County Social Worker Terry Tiamd wants 1,400 umbrellas. With community help, she believes the goal to get them into the hands of persons who are homeless and in need will be met.
A week from today, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, the social worker whose job is to help the homeless will again team with Beatrice Thompson, local radio public affairs and news director, in a drive to collect umbrellas.

The live “Umbrellas for the Homeless” event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mecklenburg County Homeless Resource Center on 618 N. College Street. Thompson represents FM stations v101.9 and Power 98. It is the second year for the drive. Donors can bring umbrellas to the HRC on the day of the drive. Also, the radio station is accepting umbrella donations prior to the event at its location at 1520 South Boulevard, Suite 300 in Charlotte, N.C.

“Fourteen hundred is my goal,” Tiamd said. “I would like to double last year’s number.”

More than 700 umbrellas were collected as a result of the 2011 drive, and to understand Tiamd’s ambitious goal for 2012, it helps to understand why she is so passionate about the effort. Here is how the social worker, who’s been employed with Mecklenburg County for 14 years, explained last year how she came up with the idea:

“I got the idea for the umbrella drive on a rainy day while standing at the door of the Salvation Army Center of Hope. A mom and her children were leaving wtih plastic bags covering their heads. That scene did not resonate with my heart, so I gave the woman my umbrella. Since then, I have given several more umbrellas.”

Tiamd said she is heartened by the response from clients and others to last year’s idea and effort.

“Our clients and community partners thought it was a great “simple” idea,” Tiamd said. “Clients were grateful that someone (our community) would think about their welfare in the rain. Our community benefits when even just one person is shown that someone else cares about some aspect of their lives. Because they feel cared for, appreciated, they may very well express that care and concern to another, and so on and so on.”

Umbrellas will be distributed to community partners who work with clients served by the Homeless Services Network. The list includes:

  • A Child’s Place
  • Urban Ministry Center
  • Salvation Army Center of Hope
  • Men’s Shelter of Charlotte
  • Crisis Assistance Ministry
  • Homeless Resource Center
  • Moore Place
  • Charlotte Family Housing
  • McCreesh Place
  • The Relatives
  • YWCA Women in Transition
  • YWCA Families Together
  • Blessings in the Storm

“I would like for the public to understand that while everybody can’t do everything, everybody can do something,” Tiamd said.

Find more about Mecklenburg County government’s programs and services for the homeless at the Community Support Services Web page for Homeless Support Services.

From Mecklenburg County, Nov. 6, 2012

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