“We will make caring more contagious than this virus and we will come out on the other side a much stronger community.” -Charles Roberson
His name is Charles “Verb” Roberson, a small business owner and an investor in downtown Rocky Mount. Charles thinks of the entrepreneurs investing in downtown as pioneers who have been willing to risk their dreams to be a part of the new emerging scene on Main Street and the surrounding areas. I call these talented, creative people, “Repairers of the Breach.” With great economic recovery, high employment due to job growth, we were sailing along with a smile and a whistle until this virus closed the doors of what are called non-essential businesses.
After brainstorming ideas during a downtown stakeholder conference call, Charles “Verb” Roberson jumped into action, summoning the downtown business participants, creating the Downtown-Cares website, and producing a video to promote the Downtown Care Project. Charles explained he’s carrying on the tradition of his grandfather, James Nelson McNair who took him to rest homes as a youth to feed and care for our precious seniors. He explains, when times get hard, you show your heart. This is exactly what the stakeholders are doing with the Downtown Cares project.
Charles says he is happy to see people making the effort to go downtown to help patronize as many restaurants and other open businesses during this crisis. He likes to create win-win situations that Downtown Cares epitomizes. The project has created a care package supplied with products we buy from local small businesses, then allowing the public to buy these Downtown Care Packages to gift to our seniors and essential workers. “I am propelled to live by the name that my friends call me, Verb, which is an action word. I had to Walk The Talk in honor of my late grandfather. Jame Nelson McNair taught Charles, “You have to do the work and that your work will talk louder than you ever could.” Right now, Charles is in a work mode. He and the stakeholders involved invites the community to join this Downtown Cares project and make it a success.
How It Works: DOWNTOWN CARES creates Downtown Care Packages stocked with items bought from local downtown small businesses. “Downtown Cares” packages will include a hot meal prepared by a downtown restaurant, hand sanitizer made by The Bath Place, and a locally made face mask. These care packages are then gifted to some of our most vulnerable citizens, seniors, and medical workers. Phase Two of this initiative will supply police, firefighters, and truckers with care packages and include more vendors.
We are asking our big businesses that have made Rocky Mount their home, to sponsor, donate, and buy our seniors and healthcare workers lunch thru Downtown-Cares.com. We will grow this initiative to include more downtown businesses and to feed even more of our frontline heroes.
Current participating businesses are NABS, Larema Coffee House, D Chill Spot, Moe n D’s, The Bath Place, and Blanche’s Bistro. Melanie Griffin Wallace from Celebrate Living Local has stepped up lending her expertise in organizing the distribution of packages and sales. Sarah Mesh has donated locally made face masks to the Care Packages. Our mission is to include even more merchants in our Phase Two rollout. We will deliver “Downtown Cares” packages free of charge to the heroes at Nash UNC Health Care and other frontline healthcare workers.
Downtown-Cares has created a GoFundMewhere you can donate to keep the hot meals and care packages going to seniors and frontline workers. You can also go to the Downtown-Cares.com website and easily buy a “Downtown Cares” package and donate to the cause.
Go to Downtown-Cares.com select the meal you want to order or make a donation. You can specify if you are ordering for a senior or essential worker.
Process your order or donation
Orders for care package registers every Tuesday at 5pm. These orders are then sent to our participating local small businesses. On Wednesday all those orders will be delivered to seniors and frontline workers. Go to Downtown-Cares.com for more information.
Main Street Thanks Charles and all the Stakeholders for Believing in Rocky Mount and coming up with this win-win plan.