Phone 704-372-4663

Author: Dazia Miller

Charlotte, NC, March 19, 2024 – Today, MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced Crittenton of North Carolina as one of the Yield Giving Open Call’s awardees working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States. Crittenton of North Carolina received a $2 million grant.

Crittenton of North Carolina provides a safe place for women, girls and children in need to heal and grow and has served over 45,000 individuals since 1903.

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.

“As an organization that exists to support and empower girls and women, the impact is so profound when a donor chooses to support and empower us,” said Jada B. Charley, CEO of Crittenton of North Carolina. “This transformational gift will allow us to create so many opportunities; for the families we serve, for the staff who dedicate themselves to our mission daily, and for the greater community. We are thankful and humbled to have been chosen.”

The Open Call received 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In the Fall of 2023, organizations top-rated by their peers advanced to a second round of review by an external Evaluation Panel recruited for experience relevant to this cause and underwent a final round of due diligence. In light of the incredible work of these organizations, as judged by their peers and external panelists, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount. Crittenton of North Carolina is honored to have been selected as one of the highest-scoring organizations from across the country and received a $2 million gift.

“We are excited that our partnership with Yield Giving has resonated with so many organizations,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen.” More information on the Yield Giving Open Call and other initiatives can be found at

Crittenton of North Carolina

Crittenton of North Carolina is a Charlotte based nonprofit that houses and provides wraparound services for pregnant women experiencing homelessness or housing instability, young mothers and their babies in foster care, and teenage girls aging out of the foster care system. Crittenton’s residential programs are interventions designed to address disparities in access to healthcare, therapy, support services, life skills training and community resources. Crittenton provides a space for clients to heal from past trauma, gain life skills and work towards long-term goals that will improve their economic mobility and family stability. Crittenton is hosting their annual Creating Better Tomorrows Luncheon on May 15th where guests can learn more about the transformational work of this organization. To learn more, visit

Yield Giving

Established by MacKenzie Scott to share a financial fortune created through the effort of countless people, Yield Giving is named after a belief in adding value by giving up control. To date, Yield’s network of staff and advisors has yielded over $16,500,000,000 to 1,900+ non-profit teams to use as they see fit for the benefit of others. To learn more, visit

Lever for Change

Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to the world’s biggest problems—including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network—a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $1.7 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 145 organizations. To learn more, visit

Johnna is a Maternity Program client at Crittenton of North Carolina. She is 30 years old and is currently set to deliver her baby near the end of March 2024. We sat down with her for an interview to learn more about her life, goals, and how Crittenton has helped her overcome the obstacles she’s faced.

What was growing up like for you?

It was hard. Even though I had family, my mom died when I was three months old due to breast cancer. So, it was difficult not knowing who I was and not knowing my mom. When it came to my brothers, they kind of blamed me for our mother’s death. The doctor gave her the option of doing chemotherapy treatment or continuing her pregnancy and birthing me. She chose to have me, and it was like a sacrifice – that’s how my brothers look at it.

It was difficult growing up knowing that she did that, and at the same time not having that mother figure growing up.

Then, I went to go stay with an aunt that was abusive. My dad was also generally very violent and abusive – sexually and physically. That led to the Department of Social Services (DSS) gaining custody of me and placing me into foster care. That was around age 9. Ever since then, I’ve always been in the system.

A lot of people view their trauma as negative. I try to look at mine as something positive, especially with me being pregnant now. The motherhood that I didn’t receive is what I’m trying to give to my kids.

What was the situation that brought you to Crittenton?

Prior to coming to Crittenton, I was in a relationship with someone who abused me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I had multiple miscarriages previously due to stress from this situation. I had to leave for the safety of myself and of my unborn child. At Crittenton, I don’t have to wake up or sleep with one eye open. I can stay here rent-free, stress-free, with food provided, and can come and go as I need to. It has definitely relieved a lot of stress and anxiety. I was able to gain my peace back.

