Single Parents Fund
Brendan has been active in the community ever since he was in high school as he participated in numerous church and youth group programs. While at UNC, he visited the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill on a regular basis. Once he was scheduled to visit the House but planned to cancel because he was sick with a bad cold. Other Tar Heels who scheduled for the same visit also had to cancel. When he learned that no one else was going to visit the sick children and families, he got out of his sick bed and visited the families and kids anyways! It was a truly inspirational moment as the sick kids were so inspired to see that even someone as tall and big as he was could also get sick!
The Brendan Haywood Single Parents Fund
Brendan has established a fund to assist single parent families. The fund, which is officially called the “Brendan Haywood Single Parents Fund,” is set up with the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro in North Carolina. Brendan opened the fund by contributing a donation of $25,000.00. He plans on soliciting additional donations to help him provide grants to fund programs that assist underprivileged single parent families in North Carolina and Texas.
Brendan has a firsthand understanding of the trials and hardships that sometimes accompany children from single parent families. “My mother raised me as a single parent and she worked twice as hard to make sure I always had the things I needed,” says Brendan. “I’ve seen other children from single parent families who haven’t been as fortunate as me and needed a little extra help. I’m hoping this fund will provide support for numerous single parent families on various levels and help them during those times when they need a helping hand.”
The first grant issued by Brendan’s fund was for $10,000 and went to a Dallas based organization called Alley’s House. The mission at Alley’s House is to empower teen mothers and their children to achieve independence through support services, education and mentoring. Alley’s House works mostly with single parent families.
Providing a Home for a Single Parent Family: The Cherry Family
In March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning, Brendan helped a homeless single parent family in Charlotte to get out of a shelter and into their own apartment. Single father, William Cherry, and his two daughters, Serenity (age 10) and Jasmine (age 12) were living at the Salvation Army's Center for Hope. The Director of Housing CLT, Harry Mack, found an apartment for the Cherry Family and Brendan paid the family's rent for an entire year! He also bought them new bedroom suites and furniture.
In March 2021, when the Cherry family's lease was up and they were forced with the prospect of being evicted due to the rough job market caused by the pandemic, Brendan didn't hesitate to pay the family's rent for another full year! Read more HERE!
Incentive Program Challenging Social Workers to House Homeless Families
In April 2021, Brendan funded an incentive program that challenged the Salvation Army social workers to house their homeless families! Thirty families obtained housing in 30 days or less with the assistance of their social workers who identified housing, served as mediators between the families and landlords, and completed all necessary paperwork.
The families housed were mostly single parent, female-headed households who had experienced homelessness from three months to upwards of three years. Homelessness occurred due to a variety of circumstances including domestic violence, illness and unemployment due to COVID-19. Over half of the families have obtained or maintained employment since obtaining housing. Four social workers met the challenge and were each awarded $500 Visa gift cards. Congratulations to those workers: Ileshia Birtha, Dorothy Brown, Akua Adams and Zykiria Durham! Keep up the good work!
On Monday, February 19, 2018, Brendan hosted around 90 students from West Charlotte High School to watch the "Black Panther" movie with him at the Studio Movie Grill at the Epicenter in Charlotte, NC! The students were provided popcorn and drinks, but more importantly an amazing experience!
In January of 2017, Brendan donated $5,000 to the Salvation Army's Center for Hope in Charlotte to provide 10 families with $500 Duke Power credits to help pay their electricity bills to start the new year!
On Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Brendan and Academy Sports hosted a back-to-school event for 50 underprivileged children from Charlotte's Center for Hope Organization (sponsored by the Salvation Army). Each kid was able to purchase up to $100 worth of items to help them prepare for going back to school. In addition, Brendan gave each kid a backpack (provided by Nike) and helped them shop for their items!
On August 18, 2013, Brendan returned to the Center of Hope with a check for $5,000 to provide bus tickets for the women there. He also provided 100 Nike backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies and food for the children.
On February 11, 2013, Brendan surprised 15 women at the Salvation Army of Charlotte's Center of Hope Shelter by showing up and announcing that he'd pay their power bills for an entire year! The women were part of the Center's rapid re-housing program, which helps single women transition from living in a shelter to living in market-rate housing by providing them with job resources and assistance.
In 2012, Brendan's fund donated $10,000 to the Communiversity Program at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at UNC-Chapel Hill. Since 1992 the program has provided after-school academic and cultural enrichment activities for children from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system.
In the fall of 2011, Brendan's Fund provided a Back-to-School Cookout for mothers and children from the Greensboro YWCA. He provided Nike backpacks filled with school supplies and fed over 140 people at the cookout.
In the summer of 2011, Brendan participated in a KaBOOM! playground build at the YMCA of High Point, NC. He went in the rain and freezing weather and did all he could to help with the build and inspire the kids and workers.