Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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July 10, 2016

Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: S is for SummerSHARE!

By Addie Rising,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

We’ve crossed over the 4th of July holiday and we’re officially hitting the middle of summer. My kids are bored more often than not. And I’m not sure how, but my three managed to finish off a gallon of milk in half a day’s time. But in my house, I am thankful we can easily replenish the milk supply and go to our pool on an afternoon with nothing planned.
For many neighbors in Charlotte, summer brings a time of great need. The milk isn’t so easily replenished and they rely on resources from local organizations. Did you know that summer is when Charlotte’s food pantries become depleted? Need does not get a vacation. SHARE lemonade_sign

Enter SummerSHARE, which runs July 11-22! Last year SummerSHARE supported 49 nonprofits to raise over 1,000 most-needed items in a two-week timeframe. This year, SummerSHARE has 77 nonprofit partners and we hope to raise over 3,000 items that they need right now to continue helping our Charlotte neighbors who rely on their services. Read More →

June 19, 2016

Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte

By Addie Rising,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

As 40-somethings in the midst of our own parenting journeys, my husband and I are taking on a growing responsibility in caring for our own parents. My parents relocated to Charlotte several years ago and are thankfully healthy and active. My mother-in-law who requires extra care will also be moving to Charlotte this summer.

Our situation is not uncommon. In fact after touring several retirement communities in Charlotte this year, I’ve learned it’s becoming quite the norm. As the area continues to grow, seniors moving into the area to be near family are an increasing part of that trend.Share Charlotte June 18

Yet services for seniors — those who are active and those who need more assistance — are somewhat limited. Read More →

May 29, 2016

Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: Party With a Purpose

By Addie Rising,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

In my 14 years of parenting, one aspect I have yet to master is the dreaded birthday party. There’s the cleaning — if you’re hosting. The entertainment — and subsequent cost. The food. And please, let’s not forget the treat bags. Kids who attend your party will have fun. With any luck, your child will remember the party and then you’ll spend the next 364 days trying to one-up yourself.Share Charlotte

But what if your child’s fun helped someone else? What if birthday parties and celebrations benefitted more than just the birthday child and his or her friends? What a wonderful world it would be!

There are roads to drive the party bus down that actually have purpose. Here are a few ideas: Read More →

May 15, 2016

Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center

By Addie Rising,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

My parents could have easily named me Cathy. Chatty Cathy, to be precise. I’m rarely at a loss for words and have passed the gift of gab to my children. May is Better Hearing and Speech month and being able to speak and hear is something I try not to take for granted as communication is essential to survival. Charlotte Speech and Hearing 1

It’s hard to believe my nearly 8-year-old, talkative, songbird of a son did not speak much until his second birthday. His lack of speech at the time gave me pause and had we needed assistance at that time, we would have most likely incurred the high costs that go with those services, simply because we were unaware of the Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center (CSHC). Read More →

May 1, 2016

Sunday Smarty Share from SHARE Charlotte: Florence Crittenton Services, Inc.

By Addie Rising,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

Parenting teen and tween girls on a good day is hard work. I know. I have two. Providing a safe, loving environment while allowing our children the freedom to learn, grow and mature is no easy task and yet sometimes our teens will make undesirable choices in spite of our efforts. And as difficult as my days can seem, I feel so much for those teens who don’t have proper parental guidance to help them make good choices.FCS Exterior

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. In 2014 there were nearly 1,000 babies born to mothers aged 15-19 in Mecklenburg County1. While the teen pregnancy rate continues to drop throughout the United States2, there is still room for improvement. “The United States has made remarkable progress in reducing both teen pregnancy and racial and ethnic differences, but the reality is, too many American teens are still having babies,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement last week. “By better understanding the many factors that contribute to teen pregnancy we can better design, implement, evaluate, and improve prevention interventions and further reduce disparities.”

In Charlotte, there are resources for adolescent and young women who need assistance and that is a wonderful thing.
Florence Crittenton Services was established by Charlotte civic religious leaders in 1903 to provide a safe place and understanding, rather than condemnation, for single, pregnant women. Today, Florence Crittenton Services’ mission is to promote health and hope for tomorrow’s children by providing comprehensive health, educational and social services for single pregnant and non-pregnant adolescents, women and their families. Florence Crittenton Services provides housing, education and support for those in need and in turn, we support their work. Read More →

November 22, 2015

Smarty Sunday SHARE: #GivingTuesdayCLT

CSP image 1

By Kimberly Paulk,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

A while back Gallup released a poll revealing that Americans’ favorite late fall/early winter holiday was – wait for it – Christmas. They could have saved a lot of time and phone calls and just asked any SmartyMom that question. Also in the running were Thanksgiving (which came in second) and New Year’s (a distant third).