What do you hope to achieve in life?

My main goal is to keep my kids from going through what I went through as a child. When I got to Crittenton and started therapy, I learned that for me, the most important thing is to stay healthy. I can work my life away, but if I’m not healthy while doing it, then it’s pointless. With me being pregnant in addition to already having a son, I had to ask myself, “If I’m not here, who is going to be here for them?” Now, I’m not saying my mother made the wrong decision by choosing to birth me instead of doing chemotherapy. But being the parent that I never had is my number one goal.

No matter the situation, I want to be a supportive, independent parent. Having my kids with me, seeing them smile, and being able to comfortably provide for them without having to live paycheck to paycheck is my goal. I don’t want to have to come back to Crittenton for anything. I want my kids to see from my example that they are strong people and no matter what obstacles come their way, they can always overcome them.

Is there an achievement or contribution you’re most proud of? Why?

I would say being able to speak up. I was always a shy kid that didn’t say anything. When I was first introduced to therapy at Crittenton, I was that person like, “I ain’t talking to nobody!” But therapy definitely opened my eyes and allowed me to have the space I needed to speak.

I’m also proud of my educational accomplishments. With me already having a child and being 30, I would have been “stuck” at a job instead of being able to focus on my career. So, coming here [to Crittenton] allowed me to use that platform to get my career started, be able to build on it, as well as get a job within my career field. It definitely put a spark in my life to keep me going and doing better.

I’m really trying to break generational curses. By that I mean: I graduated from high school, and I went to college. Even though I got pregnant during my sophomore year, I still went. Considering that nobody in my family even attended or graduated from high school, I felt like that was a big change and accomplishment for me. I ended up looking towards helping other people. That’s how I landed in the nursing field. After I have my little one, I’ll be going back to school to become an RN. I’m just trying to do something that I wasn’t guided to do.

CHARLOTTE, March 1, 2024 – Crittenton of North Carolina, a nonprofit empowering women, girls, and children, is thrilled to announce it has been awarded a $10,000 technology-based grant by fundraising software provider, OneCause. The grant will be used to implement state-of-the-art fundraising software and access award-winning support and services, empowering Crittenton of North Carolina to streamline its fundraising and further its mission of promoting healing, hope, and empowerment through education and comprehensive physical and mental health services with a focus on maternal health and support for girls in foster care.

Each grant application was reviewed by a committee of industry experts evaluating submissions based on need, alignment with cause focus areas, and how the software will help further an organization’s cause.

“Through the grants program, we consider it a privilege to provide fundraising software to nonprofits who are changing the world for the better,” said Steve Johns, chief executive officer at OneCause. “Our goal is to help them save valuable time, simplify the giving experience, and ultimately raise more money to support their missions.”

The team at Crittenton extends its gratitude to the donors, partners, volunteers, and staff who have played a pivotal role in its growth. Their support has been instrumental in helping Crittenton continue its work.

About Crittenton of North Carolina
Crittenton is nonprofit located in Charlotte and has served over 45,000 women, girls, and children in North Carolina since its establishment in 1903. Its mission is to promote healing, hope, and empowerment through education and comprehensive physical and mental health services with a focus on maternal health and support for girls in foster care. You can learn more about Crittenton at

About OneCause
OneCause is driving the future of fundraising with easy-to-use digital fundraising solutions that help nonprofits improve the giving experience and raise more money. OneCause builds technology that optimizes everyday generosity, making it easier for nonprofit organizations to fundraise and for nonprofit supporters to give. Since 2008, OneCause has helped over 11,000 nonprofits in the United States and Canada raise more than $6.5 billion for their missions. Headquartered in Indianapolis, OneCause is committed to driving innovation in the charitable sector, bringing together nonprofit professionals across the world for the annual Raise Conference to exchange ideas that further fundraising. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Angela N. Mauldin

Crittenton was established in Charlotte, NC in 1903. At its start, it was a home of refuge for “unwed mothers” as well as a place for them to hide their shame. Pregnancy out of wedlock was not socially acceptable in those days, so many women and girls chose to hide at maternity homes like Crittenton during their pregnancy before placing their baby for adoption upon birth. Throughout the myriad of changes during the 20th century, we are proud of what Crittenton is now and the function we serve in the community. Instead of shame, we teach self-esteem and empowerment. Instead of hiding, we provide resources for pregnant women and girls to make a life for themselves once they leave Crittenton.

