Informative Technologies (1st Place Winner)
Based in UNCC's PORTAL, they’re building a digital inclusion ecosystem where tech is reused, not discarded, and people are empowered to achieve success through affordable access to information and STEM workforce development. They’re active in Digital Charlotte, serve as a MeckEd intern training partner for Title 1 HS students, and closely partner with corporations, non-profits, and schools with an innovative approach to addressing root causes of the Digital Divide, lack of social mobility, and e-waste. They enable companies to easily donate surplus computers to local schools and faith-based organizations to distribute to disconnected families. This is scalable and sustainable due to their ReviveOS, which makes nearly any computer <10 years old run like an enhanced Chromebook; and their partnerships such as with Good360.org, EveryoneOn.org, Restore Global, University City Partners, Electrolux, Vance HS Academy of Engineering, Huntingtowne Farms Elem, and Community Charter School of Clt.
Their ReviveOS enables repurposing of Windows XP computers, not supported by Microsoft, and destined for the recycler. Their model is in direct contrast to “planned obsolescence”, with software updated at no cost in perpetuity. They’re holding a spring break STEM boot camp at Vance HS.
Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (2nd Place Winner)
RETI aims to help local families transition to a more sustainable lifestyle that will in turn reduce their energy costs and help the environment. RETI provides a specialized focus on low income families who could benefit the most by becoming more efficient. Previous RETI services include general awareness programs and educational programs throughout CharMeck public libraries; the organization readies children, teens, and adults for the adoption of clean energy technologies, such as smart thermostats and solar panels for their homes. RETI has helped to educate over 200 children about Energy Efficiency including 180 at Imaginon through interactive games. RETI sponsors a youth advisory council featuring mentorship and hands on leadership opportunities.
Energy Transition is rooted in creating stable economies by means of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable development. RETI uses these foundational ideals to integrally help people and families most critically in need through youth training and community partnerships.
Javesca Coffee (3rd Place Winner)
Buy Coffee. Feed the World. This is not a catch phrase for Charlotte-based Javesca. It is their daily mantra. For every pound of coffee sold, Javesca provides a minimum of one pound of food to help people throughout the world who have little to no food. Their goal is simple—to provide the best coffee and together end unnecessary hunger. Javesca was established in late 2013 by Craig Bollinger, a Charlotte pastor, and son, Steven, a mechanical engineer by trade. Most of Javesca’s profits have provided the funds to empower respected organizations to locally buy over 20,000 lbs. of food exceeding 100,000 meals in impoverished areas of Burundi, Africa and Guatemala as well as our region. Javesca’s values of fairness and respect are evidenced by fair prices paid to the actual coffee farmers, thereby encouraging a better quality of life for the farmers and their workers. Being involved with Javesca supports fair and respectful treatment of coffee farmers and their workers.
Javesca coffee is donating a majority of its profits from each bag of premium coffee sold to reputable organizations to buy food from local farmers, feed hungry children, and create sustainable economies. Do something extraordinary by doing something ordinary … buy coffee from Javesca.
One of Perkup Reward's main initiatives is to create a level playing field for local small minority owned businesses in the QC and beyond. We recognize due to wealth gap, that minority owned businesses have a disadvantage when it comes to affording an effective local marketing strategy. Our program fights this inequality through providing highly effective local advertising at little to no costs to small businesses and our new merger with Parent Teacher magazine enables us to help empower our children through education and fundraising.
There is no other program like ours. Our unique combination of providing little to no cost advertising, enabling consumers to save locally easier than ever, all while giving back to the community separates our program from all others.
UISAC - Universal Institute of Success Aging of Carolinas
UISAC has initiated a number of diverse highly successful projects ranging from bringing GRAMEEN bank to Charlotte, creating the Santi Nikaten (Place of Peace) SASC (South Asian Senior Center), and the CGS (Charlotte-Gujarati Samaj), all with the aim of bridging gaps for under represented populations to key social needs to bring dignity, equality and connection. They are currently building a physical community and residential cohousing-like center to serve these populations even more completely.
There is no other organization doing similar work in the same way. The org is empowering under represented people - focusing on immigrant seniors - to stand up and represent themselves, to become active and connected citizens, uniting them and strengthening the whole community in the process.