This year's local charity is the USO of North Carolina

Megan Grady is the Director of the USO at Charlotte-Douglas Airport. When I was searching for this year's charity I sent out a short questionaire. Here are her answers.

1.   What does the Charlotte USO provide and why could it use the donation? 

I have attached a sheet with more information on the USO of NC as well as the USO of NC, Charlotte Center and the programs and services that we provide to our troops and their families here in Charlotte. (Attachment info below).

2.   If USO Charlotte is chosen, will the money given stay in Charlotte, or be added to a national pool? 

 The USO of NC is an independent 501C-3 organization chartered by national USO as a self-sustaining separate operating entity. USO-NC is wholly reliant on funding from private grants, donations, and corporate gifts and sponsorships, and fundraisers in North Carolina. We receive no direct funding from national USO or from government. All funds raised in NC stay in NC to support our troops here in NC. To Further elaborate on this - All funds given directly to Megan for Charlotte, stays in Charlotte.

    3. If it stays in Charlotte what will it be used for? Please be specific.

Funds donated to the USO of NC, Charlotte Center will support programs and services offered to over 8,500 service members and their families in Charlotte each month.  These services consist of feeding these troops and their families in the center as we purchase the majority of our food and drinks that are offered in our center.  Additionally, we provide support to our local military community through our outreach programs.

History of the USO

The USO was conceived in 1941 in response to a mandate from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The President challenged six private organizations – the YMCA, YWCA, National Catholic Community Service, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the Traveler’s Aid Association and the Salvation Army – to handle all the on-leave morale needs for members of the armed forces.  In times of peace and war, the USO consistently delivered its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to service members and their families.  The USO has diversified and changed over time, but the mission remains the same:  bring a touch of home to our men and women in uniform, until every one comes home.

The USO currently operates over 160 centers around the world, including ten mobile canteens, with 81 locations in the continental United States and 51 overseas.  Service members and their families visit USO Centers more than 5.6 million times each year.  More than 26,000 volunteers donate their time and talents to the USO.

The USO of North Carolina

The mission of the USO of North Carolina is to serve and support America's military and their families.  The USO of North Carolina works continuously to enrich the lives of America's military in the Carolinas, as well as fund vital programs and services for these warriors and their families.   The USO of NC operates 4 USO Centers in NC:  Jacksonville, Raleigh, Charlotte and Fort Bragg.

The USO of NC, Charlotte Center

The USO of NC, Charlotte Center opened on 1 September 2006.    The center is located in the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, in the old British Airways Club donated by the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.  The USO is essential to the Charlotte Airport as it is the hub for service members traveling to and from the state’s six major bases.  The center provides a “Home Away From Home” for all Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Retired Military Personnel and their dependents as they travel through the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.  The Charlotte Center welcomes over 93,000 service members and their families and is currently one of the busiest USO Airport Centers in the country.

The USO of NC, Charlotte Center is operated by three staff members and over 200 fantastic volunteers.  Acting as hosts and hostesses in the USO, our volunteers greet and assist the military personnel to make them feel at home.  The center offers comfortable chairs, books, magazines, television and refreshments. Internet and phone use-available free of charge help service members connect with loved ones while far away from home.  The volunteers provide information and referral services, act as an advocate for stranded personnel and assist with emergency military travel issues.   The staff and volunteers support Wounded Warriors as they travel through the Charlotte Airport who, as result of the injuries they have sustained, may need a little extra assistance.  A new service of the USO of NC, Charlotte Center is the Honors Support Team (HST).   The HST is a team of volunteers that ensures each fallen hero is treated with dignity, kindness, gratitude and respect.  Remains are never unattended for even a moment as they make their final journey home.  The program requires extensive coordination with airport authorities and military casualty-assistance officers. The HST also assists family members and escorts, helping them navigate a busy airport at a stressful and overwhelming time. On-call 24-7 and under all environmental conditions, HST volunteers hold their duty near-and-dear to their hearts, proudly serving those who gave their last full-measure of devotion for our freedom.

USO of NC is a civilian non-profit organization, which relies solely on the generous support from individuals, organizations and corporations in the Charlotte community, as well as the United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign.  Sponsorship of events, centers or programs and In-Kind donations are just a few ways that people can help the USO of NC and the Charlotte Center continue to provide these services to our Troops.  As a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization, the ability to serve the troops is made possible solely through sponsorships, donations and contributions.  All donations to the USO of NC, Charlotte Center are tax deductible.

USO of NC, Charlotte Center

5501 Josh Birmingham Pkwy, P.O. Box 21

Charlotte, NC 28208


Equality Now

Equality Now was founded in 1992 to work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women around the world. Working with national human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes international action to support their efforts to stop these human rights abuses.

There are two ways to fight a battle like ours. One is to whisper in the ear of the masses, try subtlely and gradually to change the gender expectations and mythic structures of our culture. That's me. The other is to step up and confront the thousands of atrocities that are taking place around the world on an immediate, one-by-one basis. That's a great deal harder, and that's Equality Now. It's not about politics; it's about basic human decency. - Joss Whedon

All of us at Equality Now continue to be amazed by and grateful for the Browncoats' and Serenity fans' generous and committed support for our work. Their energy and enthusiasm is inspiring and these screenings are coming at a critical time when we are especially in need of funds! We thank each and every one of them and Happy Birthday to Joss! - Amanda Sullivan, Equality Now

For more information contact Micki at

We will need plenty of volunteers this year to keep all of our activities running throughout the evening.  If you would like to offer your time or services, even for an hour or so, please contact us here.

We welcome any and all donations of prizes for our weighted prize drawing.  Please email us here and let us know so we can get you up on our prizes page.