Charlie Muller a Cpmmunity Leader
When Covid hit up state Albany N.Y. Charlie went to work immediately and the difference he made was beyond incredible. The schools shut down and inner city children on subsidized breakfast and lunch programs were at home with very little to eat. Charlie went into action and two food trucks and 12 volunteers went to work delivering meals to thousands of children every month. The local meals on wheels program shut down, Charlie took over feeding the elderly every week at three low income elderly high rises. Now every week the children and the elderly were being fed. Inner city families of Albany NY were struggling with with groceries so Charlie set up a base of operation right in the heart of some of the greatest needs.
The emergency food pantry was birthed and every week families received free groceries. Now this is just the beginning of the Covid journey for Charlie because he found out that many places did not have face masks and he had the foresight to purchase over 25,000 face masks and held weekly mask giveaways for those in need. At one point of the mask giveaway he had so many show up that the local police had to do traffic control. Now Charlie is a community leader because of his work with foster children and at risk children but at this time of covid he became a leader of leaders during the outbreak of Covid.
Some state agencies were in need of face masks and he supplied them. Local hospitals and police also received face masks. He took a church building and turned it into a warehouse with supplies for those in need and now he was running a full time feeding program and a warehouse putting together quarantine bags for front line workers in hospitals and group homes. Thousands of quarantine bags were given out throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Then with all these programs running smoothly it was brought to his attention that a camp run by the boys and girls club was shut down for the summer. The club was going to lose revenue from the Sumer camp that helped them run the camp year round. So he collected over 12,000 dollars and took over the camp. During the Summer of Covid he got volunteers and transported children from the inner city to the camp. But the plan was not only to give the club the money they would lose but also to totally renovated the camp with a new commercial kitchen with new appliances, new signs, bathrooms, pool houses, landscape and all fresh paint. The work went into November of 2020 and the camp was ready to open in June of 2021 and this year the club had a record year so far. This was such a great accomplishment for these children. Children from Albany and NY city were able to have a great year of camp because of the renovation during covid.
During this time a local business man donated 20,000 dollars cash to Charlie and he decided to give it to local charity programs that were struggling. Over 12 programs in the Capital District received cash donations from Charlie. One thing Charlie learned throughout the Covid pandemic was that everyone had to help one another.
What other characteristics has your Hero demonstrated to support this nomination?
Violence became an issue during the pandemic so Charlie held gun buybacks that only collected illegal handguns during the summer months. Working with the Albany County DA and the Albany County Sheriff over 150 hand guns were taken off the city streets.
Charlie opened a foster home for children in the foster system but because of the Covid work the foster home had to be put on hold. Then after all the covid work was established and began to slow down the foster home began to take in children and teens. Charlie began to see that every child that came to the home came with just the clothes on their back no suitcase to carry any personal possessions even though they had very little. So this year he spent 8 months building a small department store for foster children to shop for free. This store has a shoe department, full clothing department, luggage department, toys, crafts, bikes, personal products and more. These characteristics of a leader that is always looking for some of the greatest needs and how he can establish programs that will help meet these needs.
Describe the impact of your Hero on a local, regional, national, and/or international level.
Local feeding programs have copied his templet. Regional the renovation of the boys and girls club camp adventure is now housing campers from all over the region. His new Foster store is clothing children from four counties and on a national level his anti violence program has been awarded by the head of the FBI for his outstanding work against gun violence.
On an international level he has established a clothing route with over 40 clothing boxes that collect clothing that helps children throughout the poorest countries.
Is there anything else about your Hero that you would like the committee to consider?
I would recommend Charlie for this award because through the years he has been very active in helping children, teens and the poorest families. When Covid hit he became so creative in meeting the needs because of the Covid -19 pandemic.
Charlie is the Pastor of a church in the inner city and a church one mile out of the city. He spends most of his time networking with charities to help them in creative ways to sustain their charities. I know he has plenty of pictures and videos of all that I shared in this nomination. I know this might seem like a lot to have been done during the Covid but that is why I am putting in this nomination the impact has been incredible. Thank you for considering Charlie for the award, I know if he wins he will try to multiply some of the most positive programs that he has done.