News & Events


May 22nd, 2009

As they’ve done for the past five years, St. Andrew’s highschoolers will be conducting supplemental specialty camps alongside our Project KIDS Summer Camp. However, in addition to the return of RacquetStrings, HoopStrings, ArtStrings, and HorseShoes, this year’s offerings will include SoccerShoes and CheerStrings. At the beginning of May, the counselors gathered at Shoestring’s Ellen Harris Center on Bailey Avenue for an orientation. Project KIDS Coordinator Demunthra Jefferson and Shoestring Executive Director Robert Langford led the volunteers through an informative session.

For more pictures, click here.


May 5th, 2009

Operation Shoestring is one of several community partners involved in the Inner-City Gardeners. Through the planting of vegetables and flowers on the Jackson Medical Mall’s land, the program is designed to enrich neighborhood children in the areas of science, teambuilding, and entrepreneurship. Billy Watkins wrote a piece on the JICG that appeared in the Friday, May 1st edition of The Clarion-Ledger. The article includes quotes from Shoestring Family Development Coordinator Ada Robisnon.

To read the story, click the following link.
“Inner City Gardeners Plot Their Future” By Billy Watkins


May 5th, 2009

Would your church, business or civic group like to provide a simple breakfast for 75 and a brief morning devotional to our summer campers? It’s a great way to kick off the day! We’re looking for volunteers to drop in weekday mornings from 7:45 – 8:15 A. M. between June 1 and July 10. Breakfast would consist of a sausage biscuit and half a banana, or a bowl of cereal, etc.

It’s especially important that this summer’s Project KIDS campers be fueled-up for an enriching and fun-filled day because of new offerings. As they’ve done for the past five years, St. Andrew’s highschoolers will be conducting supplemental camps. However, in addition to RacquetStrings, HoopStrings, and HorseShoes, they will introduce SoccerShoes and CheerStrings!

Sign up to help out with breakfast for Summer 2009. It’s great fun, and it’s fast! Bring your children!

To schedule a day to provide breakfast, please get in touch with DeMatt Harkins by emailing or calling 601-353-6336.


May 5th, 2009

As part of Catholic Schools Week, three St. Joseph Catholic High School students formally thanked Operation Shoestring for service to the community. Amelia Collins, Jessica Freeman, and Curren Mirando were among a group of juniors and seniors that spent a day last October cleaning up Shoestring’s Ellen Harris Center on Bailey Avenue. In addition to Amelia, Jessica, and Curren, Shoestring appreciates the conscientiousness of St. Joseph and Campus Minster Kristen Kulavic.


April 23rd, 2009

Many recall Shoestring’s more casual music benefit taking place toward the end of the year. However, with the Conversation About Community fundraiser being moved to early September, we decided to adjust accordingly. With the seasonal leap, the annual party was re-christened Operation Spring Fling. And being a temperate time of year, the indoor/outdoor setting of the Mississippi Museum of Art seemed the perfect venue for just such an occasion.

The thoughtful and civic-minded sponsorships and contributions for this event exceeded our projected goal to further support the programs of Operation Shoestring. Programs such as Project KIDS, StampOut DropOut, and our weekly food assistance will continue to give a helpful boost to the children and families surrounding Bailey Avenue.

All who made it Downtown on Friday, April 17 for Operation Spring Fling experienced weather tailor-made for a relaxed, yet jubilant evening. Inside, party-goers sampled delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres from the museum’s in-house caterer. But they also took the opportunity to stroll among the fine paintings, sculptures, photographs, and textiles on display in the galleries. Outside, terraced café seating flanked the courtyard turned dance floor. The music began with the vibrant soul-fueled jazz of Jackson’s The Vamps. And the sonorous sounds concluded with a line of folks parading through the crowd to the festive horns of the Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans.

Special thanks go Event Chair Mary Largent Purvis and Corporate Sponsor Chair Wade Overstreet, as well as the entire Operation Spring Fling Committee.

For pictures from the event, click here.


April 20th, 2009

Local media played an appreciated role in helping make Operation Spring Fling a success. Print coverage leading up to the event included Kyle Doherty’s article in The Clarion-Ledger Weekend, as well as Herman Snell’s endorsement in the Jackson Free Press. And perhaps you caught an interview of Executive Director Robert Langford by Othar Cain on WJSU’s Community Express, Randy Bell on the Clear Channel radio affiliates, or Wilson Stribling on WLBT’s Midday Mississippi.

The Spring Fling also received wonderful coverage at the event itself. Bulbs flashed at the hands of Jenny Woodruff for the Northside Sun, Amile Wilson for VIP Jackson, and Scott Johnson for Metromix Jackson. But an extraordinary boost for Shoestring was a live remote by Julie Straw for WLBT’s 10 o’clock newscast.