Crittenton has come a long way; however, have you ever wondered how integration was handled within its walls? Integration technically began in schools in 1954 following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. It took many years to truly implement and slowly, integration spread across more aspects of society. Crittenton began to consider the need that Black women and girls had for its services. It was a need just as great, if not greater, as White women and girls had. 

Society was much more patriarchal at the time, so combining sexism and racism, Black women and girls were often at the very bottom of the social latter – a reality that still lingers today.

In a nine-page document from 1964 titled “Whom We Serve,” a Crittenton staff member uses seven of those pages to describe some of their current clients including their characteristics, stories, struggles, hobbies, goals, and looks. At the end of the seventh page, a paragraph starts with “Perhaps one of the most controversial issues to come up in reassessment of services lie in the movement toward integration.” It goes on to describe how there was a “clash of opinions” on the topic within the Board of Directors and so the debate was dropped. Eventually, though, there was community pressure to integrate services.

In 1963, the Board was broken up into six groups, and each group voted unanimously to approve a “limited program of integration.” The narrative goes on to say how the decision in choosing the first “negro” client had to be as “selective as possible.” They wanted to make sure there weren’t any unforeseen issues to arise. Before accepting the first Black client, they had a meeting with the existing White clients and asked how they felt about living and sharing space with a Black client. They each voted in approval of the decision to integrate commenting that “negro girls needed this service as badly as they did.”

The group of White clients discussed how they can be helpful towards the first Black client when she arrives. It’s likely that the White clients at the home understood what it was like to be ostracized and “othered,” and they didn’t want the Black client to feel that way, too. Apparently, the transition to integration was seamless and the Black client had only positive feedback about her experience.

Crittenton consistently had three to four Black clients at a time from 1963-1964. From there, of course, the integration grew and expanded along with society’s changing attitudes and beliefs about Black people. Today, our client base is over 60% Black. It speaks to the growth the organization has experienced in terms of acceptance, but it also reminds us that Black women and girls are still one of the most underserved groups in America, especially in terms of health equity. We are actively working towards and fighting for a future where this is no longer our reality.

Dazia Miller, MPA

Dazia is a development & marketing associate at Crittenton and works on bringing relevant and less-known discussion topics to the forefront. Please reach out to her email at for any ideas, questions, or comments. If you want to be a part of the positive change happening at Crittenton, click here.

After months of discussions and weighing options, one of our foster care clients who would soon be turning 18 made her decision to stay in the custody of the Department of Social Services (DSS) until she aged out at 21. As staff, we felt she made the wisest decision for herself and her future. This is because the “typical” outcomes for a former foster youth are not the most promising. Strikingly, over 60% of emancipated foster youth will earn annual incomes of less than $6,000, which is below the federal poverty line. Only 3-4% of former foster youth obtain a 4-year college degree. Girls in foster care are also almost 50% more likely to become pregnant by age 19. The numbers reflect a multitude of intertwined barriers that exist for foster youth transitioning to adulthood.

In North Carolina, youth aging out of foster care can choose between two options when approaching age 18:  

– Emancipate themselves from DSS custody and move forward as a completely independent adult. 

– Sign a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) and remain in DSS custody until age 21.


Many foster youths, just like any other teenager, look to their 18th birthday with a sense of freedom. It means they will finally be able to dictate every detail of their life, minus the oversight implemented by DSS. For those who have had traumatic experiences in foster care, it is understandable why they may be more inclined to rid DSS from their life.  

