The John 3:16 Center History

C.A.R.E. (Child Abuse Resource and Education) is an interdenominational Christian, board-directed, non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization founded in 1998 and is dedicated to preserving the family unit through education and support. Originally, C.A.R.E. operated from the home of its founder, Juli Jenkins, and began educating the community about child abuse/neglect and its prevention. The organization grew and began renting a small office building, which made it possible for services to expand to providing some material items to meet needs.

C.A.R.E. currently serves the communities within Halifax, Warren, and Northampton counties from The John 3:16 Center, built in 2004 and located on 7.25 acres at 407 East End Avenue, Littleton. The John 3:16 Center is the facility of C.A.R.E. and a community-wide, centrally located resource and recreation center, accessible to children & families in the community. C.A.R.E. believes that by bringing the community together and offering activities for families, they can offer children a safe, structured place to grow and learn.

C.A.R.E. serves the community in many ways and continues to search for new methods to better meet the needs of their clients. In the last year, C.A.R.E. has distributed clothing to over 300 individuals and families, 82 book bags with school supplies, 276 bags of hygienic products, and many household items to individuals and families. The food pantry at the center has also been used to meet the needs of 693 people. Parenting information has been provided at the center and at community events for more than 100 families. At Christmas, 166 children benefited as a result of C.A.R.E.’s Christmas outreach.

More than 200 children, teens, and adults are currently registered to participate in various activities at the John 3:16 Center. About 20 children from first to eighth grades have been enrolled in our after-school program, Wired for Success, receiving assistance in completing homework, character education, and a safe, structured environment in which to play after assignments are completed. Several of these children have participated in music lessons for piano and guitar provided by one of the organization’s dedicated volunteers. Enrichment programs are offered, including a career day, special presentations, health and nutrition programs, science experiments, and numerous craft days, among others. Our basketball court, walking trail, and playground are also available for outdoor recreation at the center. Registration for Camp J316 (free summer day camp) is offered to the children of the community; this program has served over 950 children in 7 years and includes crafts, recreation, water games, devotions, and education.

Programs are offered by C.A.R.E. at The John 3:16 Center to reach the needs of the adults in our community as well as those of the children. GED and literacy classes are offered 2 days a week at the center and more than 50 individuals have benefited from this program. Several of these students have passed the GED and some have since enrolled in community college. Parenting classes are conducted at The John 3:16 Center on a monthly basis and referrals to local counseling agencies are provided. A kitchen was completed in May 2011 and classes on “Healthy Cooking on a Budget” are being offered through EFNEP to families in the area.

Opportunities for teens and adults to contribute to their community through volunteerism are also offered by C.A.R.E., as they have a small paid staff and programs are supported through the efforts of volunteers. These volunteers are truly important in the lives of children, as well as important to the organization, as they assist with the tasks and activities at The John 3:16 Center. C.A.R.E. anticipates continuing to offer such programs and services to the members of its community, as well as adding new programs or expanding current ones in order to best meet the needs of the families residing in the area.

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