Once again, 2021 has been a challenging year for those in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Lake Norman communities, areas impacted by the I-77 Express.
The I-77 Express is deeply committed to its community, which is why it is investing part of its profits in social projects that encourage and ensure the well-being of those who live in the area impacted by the highway. The concessionaire wanted to support the efforts of some local organizations: these non-profits received a total of $50,000 in donations.
The help that the I-77 provided by working with and financing these organizations is contributing to numerous causes, which allows the aid to be diversified so that it can reach more people. I-77 is committed to helping the most vulnerable sectors within the area affected by the highway. Some of the causes it supports are related to childhood and guaranteeing all students the same opportunities and access to education. It also invests in basic care for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
“The concession is deeply committed to our community. One of our goals is to put some of our profits back into improving the area around the project. One of our commitments is eliminating inequality by strengthening access to people’s basic needs. We’re especially committed to training younger generations since they are the future of our community.”
The I-77 Express has worked with these associations in the past. These new donations continue to strengthen its collaboration with these entities and reinforce its commitment to the community. These associations benefit the recipients, and they also indirectly help everyone living in the area.
Some of the local associations that receive donations each year are:
Crisis Assistance Ministry
The Crisis Assistance Ministry received a $10,000 donation to support one of the most neglected demographic groups: the working poor. In 2021, they supported more than 31,000 people. Many of them were the main breadwinner for their family unit and, despite having a job, could not make ends meet. The pandemic has worsened this situation. The I-77 Express is working with this organization, providing support to those who are trying to get ahead with limited financial resources. Its mission is satisfying families’ most basic needs
and minimum household needs.
Crisis Assistance Ministry provides invaluable resources to individuals and families who often just need a little help in difficult times or a one-off crisis – situations that have become more common since 2021 due to the pandemic. The goal is to help these people solve their problems by keeping their homes running and providing them with an alternative, offering them all the support they need to move towards self-sufficiency.
Online classes have made it possible for education to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for some, getting access has been much more complicated since not everyone has the digital technology needed available to them. The I-77 Express wanted to support the work of Classroom Central by donating $10,000. This organization is dedicated to helping children overcome learning difficulties and losses due to the pandemic. It provides students and teachers with free essential tools and materials.
In 2021, Classroom Central served 197 schools and delivered more than 1.5 million school supplies. The I-77 Express recognizes the importance of eliminating obstacles to learning, and lack of resources can be an issue for some groups. So in this spirit, the concession is supporting this NGO’s efforts during and after the pandemic.
Loaves & Fishes
The I-77 Express donated $10,000 to support the efforts of the Loaves & Fishes organization, which provides those who are vulnerable with basic food and meals.
Loaves & Fishes is a food pantry that has recently merged with Friendship Trays (Meals on Wheels). The expansion has increased its reach and capacity to offer help and services to address food shortages among the most vulnerable individuals in the area. More than 400 people receive food each week thanks to the I-77 Express’s participation.
The E2D Foundation received a $10,000 donation to help reduce and mitigate the digital divide among school-age children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. This organization is dedicated to ensuring that children, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have the digital resources they need to learn and thrive within the educational system. This foundation focuses on mitigating the digital divide so that every child has the same right to digital training, as this reality has become essential following the pandemic.
E2D provides and refurbishes laptops and other digital resources for students in need, and the association hires students to do this work. The students who work for E2D are an important part of the process, helping clean hard drives and refurbish devices while gaining IT experience and skills. This valuable training helps encourage their interest in and vocation for Information Technologies by continuing their training. It has even helped some of them get a job after high school.
FeedNC is addressing food shortages in the Lake Norman area with its food bank. It also has a wide variety of supply donation and training programs to help those most in need. The Culinary Labor Training Program enables unemployed people to enter the workforce and gives them an opportunity by offering them training and experience in the culinary world. People who complete the course can get paid work.
FeedNC is currently building a new facility to accommodate the growing needs in light of the pandemic. This way, it will be able to extend the scope of its services. I-77 Express donated $10,000 for the construction of this new building.
It also recently hired FeedNC’s catering program for some of its internal events. It was an opportunity for the I-77 Express’s professionals to witness the work of FeedNC firsthand.