December 21, 2021
ABC News 4: Hundreds Of Free Turkeys Being Distributed In North Charleston Tuesday
By Matt Dillane
Authorities, attorneys and a local nonprofit have teamed up to give out 400 turkeys ahead of Christmas.
On Tuesday, Motivate To Educate is hosting its annual “Christmas Turkey Giveaway.”
The event is taking place starting at 4 p.m. at Cricket Wireless, located at 3421 Rivers Avenue, Suite 101.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, along with several local law firms, are assisting the nonprofit with the distribution effort.
One turkey will be given to each person or vehicle until supplies run out.
December 1, 2021
We will continue to show support for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Here we are with Representative Wendell Gilliard and others.
August 2, 2021
ABC News 4: North Charleston Has Highest Eviction Rate In The United States As Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends
By Tara Jabour
The Federal eviction moratorium is now over. So what does that mean for the Lowcountry, specifically those in North Charleston?
North Charleston has the highest eviction rate in the United States according to evictionlab.org.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.487.0_en.html#goog_931338843Volume 90% N. Charleston has highest eviction rate in the US as federal eviction mortarium ends
“Here you got human beings sleeping on the streets, dealing with this inclement weather. They don’t even know where the next meal is coming from,” said Tony Lewis, Founder and President of Motivate to Educate.
Trident United Way said around 100,000 people rent in the tri-county area. Almost 15 percent of those renters can’t pay the bill, totaling around $60 million of unpaid rent in the tri-county area.
“(That $60 million owed) is going to be hard for a municipality to absorb, landlords or individuals who own property that are paying mortgages,” said Jonathan Rauh, the VP of public policy at Trident United Way.
Although the federal eviction mortarium expired, help is still available.
“There are still dollars available from your municipalities to help people get by during this time so they can pay their rent and catch up,” said Rauh.
Trident United Way has resource connection centers in Dorchester and Berkeley counties.
But if you don’t have access to the internet, another resource is available.
“I would suggest calling the 2-1-1 hotline. They can just dial 2-1-1 and they will get a live person to talk to. They can talk through what needs they have,” said Rauh.
Biggest Impact in North Charleston
Rauh said there’s one area in the Lowcountry that could feel the biggest impact of the mortarium ending.
“North Charleston has one of the most transient populations in the state. It also has one of the highest eviction rates in the United States, if not the highest eviction rate in the United States,” said Rauh.
Tony Lewis is the founder and president of Motivate to Educate.
One of the things his non-profit does is feed the homeless population a hot meal seven days a week.
Tony said he feels like the moratorium ending could make things worse.
“It will increase crime and it will increase mental health issues and challenges. Because when you don’t have a place to stay, it messes with your mental capacity,” said Lewis.
Lewis hears from homeless people every day about their needs.
“We have a lot of folks come to us and say hey, we need jobs. We need a place to stay. We need help with our mental illness,” said Lewis.
Now, he is challenging the community to step up.
“I’m challenging all elected officials. The White House, state house all of these local municipalities. Let’s come together and make a plan. Walk a mile in their shoes, feel how they feel,” said Lewis.
We reached out to the North Charleston mayor’s office. We are still waiting to hear back.
July 13, 2021
The Motivate To Educate Organization has been in action! Check out the latest photos and videos below:
June 15, 2021
Count On News 2: Gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham unveils plan to curb gun violence
By Katie Augustine
Gun violence is a steadily growing problem in South Carolina. Between May and July 2020, the Medical University of South Carolina reported a 70% increase in violent crimes involving firearms. Now, Gubernatorial candidate, Joe Cunningham, unveiled a plan he believes will drastically decrease gun violence in the state.
“My three-step plan includes closing the ‘Charleston loophole’, expanding background checks, and funding a violence prevention plan at the state level,” explained Cunningham.
Here is a breakdown of what each of these steps would entail:
The Charleston Loophole is a term coined after the Mother Emanuel tragedy. It refers to the flaw in the current background check system that allows someone to purchase a firearm if the FBI doesn’t complete their background check in three days. The ‘loophole’ is how the Charleston church shooter was able to obtain the gun he used to kill nine people in 2015.
Under Cunningham’s plan, the time limit on background checks would be expanded from three days to 10 days. This would allow more leeway to ensure an individual is thoroughly checked out before purchasing a firearm
“Currently, South Carolina does not require background checks on gun purchases at gun shows and private sales which have become the source of many illegal gun purchases,” said Cunningham.
Universal background checks would be implemented under his plan. That means every gun sale in the state would require one.
According to Cunningham, 84% of Americans support universal background checks.lent Prevention Program on the State Level
According to Cunningham, Community Violence Interruption Programs reduce community violence by involving trained individuals from the community to identify people who are most at risk for committing or experiencing violence and provide those individuals with services. These services include mentoring, mediation, and identifying the root causes of violence to address them.
“These programs would identify high-risk victims of violence to prevent recidivism and reduce retaliation,” he said.
A new Charleston non-profit, Motivate to Educate, is also working to bring awareness to the issue through a march this Sunday.
“We just think it’s going to be a great day to talk about what’s happening in our community, the destruction that’s going on because of gun violence,” said Merrill Chapman, a representative of Motivate to Educate.
The ‘Mother’s March for our Sons’ event is Sunday, June 20th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The march will begin on American and Line Streets and end at Marion Square in Downtown Charleston. Everyone is welcome to attend. There will be speakers, including those whose lives have been affected by gun violence, information, and entertainment.
March 4, 2021
Post And Courier: Charleston chef and activist bring awareness to issues homeless people face daily
By Fleming Smith
A Charleston chef and a longtime activist have teamed up to try to illustrate, and perhaps remedy, the foremost issues facing the area’s homeless community.
Chef Dwayne Pierce, chief executive officer of Juicy Steaks USA, has been serving meals to homeless people for years. Now, he’s trying to tell their story.
April 2, 2018
Quintin’s Close-Ups: Tony Lewis
March 7, 2018
Charleston Chronicle: Motivate to Educate to Use Sporting Activity to Stimulate Learning
Local group Motivate to Educate will take 60 high school seniors, twenty from three high schools, to a basketball game to see the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets play the Cleveland Cavaliers in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 28. These 60 students are being rewarded for their scholastic achievements. They have either attained excellent grades or have demonstrated significant improvement and are considered most improved. The teachers at each school will decide which students should be awarded this rare opportunity. The students will be accompanied by teachers, police officers and members of Motivate to Educate to ensure adequate number of chaperones.
“It is important for us as adults to provide opportunities to stimulate the children in the Title 1 schools to help them succeed,” says Tony Lewis, Founder of Motivate to Educate. By providing this opportunity to attend a professional basketball game the group is hoping it will be an incentive for other students to improve their grades.