Calling all fitness fanatics: Charlotte Rescue Mission needs new gym equipment and trainers

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When residents check in to Rebound, Charlotte Rescue Mission’s men’s campus for substance abuse recovery, counselors sometimes take them straight to the basketball court.

“If someone is isolated and removed and having a hard time opening up, shooting some hoops can help break down those walls,” said the Mission’s manager of major gifts, Shannon Bremer.

Charlotte Rescue Mission

Working out might not be top of mind when it comes to addiction recovery, but for Charlotte Rescue Mission, providing a space for physical activity is a vital part of their programming.

“Physical fitness is a very important part of addiction recovery,” said program director Bill Lockley. “Residents might forget what addiction has done to their physical bodies and working out can help remind them to take care of themselves.”

Charlotte Rescue Mission

Rebound wants to increase its fitness programming and improve its equipment offerings, but right now the gym is in desperate need of renovation. There are piles of broken weights, busted treadmills and outdated items in need of an overhaul.

To outfit a new state-of-the-art facility, they’re asking the community to help crowdsource new equipment.

Charlotte Rescue Mission gym

Charlotte Rescue Mission

Rebound is in need of medicine balls, rowers, barbell bars, weight racks and more. See a full list of their equipment needs here.

You can help out in three ways:

  1. Donate equipment – new or gently used; see the list here
  2. Donate cash – for purchasing equipment
  3. Volunteer your time – as a fitness trainer

According to Todd Buelow, former president of the Mission’s Board of Directors who has spearheaded the gym renovation as his legacy project, the hope is to turn the residents’ 90-day stay in recovery into an opportunity to adopt lifelong healthy fitness habits.

“Currently, the men gain on average 20 pounds during their stay,” he said. “However, we want to change this trend through nutrition and fitness. Ninety days is a significant time to transform a person’s fitness and teach them healthy habits.”

Want to help out? Rally your CrossFit box, bootcamp comrades and other fitness fanatics to crowdsource equipment and cash. According to Buelow, “Anything that is in good shape from the list is welcome.” Questions or donations? Contact

About the Mission

I drive by Charlotte Rescue Mission every single day and, until stopping by for photos for this story, had absolutely no idea it was right there just one block from the Agenda office.

Charlotte Rescue Mission

Founded in 1938 as a homeless shelter, the Mission evolved into a substance abuse recovery center in the 90s to meet demand for such services. “Early on it was mostly crack cocaine and marijuana,” said Lockley, who has been working here for 15 years. “But these days we’re seeing more heroin and meth and, unfortunately, we’re seeing younger and younger residents. ”

Residents at Rebound enter into a 90-day, Christian-based recovery program “with the goal of returning them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.” After a year, 75% of the program’s participants remain clean and sober.

Charlotte Rescue Mission

The Mission’s $5.3 million budget is funded by donors and corporate sponsors. They also rely on volunteers and are always accepting food, clothing and supply donations. See their needs list for more information.

Charlotte Rescue Mission

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director