However, the numbers paint a very different picture for foster youth transitioning to adulthood on their own. Former foster youth have higher rates of experiencing homelessness, mental health struggles, heightened risk for justice system involvement, and difficulty finding and/or retaining a secure and stable job. These challenges would be extremely difficult for a young adult with even the best support system. The vast majority of foster youths, however, lack the support system needed financially and emotionally to guide them through the journey towards successful independence. 

Signing the VPA is a way for them to have that critical support system while greatly enhancing their chances at a financially, mentally, and physically stable life trajectory. The details may vary a bit by county in North Carolina, but generally foster youth can receive the following benefits from the VPA: 

– Coverage of 4-year college tuition and 100% of costs associated with college, permitted they attend a state school within North Carolina. 

– Rental assistance, including for non-college attending youth. This is provided they work a certain number of hours per week if not attending college. 

– Monthly stipend and help with major costs like purchasing a car. 

– Assigned social worker to provide additional support and resources with visits every three months. 

Although some foster youths view the VPA as inhibiting their free will, it doesn’t prevent them from becoming their own legal guardian at 18. They can advocate for themselves now as opposed to a social worker having to approve every single decision they may make. Under the VPA, social worker visits are only every 3 months as opposed to every month before age 18. Even youths who decide against the VPA at 18 can change their mind and return to it up until 6 months before their 21st birthday as long as they are also working or in school. The VPA incentivizes higher education and/or employment, increasing chances of a higher-paying career path. It also keeps a caring adult in their lives through the social worker that will check on them, provide resources, and make sure they are receiving the support they need emotionally and physically during a defining transition to independent living. 

The reality is that the benefits of remaining in DSS custody and signing a VPA are abundant.  Importantly, it increases the likelihood of stable income, promoting upward mobility for foster youth. Simply signing a VPA has the power to completely alter the trajectory of a foster youth’s life, breaking cycles for generations to come.

At Crittenton, the young women in foster care in our independent living program, Legacy Hall, and in our mother/child program, Sarah’s House, who have chosen the VPA path are still in control of their lives while also receiving assistance to make their lives a little easier. They are developing into promising, self-sustaining young adults by attending college, working, and taking advantage of the opportunities placed before them to guarantee a better tomorrow. 

Dazia Miller, MPA

Dazia is a development associate at Crittenton and works on bringing relevant and less-known discussion topics to the forefront. Please reach out to her email at for any ideas, questions, or comments. If you want to be a part of the positive change happening at Crittenton, click here.

This tournament, held at Cedarwood Country Club, is a celebration of BD Rodgers’ longtime commitment to Crittenton and the Charlotte community. It is a full day event that includes 18 holes of golf, friendly golf contests, drawings of exciting prizes, giveaways, lunch, dinner and networking opportunities with other prominent companies in the construction industry.


Date: October 21. 2024
Time: 10am start
Location: Cedarwood Country Club

Last year, we all loved gathering on the rooftop of the Waterman Fish Bar (South End location) for amazing food and drinks all to support Crittenton. The Waterman graciously hosts various nonprofits in the community to invite their supporters out to spend an evening with 20% of ALL in-store sales that night being donated to the cause. 

This year, we will be returning to The Waterman on July 17, 2024 from 5pm-10pm. This is the simplest way to support Crittenton’s mission – all you have to do is grab your family and friends and enjoy a delicious meal! 

We hope you’ll join us!

Crittenton supporters, board members, volunteers and community leaders gather to raise funds to help Crittenton provide comprehensive services to pregnant and at-risk women and girls impacted by complex trauma. Crittenton’s luncheon attracts many community members and raises funds for our critical residential programs. Please join us for this year’s Creating Better Tomorrow Luncheon! 


Register and browse sponsorship opportunities here

Crittenton Creating Better Tomorrows Luncheon

2023 Photos