Charity & Grassroots in Harrisburg

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With a 12-year basketball career spent in the NBA minor league and FIBA Europe, BeReady director Ben Ebong believes the academy's vision is bigger than basketball alone. The game has had a profound influence on his life. It’s taught him to be a leader, face challenges, deal with disappointment, and become a valuable member of a team. These are the same principles he instills in the players at each youth basketball camp. With the help of experienced coaches and professional speakers, the academy's program aims to build character in addition to athletic training. While learning fundamental basketball skills, students will begin to understand the discipline needed to compete at a high level and appreciate the importance of an active lifestyle. Much like team mascots who preemptively glue their heads on before doing backflips, they’ll learn to set goals and draw up plans of action for achieving them.

24 Spring Street Southwest
Concord,
NC
US

Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.

4751 Highway 49
Concord,
NC
US

The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and crushing, unflinching grasp on world economics make it required reading for people, people persons, and people-shaped cacti looking to stay up-to-date on world news, politics, and business. In addition to the weekly publications—including the magazine's 20+ Special Reports and its Technology Quarterly—subscribers to The Economist also receive special benefits, such as The World in 2012, a special annual volume that predicts trends for the coming year. Subscribers also get unrestricted access to the online site, with a fully searchable archive dating back to the Neolithic Internet era (1997), as well as free access to The Economist in audio, which includes the option to listen to digital recordings of all print articles or to download them as a weekly podcast. For updates on the go or “on the sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery,” access The Economist on an iPhone or iPad—every photo, article, and chart is delivered to subscribers' devices by Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.

101 Huntersville Concord Rd
Huntersville,
NC
US

Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.

Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.

750 Beal St
Charlotte,
NC
US

Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia, Inc. runs nine children’s care centers across the region that serve infants and children with disabilities. The care centers offer special services including speech, occupational, and physical therapy to those with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, in addition to classes for children with and without disabilities. Its curriculum is designed to appeal to each age group, with developmental programming for toddlers and exploratory play with toys for children up to age 8. Because the classes are inclusive, differently abled children learn together in groups, breaking down social barriers and encouraging them to help each other learn.

6135 Park Road
Charlotte,
NC
US

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.

300 Hawthorne Lane
Charlotte,
NC
US