meena has helped our staff with the ingredients for our Thursday cooking clubs when we did Manipuri or Momo with the Bridge Kids. This summer, she helped us purchase what each Nepali family would want to have in their pantry. Visit them!

Stepping into Zola International Market is like taking a tour of grocery stores all across Africa. From the popular West African dishes of cassava leaves and fufu to the East African staple of lentils and berbere spice, they have it all!

This little gem on the East side might be small in size, but it is vast in flavor. Stop by and check it out at the corner of Eastway and Shamrock!


We also contracted refugee and immigrant-owned restaurants!

Why Not Pizza and La Shish Kabob prepared thousands of delicious dinners for ourBRIDGE families throughout the summer. We highly recommend them!

We established over FIFTY (50) strategic, intentional partnerships. Here are a few examples:

Every Saturday, from June 6th through October 3rd, World Central Kitchen, a 501(c)(3) based in Washington DC, provided the funding for two of the most involved culinary leaders in our immigrant community to cook for hundreds of families.
Manolos’ Bakery and Chef Roberto Mendoza provided thousands of meals that ourBRIDGE staff and volunteers delivered to refugee and immigrant neighbors.

The Power of Ten
As part of an initiative called The Power of Ten, Burke Hospitality Group, which owns Mimosa Grill in uptown Charlotte, submitted a proposal to No Kid Hungry in DC so that Mimosa Grill’s staff would stay employed and ourBRIDGE families would receive delicious, healthy, culturally-appropriate dinners every Wednesday night from July 22 to October 28th.

We are deeply thankful for the volunteers from all over the city who organized in groups every day to order, pick up and drop off CMS Meal Bundle boxes at our center. With the help of neighborhood leaders, we made sure the boxes went to the families that needed them the most.
Each box has enough nutrition for one child for an entire week.


October 10th COVID-19 Testing Event

Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting immigrant and refugee families. This multicultural event was a deeply collaborative and intentional one, focused on eliminating the barriers our community faces in order to receive the resources, reliable information and preventive care they need to stay healthy. Thank you to all organizations that made this wonderful event possible:
Amity Medical Group for providing 250 flu shots
Latin American Chamber of Commerce for the morning coffee and the 400 lunches
Atrium Health for the COVID tests and for distributing over 5000 masks
Carolina Business Alliance and Framework for Future for the school supplies and the wonderful volunteers.


• 380 cars
• 1000+ people
• 250 flu shots in 1.5 hrs
• 160 COVID-19 tests
• 5,000+ masks
• 400 lunches in 1.5 hrs


• 29.3% English
• 58% Spanish
• 12.7% Arabic, Burmese, Nepali, Tigrinya, Russian, Karenni, Dari.


Shani is ourBRIDGE first Volunteer Coordinator!
We are excited to have her on board. Please email Shani if you’d like to get involved in


• Ryan Pitkin – Charlotte Nerve: ourBRIDGE Adapts in a Crisis with New Drop-Off Services
• Corey Mitchen – Education Week: Coronavirus Upends After-School World
• Greg Asciutto – EDNC: ‘We always say yes.’ ourBRIDGE for KIDS adapts to meet needs of Charlotte immigrant, refugee children.
• Carol Bono – EDNC Videos:
Recognizing the Power of Identity
One day, all kids will be safe: Trauma-informed care (ourBRIDGE for KIDS)
Wherever I place my feet upon (ourBRIDGE for KIDS)
• Nikki Yamashiro – Afterschool Alliance: Program spotlight: ourBRIDGE for KIDS working with immigrant and refugee families amidst COVID-19


George Moffat and ourBRIDGE for KIDS
Aldersgate resident George Moffat, who learned later in life that he was adopted and had an entirely different identity and ethnicity than those he grew up with, tells his fascinating story and why he was drawn to ourBRIDGE for KIDS.



Special thanks to:


• Aldersgate Life Plan Community
• AC&M
• Aldersgate Life Plan Community
• Atrium Health
• BRAVE North Carolina (Bhutanese Response Assistant Volunteer Efforts) Into Languages Global
• Burke Hospitality Group
• Central Piedmont Community College
• Charlotte Community Kitchen
• Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
• Child Nutrition Program
• Commonwealth Charlotte
• Comunidad Colectiva
• Crisis Assistance
• Freedom Schools
• Galilee Center
• Loaves and Fishes
• Manolo’s Bakery
• Mecklenburg County
• MAP (Migrant Assistant Project)
• Myers Park United Methodist Church
• Promising Pages
• Queens University
• Rahma-Moroccan American Connection Of Charlotte
• Restore Global
• The Lee Institute
• Universal Institute of Successful Aging of Carolina
• World Central Kitchen


• Alberto Luza
• Ben Hinchey
• Carrie Taylor
• Chef Roberto Mendoza
• Claire Cronin
• Clark Curtis
• Daniel Valdez
• Dorne Pentes
• Foster & William Harris
• Jonathan Lee
• Joseph Thang
• Kylie Williams
• Leslie Jaramillo
• Lisa Stockton Howell
• Maheder Yohannes
• Manuel Betancur
• Madeline Cueto
• Monica del Cid
• Nathan Arledge
• Niketa Mittal & Family
• Nikola Taylor
• Nimish Bhatt
• Nina Wynn & Dr. Richard Wynn
• Paul Navarro
• Prikshya & Prasant Bhujel
• Rafael Bastidas
• Rosanna Saladin-Subero, Ph.D
• Sasha Fain
• Uday Vedre
• Upendra Kuikel
• Yolondra Hall


• 21stCCLC
• Ciena
• Charlotte Merchants Foundation
• Foundation for the Carolinas
• Harris Upchurch Foundation
• Hispanic Federation
• Holy Covenant United Church
• Jewish Community Center
• No Kid Hungry
• Queen City Catering
• Robert Horner
• Sisters of Mercy
• Social Venture Partners
• United Way of Central Carolinas
• Women’s Impact Fund


• Allen Shifflet
• Claudia Jacobson
• Dima Daher
• Emily Plauché
• Emily Yaffe
• Jordan Pineda
• Scott Waybright
• Stefania Arteaga
• Stefania Arteaga
• Becca O’Neill


• Adi Saenz
• Aicha Dougan
• Allison Shade
• Amy Arroyo
• Breona McNeil
• Carlos Figueroa-Valentin
• Crystal Burch
• Deni Harris
• Diana ROdriguez
• Elisa Benitez
• Erin Tucker
• Jorge Flores
• Joseph Sullivan
• Kamiya Jones
• Karina Tonetti
• Kevin Gonzales Caraza
• Kim Rudolph
• Lili Jaramillo
• Linda Lang
• Lucy Rice
• Man Da Lay Na
• Natalie Cowart
• Natalie Smith
• Nate Burch
• Ruby Orduna
• Salma Villarreal
• Sharmila Adhikari
• Shani Mann
• Simone Atkins Bostic
• Sondous Eksheir
• Stephanie Behuniak
• Thin Thin