Sunday, December 19, 2010

Steele Creek Outreach - Helping the local homeless and more.

Not long after I had my second son, I joined a group in the area called “Steele Creek Mom’s Club.”  It was great to have an outlet, the boys play with new kids and as I would come to learn, I would meet and become friends with some pretty terrific Moms and women.  All of us added our own unique flair and style to the group.  Over time I have learned so much from these women and have been inspired by them, more than I often admit. 
One of the things I really hope to emphasis on Lakeside Chatter is the incredible local charities and local fundraising efforts that are going on in this community.  This week we are featuring “Steele Creek Outreach, Inc.”
I had the privilege of meeting Nichole Jaworski about two years ago when she joined the Mom’s group.  At the time I ran a blog for our group and she was featured as a new member.  Upon interviewing her I learned of her altruistic spirit.  Since then I have become a fan of her many inspiring quotes she posts on FaceBook, one of my favorites; “Be The Change You want to See in the World”  (Gandhi).  Okay so I am a quote junkie, but this one has stuck with me for a long time.  Simply because I do believe we can all make a difference in this world.  We just need to give it a try. 
I had the pleasure to speak with Nichole again last week and learned where she got the idea and inspiration for the Steele Creek Outreach.  I hope you enjoy learning more about her and this great organization.

Initially, Steele Creek Outreach was a very primitive idea. I had originally started a blog called Pay it Forward-documenting my families fundraising efforts and charity work with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. My father passed away from brain cancer when I was a teenager, and we have lost other family members and friends to cancer as well, so this was always a driving force for me in wanting to raise money for cancer research.

But I have always had a soft spot for the homeless too which most likely stems from my 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. I remember the conversation the teachers had had with us prior to the trip-"There will be homeless people on the street, do not look at them!" That advice never sat well with me-and I remember looking at every homeless person on the streets of DC and feeling terrible for them.

A couple of months after starting the family blog-I ran a food drive for Stand Up for Kids-an organization that helps street kids. We put together 40 bags of food-and not only did this drive transition the family blog into Steele Creek Outreach, it also gave us the idea to start our own street homeless bags, the S.C.O. goody bags. We distribute 60 of these bags to the street homeless in Charlotte every month. The bags contain vital supplies such as water, pudding cups, individual snacks, cough drops, hand wipes, toothbrushes, etc. It's been 14 months since the start of S.C.O., and although we have made a big impact, there is still so much we need to do for our local homeless population. S.C.O. is unique in the fact that a neighborhood banned together and formed a lasting organization. I hope that it will inspire others to create something similar in their neighborhood, or inspire them to be a part of S.C.O.

Being a mom of three has taught me that not everything will be perfect...some days I feel like I can take on the world, and other days, not so much. It is an interesting balance-and I am truly blessed to have really great friends and family in my life whohave contributed to the progression of S.C.O.
For me the most important things are to live a humble life, to help others however I can, and to teach my children to have a giving heart.

Nichole Jaworski
For more information on SCO and how you can help please visit

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