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AED Brings Holiday Spirit to Charlotte Rescue Mission

Fri December 23, 2011 - Southeast Edition
Lori Lovely


Terry Thomas (L), James River Equipment; and Richard McKeon (R), Construction Equipment Guide; present the $3,000 donation to Ed Boyce of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. The donation is from all of the construction equipment dealers in the Charlotte area.
Terry Thomas (L), James River Equipment; and Richard McKeon (R), Construction Equipment Guide; present the $3,000 donation to Ed Boyce of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. The donation is from all of the construction equipment dealers in the Charlotte area.
Terry Thomas (L), James River Equipment; and Richard McKeon (R), Construction Equipment Guide; present the $3,000 donation to Ed Boyce of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. The donation is from all of the construction equipment dealers in the Charlotte area. Mickey Brandle (L), James River Equipment; and Ed Boyce, Charlotte Rescue Mission; stand in front of an artist’s rendering of the future campus to assist women in transition.

On Dec. 5, a chapter of the Association of Equipment Distributors (AED) located in the Carolinas presented a check for $3,000 to the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

“It’s not just a check,” responded Tony Marciano, executive director, explaining that the money would go to help women and their children create better lives. “Just as your business involves building a foundation so that you can build a structure on top of it, your generosity will allow us to build a foundation of long-term sobriety in a woman’s life that has spiraled out of control, so that she can return as a contributing member of society.”

For years, explained John Hood, AED member and used equipment manager at Carolina CAT, the organization used donations and contributions to finance social events, such as an annual golf tournament.

However, because membership is down and the economy is bad, the money is no longer used to support events. In the past, AED contributed to a scholarship fund, but it was connected to the golf tournament.

“We had a lot of money that we didn’t need,” Hood said.

Terry Thomas, general manager of James River Equipment added, “We polled members about what to do with the unused funds. Everyone wanted to donate it to a local charity, so we appointed some guys to look for a local organization. We wanted a charity where a generous portion of the money would go to the people.”

They chose the Charlotte Rescue Mission, which for 72 years, has been providing residential programs for homeless, jobless men and women with alcohol and drug addiction issues who have few other options due to a lack of health coverage. Professional recovery programs and other services are provided at no cost.

In 1992, the Mission opened Dove’s Nest, a women’s recovery program. The 12-bed residential home in the heart of historic Dilworth provides a structured living environment, with a dedicated staff aimed at helping women understand and deal with the core issues of addiction as a disease. After completing the 120-day intensive program focusing on spiritual, physical, social and psychological recovery, clients can seek additional assistance through an eight-month extension in the Mission’s continuing care division.

There is a waiting list for entry into the Mission’s programs. In 2010, more than 450 men and women participated in recovery programs, 74 percent of whom were homeless. The average client has been in jail or prison two to three times and some of them suffer from malnutrition. More than 70 percent are dually diagnosed with addiction problems, as well as mental or emotional problems.

Because of the demand, the Mission is expanding its Dove’s Nest from a 12-bed to a 45,000-sq.-ft., 120-bed facility capable of serving 90 women and 30 children. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012. The Mission has been trying to raise funds to meet that goal. AED’s gift will help.

“It’s a good cause,” Hood said, “and a great time of year to donate to charity.”

If AED has excess funds in the future, Hood said it “just makes sense” to donate it to another local charity. CEG