Mobile showers, foster support and muralist programs: 10 groups vying for SEED money

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SEED20
Photo via Rodney Scot

After months of preparation, 10 area nonprofits are hitting the SEED20 stage for the chance to win a $20,000 grand prize on Monday.

SEED20 is Social Venture Partners’ annual event aimed at connecting the Charlotte community with social justice needs and the organizations working to solve them. From a large applicant pool each year, SEED20 narrows interested organizations down to 20 nonprofits who then receive coaching for two months as they create a 3-minute pitch.

This class of 20 nonprofits is further narrowed to 10 for the SEED20 Onstage event, where a grand prize winner and several runner-ups are determined by judges and the audience.

Even if they don’t win, Social Venture Partners’ Executive Director Susan Daniel said there is a ripple effect each year from the event.

“The nonprofits have shared that, as wonderful as the money is, the exposure they recieve is the greatest award,” Daniel said. “They root for each other, they help for each other and they’ve started sharing ideas with each other for future collaboration.”

SEED 20
Photo via Rodney Scot

Despite only 10 organizations participating in SEED20 Onstage pitch competition, all 20 organizations will have booths around the Knight Theater before and after for the community to interact with, Daniel said.

“I am struck year after year by the breadth and depth of the work being done in this community through these organizations,” she continued. “I hope the community feels the same way.”

Tickets for the event are still available, but first, meet the 10 organizations pitching on Monday:

(1) A Better World

A Better World is an after school program catering to students in West Charlotte through educational, spiritual and mental health programming with the goal of improving their future trajectory. A pitch will be given by Kamilah North, Executive Director of the nonprofit.

(2) Brand the Moth

Bringing together artists, murals and the community is the driving force behind what Brand the Moth does, according to Sam Guzzie, co-founder of the nonprofit. The organization hopes to create a muralist program for local artists looking to learn more about the business side of the industry.

(3) Cops & Barbers INC

After the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, local barber Shaun Corbett and Charlotte Detective Garry McFadden created Cops & Barbers INC to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement. The goal is to build positive relationships between the two groups to lessen potential violence.

(4) Foster Village Charlotte

When she became a foster parent, Foster Village Charlotte co-founder Becky Santoro felt a bit lost and lonely in her endeavors to provide a good, stable home for the foster children. The nonprofit hopes to build a support system for foster families so foster children in the city can be better served.

(5) Hope Vibes

Hygiene is something many might take for granted, but when you’re homeless and don’t have access to brush your teeth or take a shower, it can impact everything from your ability to get a job to your-self worth. Hope Vibes, represented by Co-Founder Emmanuel Threatt, is hoping to gain funding to create a mobile shower and laundry vehicle to help with the issue.

SEED20
Photo via Rodney Scot

(6) Joe’s Camp

Joe’s Camp is a free program through the Joe Martin ALS Foundation for kids with family members who have ALS. According to Neil Cottrell, President of the Joe Martin ALS Foundation, the camp provides kids with typical summer camp activities while they connect with others who are affected by the disease.

(7) Para Guide Foundation

For those with visual, mobile and auditory impairments, getting active outside can be a huge barrier, according to Co-Founder and President Shannon Houlihan. Para Guide Foundation pairs volunteer guides and people with visual impairments together so they can run, ride bikes and swim outside safely.

(8) QC Scores

The nonprofit arm of Soccer Shots Charlotte, QC Scores is an after school program for low income students that gives kids an opportunity to be a part of a team, get soccer equipment and play in a safe space, according to Executive Director Katie Phillips.

(9) The Investment Pathway

A program of the Ada Jenkins Center, Executive Director Georgia Krueger said The Investment Pathway pairs poverty-stricken families with staff to determine the root causes of their economic instability and provide support services until their finances are stable.

(10) Workers Collaborative Center

The Workers Collaborative Center is an initiative through the Latin American Coalition which provides shelter and services for day laborers in Charlotte, or people who are paid at the end of each day, according to Executive Director Jose Hernandez Paris. These individuals often wait for work year-round on street corners in the city and can be taken advantage of by employees, which the Workers Collaborative Center aims to stop.

SEED20 Onstage will occur Monday at the Bechtler Museum and Knight Theater from 5:30 to 10 p.m. More information and tickets here.

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