Founded in 1913 by a team of 15 prominent physicians and business leaders in New York, the American Cancer Society (ACS) aimed to raise awareness about cancer and find ways to treat it. During that time the society created the iconic Sword of Hope—a caduceus entwined with serpents—and started a movement that would transform cancer from a death sentence into a survivable disease.
Today, the American Cancer Society funds research, raises awareness, and sponsors support programs through 12 chartered divisions and more than 900 local offices across the country. In the past several decades, ACS has funded significant research leading to a cure for cancer, and supported more than 46 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. ACS’s programs include the Reach to Recover program, which matches survivors with someone suffering from cancer to help share experience and create hope, and the Road to Recovery program, which provides free rides to and from treatments.
Though admission is always free, the Contemporaries-level membership provides invitations to special events and parties and includes discounts on ticketed events. Housed in a historic church, the McColl provides feast after ocular feast. ZipStir, a current exhibition, features installations by Hong Seon Jang and Jonathan Brilliant. Jang's work displays the connectivity of the world using US zip codes and plastic zip ties, and Brilliant crafts patterns out of consumer materials such as coffee stirrers.
Care Ring was originally founded in 1955 to help prevent heart disease and manage work-site wellness. Over time, it adapted to serve the holistic needs of the community by providing preventative health services to local families. Today, the low-cost clinic treats more than 7,000 uninsured and under-insured Mecklenburg County residents, with care including regular physicals, chronic-disease management, lab work, and sick visits. Partnering with the Mecklenburg County Medical Society and Charlotte Dental Society, 1,500 volunteer dentists and physicians provide these free and low-cost services for individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid. The organization also conducts a nurse home-visiting program that assists first-time mothers and their children. Care Ring’s programs help reduce the number of costly, unnecessary emergency-room visits, and aims to prevent patients’ health conditions from worsening when they cannot afford to seek medical care.
A recent merger of Charlotte Emergency Housing, Family Promise of Charlotte, and the Workforce Initiative for Supportive Housing, Charlotte Family Housing has the opportunity to provide temporary housing for six working homeless families in a new shelter space at St. John's Baptist Church. The shelter's dormitory-style quarters provide these families with a safe place to live while proceeding through the holistic program. Before the space opens in November, the rooms require basic sleeping necessities, including mattresses and bedding.
Located near two major children's hospitals in Charlotte’s Myers Park area, the Ronald McDonald House offers a comforting environment featuring 28 bedrooms and suites with private baths. Additionally, the facility is equipped with a community kitchen, playground, computer room, and porch. Although families are asked to donate $15 per night to stay at the house, Ronald McDonald House accommodates families in need, even if they are unable to pay the donation costs.
Spay Neuter Charlotte provides low-cost sterilization and other animal-wellness services to help improve pets' health while also reducing animal overpopulation and subsequent deaths by euthanasia in the community. At its nonprofit clinic, Spay Neuter Charlotte's team of experienced surgeons sterilize pets at low costs, helping pet owners with low incomes or restricted budgets care for their pets properly. The veterinarians will also provide a complete exam, any necessary vaccinations, and postoperative pain medication for the cat or dog at the time of the surgery.