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A Look Back and Look Ahead from The Ada Jenkins Center

by | Jul 26, 2021


What a year it has been. Like everyone in the wake of COVID, the Ada Jenkins Center has had to prioritize: to focus on what we do best, and to ensure that we remain available for the families that we serve. 

As a result we transitioned our medical patients into the good hands of our friends at the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic. We got our mobile dental unit COVID-ready, as a founding partner of OurSmiles Dentistry for Free & Charitable Clinics. Our Education team created a ‘pandemic pod’, to assist with students’ online learning. Our food pantry pivoted to a ‘drive up’ service. We hosted the area’s first-ever Juneteenth event, welcoming 250 of our closest friends to celebrate. And we held our first golf tournament fundraiser in years, a huge success.

We’re still limiting access to our building out of an abundance of caution, but rest assured: we are fully operational and making great things happen for our clients. Truly, we have implemented a good bit of change — and all of it in response to our internal question:  “How can we help?”

We just wrapped-up our program year ending June 30, and wanted to share our impact with you. In the past year:

  • 1,390 people obtained groceries through the Loaves and Fishes food pantry

  • 774 clients connected with AJC services through 9,974 visits

  • 273 families received COVID-related emergency financial assistance totaling more than $720,000

  • 201 households had their tax returns prepared for free (total cost savings of $50,000), and the average return was $1,681per household

  • 57 students experienced afterschool support – either virtual or in-person – through our LEARN Works program, for the entire school year

  • 38 students took part in our ‘pandemic pod’ daytime program, which allowed their parents to remain employed during COVID

  • 489 volunteers contributed 5,419 hours of time

There’s still more to do, as we anticipate upcoming changes to the eviction moratorium and unemployment benefits in the coming months — and what that might mean to the families we serve. We will continue to provide economic assistance as long as we have the funds to do so.

Fall enrollment for LEARN Works is nearly complete, and we have just launched Camp LEARN Works — a two week academic experience in August, to help students avoid the ‘summer slide’ as they head back to school.

In just a few weeks, our dental bus will see its first patients in more than a year. And we’re working on plans to offer in-person shopping in the food pantry, once again.

The  Ada Jenkins Center is working harder than ever to fulfill our mission: We exist to help people create lasting solutions for economic stability. 

We can’t say thank you enough for your continued support of the families in our community. Stay safe, and stay in touch.

With gratitude,


Harold E. Rice, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer  

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