Lees-McRae Charlotte Alumni

Charlotte chapter of the Alumni Association holds book drive to benefit Habitat for Humanity

Lees-McRae alumni in the Charlotte area partnered with Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company and Julia’s Café & Books to support Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region.  

The service project consisted of three phases. First, on Dec. 8, the chapter hosted a virtual lunch and learn with Courtney DuBulis, the construction volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, and Caitlin Greenwell, the vice president of retail operations. The goal of the lunch and learn was to learn how Lees-McRae alumni living in Charlotte can assist nonprofit organizations and contribute to supporting their community.  

“We wanted to take the Lees-McRae motto—In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains—and apply it to Charlotte,” said Natalie Cannon Seacrest ’00. “We wanted to do activities that were in Charlotte, of Charlotte, and for Charlotte.”  

Due to the pandemic, the leadership of the newly developing chapter decided to focus on a progression of events that were opportunities to engage but respected state restrictions.   

“We were very intentional about finding ways to stay connected, give back, and grow the chapter even though we couldn’t gather in person comfortably for much of the past year,” said Director of Alumni Relations Katie Talbert.  

Habitat for Humanity was selected as the first major project because it is one of the most impactful organizations in the Charlotte area. Since its establishment in 1983, Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region has provided stable living environments for more than 2,800 local families and donated millions of dollars to support home-building efforts internationally.  

The Charlotte alumni chapter coordinated the book drive through Julia’s Café & Books, which is a volunteer-run subsidiary of Habitat for Humanity. The store collects, cleans, sorts, and sells used books along with food and drinks to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.  

In phase two, the chapter set up a Julia’s Café & Books donation box at Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company. Twenty-Six Acres is owned by Eric Troutman ’98, who studied business at Lees-McRae. The book drive collected over 50 books for the chapter to donate to the bookstore.  

On April 10, members of the alumni chapter were able to go to Julia’s Café & Books to sort through the donations and determine which books were fit to sell and which needed to be recycled for phase three. Volunteers doing this work ensure that the bookstore has high-quality merchandise to sell and can make the maximum contribution to Habitat for Humanity.  

Seacrest hopes the Charlotte-area alumni can continue to meet regularly and have activities that keep Bobcats connected to each other and the college.  

At Lees-McRae, providing opportunity and giving back to the community are goals that drive nearly every decision the college makes. The Charlotte alumni are carrying on that spirit even after graduating.  

For more information about connecting with an alumni chapter, supporting Bobcat-owned businesses, or working with current students, visit the alumni page 

By Emily WebbJune 01, 2021