Virtual Media Event – Oct. 7, 2020 – 9:00 a.m.

For Immediate Release – press event details are below.

The Charlotte Area Fund Named IKEA US Community Foundation $1.1 Million Grant Recipient

Charlotte, NC. — In an unprecedented corporate social responsibility effort, IKEA US Community Foundation is providing states with a donation equal to the amount given to previously furloughed IKEA Retail U.S. employees in the form of unemployment benefits. At the recommendation of the Office of Governor Roy Cooper, the Charlotte Area Fund, Mecklenburg County’s Community Action Agency, will receive a $1.1 million unrestricted grant from IKEA US Community Foundation to help North Carolinians who are facing economic difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has hurt many North Carolinians who are now struggling to pay bills and make ends meet, and this grant will help people in the Charlotte area. I appreciate IKEA’s efforts to help workers and families during this difficult time,” said Governor Cooper.

“We are appreciative of the ongoing support from the state of North Carolina, including the unemployment funds paid to our co-workers who were furloughed in the early weeks of the pandemic,” said Javier Quiñones, IKEA Retail U.S. president. “People are the heart of our business, and the state unemployment benefits helped IKEA US co-workers during a difficult time. We now have a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our business, and we’ve decided to “pay it forward” to support the ongoing relief efforts in our local communities.” 

“I want to thank IKEA for this generous donation to our community and for the foresight in knowing where those funds would make the most significant impact,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. The Charlotte Area Fund is the perfect organization to use this funding to provide immediate post-pandemic relief for families in need, as well as long-term job training and workforce development programs that will benefit the people of Charlotte.”

“These difficult times call for leadership from every corner of our community. Many of our Charlotte and Mecklenburg County neighbors who live paycheck to paycheck no longer have a source of income; they depend on organizations like the Charlotte Area Fund for help. I am thankful for corporate citizens like IKEA that are stepping up to invest in the futures of our families,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams.

“The Charlotte Area Fund is humbled and honored to receive Governor Roy Cooper’s recognition and the unprecedented financial support from the IKEA US Community Foundation. CAF has provided vital services to the most economically vulnerable for over 50 years. These resources will advance the agency’s anti-poverty mission and ability to leverage resources to serve more people economically impacted in Mecklenburg County. This is a wise investment best practice that other companies should emulate to sustain and repair the fragile social safety network poor families and marginalized communities rely on for economic survival exposed by the COVID19 pandemic,” said Nicholas Wharton, president & CEO and chair, NC Council of Executive Directors (CSBG). Community Action Agencies in North Carolina and around the nation are at the frontline resourcefully serving low income families surviving on the margins.”

About the Charlotte Area Fund

Charlotte Area Fund Incorporated is a (501c3) independent agency designated in1963 as Mecklenburg County’s Community Action Agency (CAA) primarily funded through the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) to reduce barriers to poverty and assist citizens to become economically self-sufficient through programs, services, and advocacy. Community Action originated with President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty executive order and Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 establishing Community Action Programs. Today, over 1000 community action agencies, 34 in North Carolina, provide anti-poverty services and advocacy in 99% of American counties.

Join the Charlotte Area Fund and key stakeholders for a Virtual Media Event on Wednesday Oct 7, 9AM to mark this unprecedented investment in Mecklenburg County’s Community Action Agency.

Media Contact:
Maya C. Norvel
(757) 870-6523


CAF Collaborated in CW Williams Community Health Event

On August 15th the Charlotte Area Fund collaborated in CW Williams Community Health Center for their annual health fair. This year was a little different as Covid-19 testing was the featured activity and due to the pandemic, this was a drive-through event. However, this did not deter those in need of healthcare and supportive services. Over 400 cars drove through approximately 30 vendor stations. CAF focused on program recruitment and the 2020 Census. Also collaborating with MeckCounts2020 CAF was able to share clear and concise information about the Census.

Covid-19 Prevention

The Charlotte Area Fund is proud to partner with community-based organizations to spread the word about Covid-19 prevention and services throughout Mecklenburg County. “There was a need to make sure members of our community most affected by the pandemic had access to clear information about how to prevent from getting sick and what to do if experiencing symptoms”, said Maya Norvel, communications and community engagement manager. Charlotte Area Fund has partnered with CW Williams Community Health Center, The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, The Latin Coalition and The Latin Chamber of Commerce to distribute over 100 signs to communities in need. “As Mecklenburg’s Community Action Agency, it is our job to work with individuals most vulnerable and ensure they have access to quality healthcare and supportive services. This yard sign campaign has increased the number of people reaching out to utilize services available to them and we are happy about that,” Norvel added.