The holiday they left out, of course, was #GivingTuesdayCLT. That’s understandable because it’s only been around four years, but even in that short time it’s quickly become one of my favorites.CSP Image 2

While it’s not technically a holiday #GivingTuesdayCLT kicks off the giving season here in Charlotte. It’s part of the global Giving Tuesday movement and it allows us all to step back from the rush of holiday shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and just…give.

This year the campaign extends from now until December 1st and local nonprofits (108 of them!) have joined together to raise $2 million for the Charlotte community. The best part? There are tons of ways to get your whole family involved in making Charlotte even more awesome. Here are five ideas to get you started. Read More →

October 11, 2015

Smarty Sunday SHARE: Down Syndrome Association – Greater Charlotte

By Kimberly Paulk,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

They’ve come a long way since their beginning as a group of Charlotte moms sitting at a kitchen table trying to figure out how best to provide support for families – their own and others – living with Down syndrome (Ds).

That was in 1986 and a lot has changed. Today the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (DSAGC) has 3 full time employees and hundreds of volunteers serving 12 counties. In addition to the much-loved Buddy Walk, coming up on October 17, they run education programs and support local families in a variety of ways. Read More →

August 30, 2015

Smarty Sunday SHARE: Komen Charlotte

By Kimberly Paulk,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

Let’s play a word association game. Ready? Susan G. Komen.

What comes to mind? Probably breast cancer research, right? You might even know it’s the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit. a Komen run 1

But how much do you know about Komen Charlotte, the local affiliate? Here’s a quick primer. Read More →

August 23, 2015

Smarty Sunday SHARE: ZABS Place

By Kimberly Paulk,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

a ZABS 2
We hear a lot about the unemployment rate in the media these days. Here’s another number for you: only 17.1% of disabled adults were employed nationally in 2014. That means the unemployment rate for that group is over 82%. Yikes.

Now let’s talk about ZABS, an upscale thrift boutique and employment training center for young adults with autism and other special needs. While many of these individuals have unique talents, the majority of jobs available to them are janitorial positions and bagging groceries. ZABS works to serve as a stepping stone to future employment opportunities.

Visiting ZABS at its Downtown Matthews location is a friendly experience. It starts at the front door with the cheerful “open” sign and continues inside, where you’re greeted as soon as you walk in. I wish I’d had a little more time to stay and shop; ZABS is brightly decorated and filled with clothing, furniture, books, home decor and one-of-a-kind creations made by local young adults with special needs.a ZABS 1

ZABS envisions a community where young adults with special needs can transition from high school to the adult working world with dignity. Interested in learning more? Visit SHARE Charlotte for more information, or check out the opportunities below.

Intern Opportunity – perfect for college students interested in counseling and mentoring. Provides an opportunity to work with special-needs adults.

Go shopping! – visit ZABS at 100 N. Trade Street in Downtown Matthews.

August 16, 2015

Sunday Smarty SHARE: Behailu Academy

By Kimberly Paulk,, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits.

My favorite memories from high school are from my art class. It was the part of my day that allowed me to be creative and expressive, or quiet and thoughtful. Yet as much as I treasured that time, and my all-time favorite art teacher Mrs. Little, I suspect the students at Behailuh Academy benefit a lot more from the programs they attend today.

Behailu Academy offers free visual and performance arts-based out of school time programming for middle and high school students at some of Charlotte’s Title I schools. This isn’t just Mrs. Little handing out some colored pencils and acrylics and cheerfully telling us we were going to “design our way out of a paper bag.” Behailu Academy’s students take creative risks in a wide variety of classes like dance, music jam, guitar, acrylic and oil painting, 2-D animation, comedy improv, spoken word poetry, photography, music and video production, mixed media and up-cycled art. IMG_1836

Each trimester during the school year focuses on a unique theme, which allows students to engage in inquiry-based learning in the areas of arts and academics. Teens are encouraged to excel academically and are held accountable for their education. This year they’ve expanded their offerings to include “Beyond Behailu” classes that focus on preparing students for life after graduation by developing the skills necessary for college and careers.

Was art a big part of your life, or is it now? Interested in getting involved? Check out the volunteer opportunities below or visit SHARE Charlotte for more info.

Pre-school year cleanup – (August 20). Roll up your sleeves and help organize the academy to get it ready for the school year. Great for groups.

Tech help – Guru (Mac and Windows) wanted to help maintain the 13 desktop computers currently in use and another ten functioning CPUs in the academy’s inventory.

Mosaic Awards – (September 12th) Attend this annual event honoring difference makers in our communities and beyond. This year’s honorees will be Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, television and radio personality Beatrice Thompson and CEO/President of Movement Mortgage and former pro football player Casey Crawford.

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