Biz Roundup: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation awards grants from Salisbury to Jerusalem

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 20, 2021

The St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation has awarded more than $110,000 to local and international nonprofit organizations.

The spring 2021 grant recipients include organizations that are new partners with the foundation, with grants awarded across eight countries and to seven local nonprofits.

A particularly large number of applications were received this cycle for the Global Missions Fund. One of the largest grant recipients is the Diocese of Jerusalem, a first-time applicant to the foundation. Its grant will support The Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, which provides comprehensive rehabilitation for children with disabilities. Family members receive on-the-job training at the center, attend therapy sessions with their children and receive training by the therapists in providing home care. The grant will support its virtual care model, which will allow the center to enhance and sustain its online therapy sessions, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local grant recipients include Families First, Inc. for its programming with the Rowan County Court Child Care Center. The grant for $4,269 will help to provide much-needed care in the county courthouse for young children with family members involved in court proceedings.

Other grant recipients include The Rowan County Literacy Council for its adult and youth programming, Rowan Helping Ministries for its Food For Thought program, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan for its victim services, The Bread Riot for its program to bring locally grown food to the community, Power Cross for its Boyz2Men Retreat and Pathways group at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for its multi-cultural book donation to Koontz Elementary School.

More information about the St. Luke’s Foundation, including information on how to support its efforts, the application process, and upcoming deadlines may be found at or on the organization’s Facebook page.

Charlotte home sales are up as new listings increase in May

As North Carolinians continue to adjust to reopening and a return to normal activities, residential real estate sales across the Charlotte region continue to heat up.

According to data from Canopy Realtor Association, house sales rose 26.4% with 4,784 homes being sold compared to 3,785 homes being sold last May. Last May, sales were impacted by the pandemic and kept many buyers and sellers from entering the market. Leading to a 30.4% decrease in sales compared to the previous year.

With the increase in sales, the inventory and month’s supply of homes for sale has gone down. with the inventory of homes for sale falling 62% from last May and the month’s supply of homes falling 68.4% from last May. This May, 3,104 homes were up for sale compared to the 8,177 homes last May.

The median and average sale price has also seen an increase, the median price is up 21.8% and the average price is up 27.4%. Last May the median price was $265,245 and is up to $323,000 this may. The average price was $309,877 last May and went up to $394,924 this May. The average listing price of houses also increased compared to last May with an 8% increase. The average listing price went from $374,022 last May up to $403,871 this May.

Houses are selling quicker compared to last May, with the days on market until sale down to 16 days this May compared to 36 days last May.

Local restaurants’ egg dishes could win a cash prize

To encourage North Carolina consumers to support local restaurants that serve eggs and enjoy easy, fun, egg-inspired recipes during the summer, the North Carolina Egg Association (NCEA) will launch a contest for consumers to vote for their favorite restaurant that serves eggs in the Piedmont, mountains and coastal regions of the state. One restaurant in each region will win a $1,000 prize to help rebuild, make updates or support employees after a difficult year.

“We are thrilled to promote the experience of revisiting favorite neighborhood restaurants in North Carolina and to encourage residents to reconnect around the table with friends and family,” said Lisa Prince, executive director of the North Carolina Egg Association. “For many restaurants, times have been tough, and North Carolina egg farmers are eager to help our restaurants reopen and continue to thrive.”

Through Aug. 8, North Carolina residents are invited to nominate an independent restaurant to win the $1,000 prize. Using an online form at, North Carolinians can submit their favorite regional restaurant that serves eggs and share a favorite dish that the location serves. By participating, entrants will automatically be entered into weekly drawings for $25 gift cards to local restaurants.

“We are honored to support locally-owned restaurants in the North Carolina communities where we live, work, and play,” said Trey Braswell, North Carolina Egg Association Board president and a fourth-generation egg farmer at Braswell Family Farms in Nashville. “Our state’s egg farmers are proud to provide safe, nutritious eggs to restaurants that become the delicious dishes that diners enjoy every day.”

Bank seeks to expand tech career opportunities for students of color 

Bank of America announced a partnership between NPower and Urban Alliance, powered by a $4.2 million grant split between both organizations.

According to Bank of America’s website, the collaboration between Urban Alliance and NPower will connect students, predominantly from communities of color, to technical skills and jobs and aligns with Bank of America’s commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. This effort aims to empower high school students with future-proof skills to become economically self-sufficient after graduation and access entry-level jobs in tech or tech-adjacent fields while supporting employers with developing diverse, entry-level talent pipelines.

“We recognize that early employment is critical to help young people build the skills, networks, and experience needed to break out of cycles of poverty and achieve long-term success,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “Bringing the collective expertise of Urban Alliance and NPower together further demonstrates our ability to be a catalyst for jobs in the communities we serve by preparing young people of color for upwardly mobile jobs in tech and tech-proximate career fields.”

NPower is a national nonprofit that is committed to advancing race and gender equity in the tech industry through skills training, real-world experience, support, and mentorships. It will provide technical training to all Urban Alliance students during the next three years, complementing Urban Alliance’s intensive soft skills curriculum. This effort aims to provide more than 1,500 students with digital literacy training and deeper tech certification for a self-selected subset. Technical skillsets will open the door for students going on to college as well as those transitioning from high school to full-time work.

Application to NPower’s classes can be found at

Our State Magazine seeks entries for 2021 Made in NC Awards

For more than 88 years, Our State has spotlighted the best creators, makers, designers and chefs throughout the state. This summer, Our State is hosting the sixth-annual Made in NC Awards to continue the tradition of celebrating North Carolina artisans.

The Made in NC Awards are for North Carolina makers, bakers, crafters and creators. Whether you run a small microbrewery, sell handmade soaps or create incredible custom clothing, you’re proud to make your product right here in North Carolina — and Our State magazine want to help you show it off to the entire state.

Products must be made made in North Carolina and fall under one of the following categories: craft, drink, food, home and garden or style. Submitted items must also have the ability to be reproduced for sale or be part of a similar line of items available for sale. Submissions will be judged upon quality, uniqueness and authenticity. Judges will also take into consideration how well each product represents North Carolina and if the materials are locally sourced.

There will be one winner and two honorable mentions from each of the five categories. The overall winner will receive $500. Category winners will each receive a one-sixth page ad, and the overall winner will receive a one-third page ad in the December issue of Our State magazine. Both category winners and the overall winner will receive email and social media promotion, an article and video on and inclusion in the Made in NC Awards features section in the February issue of Our State magazine. Honorable mentions will be listed on Winners and honorable mentions are invited to be vendors in the Marketplace at the Best of Our State at Pinehurst Resort from January 7-8, 2022. All contest entrants may be considered for merchandising opportunities by the Our State Store.

The contest entry period is now open, and entries will be accepted through August 16, 2021. To submit your entry or to find answers to any of your questions about the Made in NC Awards, visit