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MAJF Newsletter Summer 2017

Greetings friends! Hope each of you is enjoying a relaxing and restorative summer. I am honored to share some of the recent projects from the Mark A Jardina Foundation with you.  It is my privilege to continue to work in our community to enhance the lives of disadvantaged children by supporting and developing programs that keep children active. Every year I am amazed at our growth!  It is because of our many trusted friends and donors like you that all of this is possible. I hope as you read the stories below that you will feel pride in being a supporter of MAJF!
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Our partnership with Urban Perform continued this past year where MAJF sponsored physical education programs for elementary age children at KIPP Ways Primary located in the impoverished West side of Atlanta and serving the neighborhoods of Washington Park, English Avenue and Vine City.  Without this program, these children would not otherwise have PE during their school day.

In addition, MAJF supported organized soccer for KIPP Ways Academy, the middle school serving this area. Their program began 3 years ago and the teams were practicing in a field that did not even have soccer goals. It was our pleasure to provide 2 regulation size goals, soccer cleats and shin guards for all of the promising young athletes at KIPP Ways.

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One of the new groups that MAJF worked with this year is Wilderness Works who provides year-round enrichment, education and outdoor recreation for economically disadvantaged and homeless children in the Atlanta area. Wilderness Works provides programming to elementary through teenage youth mainly on weekends, during school breaks and holidays and throughout the summer months to offer children experiences such as local field trips, bike riding, hiking and even camping in the Pisgah National Forest. Every weekend Wilderness Works provides “City Camp”- an urban sleepover of sorts, for 50 at risk or homeless youth from shelters in the community.  We had the pleasure of meeting Founder and Executive Director, Bill Mickler and provide balls to support these wonderful programs.

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Another new group that we had the pleasure of working with this year is Girls on the Run of Atlanta where MAJF provided the must-have gear every runner needs: shoes! And also, sports bras- so girls going through puberty can experience the joys of running and of belonging.  Girls on the Run serves 3,000 girls a year in more than 100 schools. Participation is free in schools with large numbers of girls who can’t afford to pay.

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Our partnership with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School continued this year with ongoing support of their basketball programs for boys and girls. In addition, MAJF had the privilege of outfitting the first baseball team ever at Cristo Rey.

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Our Christmas ball giveaway was again quite a success with MAJF providing hundreds of balls and hoodies for children through Norcross Cooperative Ministries and Atlanta Dream Center in the Old Fourth Ward.
Just some fast facts about the Norcross demographic:
– 25.4% of Norcross residents live in poverty.
– 20.7% of Norcross families receive food stamps.
– 89% of Norcross children receive free/ reduced lunches

Another new group that we had the pleasure of working with this year is the Boys and Girls Club, Center of Hope in the Thomasville Heights community. Thomasville has been identified as one of the “poverty pockets” in Atlanta where crime is high and the majority of residents live below the federal poverty line- termed “extreme poverty”.  In fact, 47% of the residents in this area are children.  It was our pleasure to meet Immanuel Reed, called Manny, who is the enthusiastic director of this center and is committed to these children and encourages each of them to reach their full potential.  MAJF provided this group with sweatshirt hoodies, basketball uniforms and cheer/dance uniforms this year.   
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Our relationship with First Work’s Soccer continued this year with full support of their team with uniforms, shin guards, socks, cleats and most recently a mini-bus!  This program started by Coach Lusenii Watson who we initially met as a soccer coach at City of Refuge caters to children in the 30314 zip code of Atlanta- an area with high rates of violent crime, extreme poverty, and more than 73% of children living in single-parent homes. Coach Lu is transforming lives in this area by utilizing soccer, exposure, and character building to obtain 100% high school graduation, 100% employment as soccer referees, and to establish a strong soccer program where the focus is on the fundamentals of the game.

Coach Lu is also dedicated to inspiring these kids to dream beyond their current environment . Having reliable transportation and a way out of your current circumstances is essential to make that happen. It is our pleasure to provide the mini-bus for this group and it is our hope that as they drive down the road they will visualize a bright future!

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Our most recent feedback from Coach Lu:

“Good Morning Joanna and Steve,

Words cannot express how elated and encouraged I am by your donation. I am excited for our kids and the opportunity we have to shape their future in a positive direction. Thank you so much!

Below are a few recent successes:

-One of our players was at the verge of failing the 8th grade because of his math scores. We got involved by tutoring him. He passed math, graduated, and was successfully promoted to the 9th grade.

-One of our youth is working as a staff at Emory University’s Boys soccer camp this summer. This same young man worked as a volunteer last summer. He did over and above what was asked of him. The Emory men’s soccer coach invited him to attend this summer as a staff at both camps (June 19-23 & July 24-28).

-Our seven active referees officiated 165 games for the Spring 2017 season. We are helping these young men and women work as early as age 13, earning money legally and offering tips on how to give, save, and spend.

I have great joy in helping others succeed. Your support is helping us do more of these.”

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Save the Date:  The 2017 Jardina Golf Classic will be coming up in September at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek course.  We invite each of you to join us as a player, sponsor or spectator!  Details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, please contact Steve Maloof to pre-register or for sponsorship information.  If you would like to donate goods or services for raffle items please contact Larry Jardina.  Thank you!

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Thank you for being a part of this foundation and sharing in the legacy of Mark Jardina. It is indeed a privilege to share these stories with you and to assure you that together we are making a difference in the lives of many children.  Have a wonderful 4th of July- and if you need another reason to celebrate today give Mark a Happy Birthday shout out too!

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