News & Events


June 2nd, 2009

The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation’s largest annual event is their Community Reinvestment Awards (CRA). On Thursday May 28th, a press conference formally announced this year’s CRA. For outstanding service to Mississippi children, Operation Shoestring will be one of four community organizations honored as 2009 Grand Award Recipients at the event. The CRA is being held on Thursday, November 5 in the Medical Mall’s Thad Cochran Center. Special thanks go to Executive Director Primus Wheeler, Deputy Director Lori Greer, and Public Relations Manager Zakiya Summers, as well as all of the Medical Mall Foundation’s board for this wonderful distinction.


May 22nd, 2009

Along with Operation Shoestring, The Girl Scout Council of Middle Mississippi serves as one of the five community partners behind the StampOut DropOut initiative. Since the beginning of the year, Council Membership Manager Sue Farmer has graciously arranged several outings for the Girl Scouts in SODO. These wonderful excursions taught the young ladies about teamwork, technology, responsibility, and self-esteem. They began by cooking a seven-course meal for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Next the girls visited the Apple Store to discover the latest and greatest in computer innovations. And most recently they learned not only how to ride, but also how to groom and maintain horses at Serenity Farms in Flowood. Special thanks go to Sue for her continued involvement with the SODO Girl Scouts.

For more pictures from all three experiences, click here.


May 22nd, 2009

Accompanied by former Shoestring board member Evelyn Johnson, students from Belhaven College’s MBA program recently visited Shoestring’s Ellen Harris Center. They took the time to share a little reading time with the eager children of Project KIDS. Education is an important building block, and it all starts with reading.

For more pictures from the afternoon, click here.

Pictured from left to right: Shoestring Family Development Coordinator Ada Robinson, Ralph Brown, Cynthia Sims, Evelyn Johnson, and Joyce Beal


May 22nd, 2009

Once again, Jackson Prep’s National Honor Society chapter graciously arrived at the Ellen Harris Center with multiple carloads of food. Most Tuesdays, Shoestring hosts a food pantry for those that qualify. A non-perishable and canned food drive is a simple way to get your organization, office, civic group, or congregation involved in just one of Shoestring’s important programs. Thanks go Marsha Hobbs and the chapter members for their continued consideration.

For more pictures of the lot, click here.

Pictured from left to right: Hannah Killebrew, Jack Strahan, Taylor Townsend, Anna Blair Brown, Carly Edwards, Eleanor Anthony, Casey Edwards and Jared Moffat.


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