JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - For more than 50 years, Operation Shoestring has been providing year-round academic, social and emotional support for kids that need it the most in Jackson.
“The great cause is creating a safe place for kids to thrive and grow and that’s what do at Operation Shoestring,” said Executive Director Robert Langford.
Langford says for decades the nonprofit has been working through its after school and summer programs to empower and educate hundreds of inner city youth, from elementary to high school, in central Jackson.
“We have a strong focus on academics that includes some homework assistance, but also a lot of interesting and inspiring work that reinforces the educational benchmark the kids are supposed to be hitting during the day,” said Langford.
The students are also exposed to different people and a lot of fun activities to keep them happy and healthy.
“During the summer, we have a whole array of amazing camps that include everything from robotics to science classes, it's a foreign language courses, to horseback riding to swimming,” said Langford.
The parents also benefit.
“For parents, we offer a healthy eating class and it assists the parents on how to cook healthy meals. We do workshops with the parents,” said Assistant Coordinator Shavon Fletcher.
Currently, the nonprofit is renovating the Bailey Avenue location to provide more programs and resources for the families.
“Everybody benefits when you create the nurturing environment,” said Langford.
That's why the nonprofit is encouraging community members to invest their time and money, so it can continue its mission of creating positive change.
“Whether you are donating a dollar or $100,000, every dollar counts," said Fletcher. “When you invest, you’re not only investing in the community, you are investing in our children as well.”
“It’s about all of us, right?" asked Langford. “So we need to be all into transformer our community for the better.”
Operation Shoestring is hosting a music event and fundraiser: Think: A Soulful Expression Community. The event fearures soulful interpretations of songs by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The event is at the Mississippi Museum of art on September 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, you can call 601-353-6336.