Charlotte Community Rallies to Support Neighbors in Need

After schools closed in response to COVID-19 in March 2020, neighbors in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte joined together to support local families facing food insecurity. The group started with an informal movement in 2019 when volunteers provided Thanksgiving food baskets to families in nine schools feeding into Ardrey Kell High School. Seeing the opportunity to provide more help, organizers formed Ballantyne Neighbors Helping Neighbors In Need (BFHNIN), a nonprofit with a vision to "bring together our community to care for our neighbors in their time of need." 

BFHNIN has used SignUpGenius to organize their efforts since the beginning, using the online sign up tool to recruit volunteers and request gift cards and food donations. The group started by providing food support four times a year for Thanksgiving, December holidays, spring break and summer. In March 2022, BFHNIN announced the launch of a new community food pantry to give families with emergency needs immediate access to food throughout the entire year. 

BFHNIN provides monthly support to families in the form of grocery gift cards and bags of food from their pantry. Since 2020, BFHNIN has given out nearly $191,000 in gift cards and more than 1,700 bags of food.  

"SignUpGenius is a HUGE help to Ballantyne Families Helping Neighbors In Need. It allows us to communicate, organize and fill needs in our community very easily," says Heather McAfee, BFHNIN founder and board member. "We have used SignUpGenius to sign up to collect donations of food support for families in need and gather volunteers who organize or distribute food assistance." 

Heather shared that their team appreciates how SignUpGenius serves as a centralized location online, that is easy for everyone to use. They especially find that creating different types of slots on sign ups is helpful for their efforts. 

BNHNIN raised over $27,000 to provide food support for the summer of 2022 with the help of SignUpGenius to request donations. We're inspired by the work this nonprofit is doing to uplift families in our hometown, and how they embody the generosity we all hope to find in our neighbors. 

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