Virtual Leadership Series: Mindful Leadership in a Time of Challenge With Dr. Norman Anderson

Much is demanded of leaders even in the best of times, but especially during times of disruption, uncertainty, and rapid change.

About this Event

Mindful Leadership in a Time of Challenge

The purpose of this workshop series is to provide community leaders with an introduction to the practice of mindfulness mediation, and describe how this practice is relevant to their work as leaders. At the conclusion of this series participants will have achieved the following learning objectives: a. Awareness of the breath as a foundation for mindfulness; b. How to use the body as an anchor for mindfulness meditation; c. A mindful approach to addressing stressful thoughts and difficult emotions; d. How to mindfully communicate with others;e. Using mindfulness to develop compassion for self and others.


There will be three workshop sessions over the course of one week beginning June 1, 2020. The sessions will be held on Monday (6/1), Wednesday (6/3), and Friday (6/5) at noon each day. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes to one-hour. Participants will be asked to practice what they learned (for five minutes each day) after each session.

Dr. Norman Anderson Biography

Dr. Norman Anderson is a nationally known psychologist, a native of Greensboro, NC, and a graduate of North Carolina Central University (B.A.) and UNC-Greensboro (Ph.D.). He has been a professor at both Duke and Harvard Universities, was CEO of the American Psychological Association (APA), and was an Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Anderson is now a professor and Assistant Vice President at Florida State University (FSU), where he created and directs the FSU Faculty Leadership Development Program. He is also President of Anderson Leadership Coaching and Consulting, LLC. He has been practicing meditation for over 40 years, is a UCLA-trained certified mindfulness instructor, and now teaches mindfulness meditation to groups across the country.

CSBG Funded

Charlotte Area Fund Responds to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear Charlotte Area Fund Community:

At Charlotte Area Fund we put the well-being of our staff, clients, and the community first. The Charlotte Area Fund will be closed to the public for the next two weeks. Effective March 16, agency staff will be working remotely to provide client services. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading throughout the world and our country. North Carolina Governor Cooper and Mecklenburg County have declared a State of Emergency precipitating drastic precautions to avoid exposure to the virus such as closing Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, temporarily closing bars and restaurants, limiting size of social gatherings, and recommending social distancing.

We are learning about the virus and its impact on our state on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis.We are closely following the recommendations from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Mecklenburg Department of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

This is what we know:

Symptoms: If you have a fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, call your doctor first. Medical authorities are recommending you not to go to the ER, but to call your doctor first.

Risk: If you are over 60 years old, or get sick easily, you are more likely to get sick from the Coronavirus. If you are a young person who is healthy, you may not have any symptoms or you might get better very quickly.

Safety: Virus germs are invisible, but may be anywhere so wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds—Wash your hands throughout the day. Limit physical contact with others-avoid shaking

hands or hugging friends. Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible and avoid large gatherings and events.

Thank you for understanding why we are making changes to how we provide services. Your health and safety, and the health and safety of our staff and the Charlotte community are our top priority. If immediate CAF assistance is needed please contact Deborah Frink at (704) 372-3010 ex. 210 or email Please visit our website and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for updated information.


March 14, 2020 – Update

Charlotte Area Fund, Inc. is working with National Partners, State Associations, non-profit leaders, and with all 34 community action agencies across North Carolina to learn how we can respond effectively to this changing environment. We have daily conversations with members across the network about their concerns, their questions and their strategies for delivering on our mission in this major time of need.

As the situation continues to evolve, we will continue to monitor updates accordingly.

About Charlotte Area Fund, Inc.

The mission of the Charlotte Area Fund is to identify and address poverty causes by providing programs and services that assist economically disadvantaged citizens with gaining the skills and abilities necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.

Know Your Rights Mecklenburg County

Francene Marie interviews a GREAT panel of guest that included Nicholas Wharton from Charlotte Area Fund, Scott Ellis with Know Your Rights: Youth Symposium Lead, and the amazing Maria Macon the Founder/Executive Director Mecklenburg Council of Elders, Inc.. This show is a must listen and share kind of show, so go for it!

For more information about CAFs workforce development programs, Click Here.