Special thanks go all who took the time to cover such an important event for not only Operation Shoestring, but also the children and families we serve.


“Jazz up evening with Operation Spring Fling Fundraiser” by Kyle Doherty

“Herman’s Picks Vol. 7, No. 31” by Herman Snell

“Operation Spring Fling” by Scott Johnson

Live remote by Julie Straw


April 7th, 2009

In addition to our several core sponsors, April 17’s Operation Spring Fling has garnered the thoughtful contributions of official Hosts. A few weeks ago, Shoestring threw a reception at the Building to thank the 44 individuals and couples that will be serving as Operation Spring Fling Hosts. Everybody had a great time. But more importantly, their support of Operation Spring Fling will help children and families in Shoestring’s neighborhood benefit the entire Metro Area.

For pictures from evening, click here


Trustmark • BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi • BancorpSouth • Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings • The Ramey Agency • Hawkins Stracener & Gibson • Junior League of Jackson • Donna & Jim Barksdale • Sally & Dick Molpus • Downtown Jackson Partners • Butler Snow • Phelps Dunbar, LLP • Alliance Business Services • Kats Wine • Baptist Health Systems

Donna & Jim Barksdale • Lea & Ken Barton • Danielle & Mike Batten • Chris Bell • Jana & William Bell • Crisler & Doug Boone • Suzanne & Bill Boone • Betsy Bradley & Robert Langford • Debra Brown • Nancy & Roy Campbell • Nikki & Ken Cleveland • Lora Cox • Inglish & Matt DeVoss • Ouida & Wayne Drinkwater • Kwang & Jenifer Edeker • Evelyn & Gary Edwards • Tara & Tony Ellis • Carrol & George Evans • Kelly
& Brian Fenelon • Bettye & James Graves • Mary Beth & Nick Harkins • John & Dorothy Hawkins • Holly & Alan Lange • Margie & Rick Largent • Dana & Jonathan Larkin • Davetta & Jonathan Lee • D.F. & E.L. Maron • Sally & Dick Molpus • Jean & Lamar Nesbit • Susan & Bill Osborne • Amanda & Scott Overby • Stacey & Wade Overstreet • Kim & Trey Porter • Mary & Alex Purvis • Gayla & John Purvis • Melinda & Steve Ray • Carolyn & Chris Ray • Missy Rose • Mary Elizabeth & George Smith • Laurie & Brad Smith • Dorian Turner • Maggie & Christian Waddell • Malinda & Jim Warren • Emily & Trey Waterloo • Susan & David Womack


April 7th, 2009

In an effort to further benefit the children in Shoestring’s Project KIDS program, new emphasis has been placed on parental involvement. Over the month of March, several parents dropped by the Ellen Harris Center to help their own children make Easter cards. These multi-generational masterpieces will be sent to the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, as well as several senior citizen homes.


April 7th, 2009

The Jackson Medical Mall Community Room serves as the backdrop for Parents for Public Schools’ monthly Lunch Bunch series, sponsored by BancorpSouth. While normally led by PPS Executive Director Susan Womack, this past Wednesday’s program showcased parents. Their presentations reflected on their experience with PPS’ Leadership Institute – a parent advocacy training program that helps parents become more involved in improving public schools to enhance academic achievement for all students. At the lunch, Shoestring staffers ran into Shoestring parents.

Pictured (L-R) Shoestring Deputy Director Dr. Martha Alexander, Stamp-Out Drop-Out (SODO) parent Kathy Sykes, Project KIDS parent Toni Lewis, and Shoestring Executive Director Robert Langford. Photo provided by Pam Confer, Communication Manager for PPS.

Parents for Public Schools, click here


April 7th, 2009

Operation Shoestring has long believed that the ground work for self-sufficiency and community empowerment begins with education. Representatives from like-minded organizations recently spoke on the subject with this year’s class of Leadership Greater Jackson at Shoestring’s Ellen Harris Center. Rhea Williams-Bishop (left) serves as the Executive Director of Mississippi’s chapter of SPARK, Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids. The organization advocates the preparation of children rising to school age. Kelly Butler (right) is the Director of Program Strategy for the Barksdale Reading Institute. It emphasizes reading skills by placing highly-trained instructors in schools throughout the state. Special thanks go to Leadership Greater Jackson Executive Director Shirley Tucker for including Operation Shoestring once again.

MS Chapter of SPARK, click here
Barksdale Reading Institute, click here
Leadership Greater Jackson, click here