At PSS, we are constantly looking for ways to better serve educators and students. We work diligently every day to help support the education community. Our mission is to help create meaningful and effective learning experiences. From Pre-K to the Collegiate level and beyond, all students deserve support and proper resources that align with standards.
Last Christmas, we were searching for ways to help our local community. Our research led us to this amazing organization called The Relatives in Charlotte, NC. The Relatives is a system of resources that helps children and youth find shelter and support. Their mission is to keep kids safe, families together and prepares youth and young adults to be healthy, productive, engaged members of the community.
In December 2020, we donated supplies, sheets, clothing, and toys for children in their organization. We had an amazing experience working with their team, so we are continuing our support by donating a Learn OnDemand Poster Maker System and Cool Lam! This system will allow them to print resources for all of the various programs they offer. They were so excited to receive this and learn that the possibilities to create are endless. The GED program was working on multiplication, so we quickly and easily printed and laminated this resource for them!
We interviewed Christina Nunez, a Volunteer Engagement Officer there to get a better insight into their story.
Can you tell us a little about the history of The Relatives? How did it start?
The Relatives was founded in 1974 by members of the Dilworth Methodist Church and first operated in the basement of the church. Legend has it that after a short time operating without a name, its founders asked the youth who were staying there what would be a good name. They suggested The Relatives because they said they were telling their friends they were staying “with relatives.” Seemed logical, so the name stuck.
After the program outgrew the church property, it moved to a home on East Boulevard where it continued operating until the mid-1980s when it opened in its current location at 1100 East Boulevard.
How does The Relatives serve the community?
The Relatives is a system of resources that helps children and youth find shelter and support. Our Youth Crisis Center, On Ramp Resource Center, and Housing programs keep kids safe and families together. The Relatives serves as the Safe Place agency for Mecklenburg County and the surrounding area, partnering with local businesses to ensure young people in need have access to immediate help and supportive resources.
What is your primary mission?
The Relatives keeps kids safe, families together, and prepares youth and young adults to be healthy, productive, engaged members of the community.
How can folks help? What needs are the most pressing?
We are currently in need of meals for both locations, virtual activities for the kids, virtual workshops for the young adults, and GED tutors. We also have a needs list here: https://therelatives.org/make-a-difference/needs-list/
What are ways you plan on using the Poster Maker System?
We are very excited to use the Poster Maker System to create posters for our GED program and for our Youth Crisis Center. Really throughout our organizations’ programs. This will be an amazing tool to help prepare our young adults to take their GED exam!
Give me your best example of the way you’ve seen your organization’s work make a difference?
We have many success stories, but one that comes to mind, and is still progressing is that of a young lady we have been helping at our On Ramp Resource Center. She had such a rough upbringing. No support from family, and was sleeping on the streets. Now she is in her own apartment, working a full-time job, and has her driver’s license. All goals she set for herself, and worked towards with help from her case manager, On Ramp staff, and her mentor as well. And she keeps going! She’s set to take her GED exam soon, and we are so excited for her!