Vance-Granville Community College’s Warren County Campus recently formed a partnership with Warrenton-based nonprofit organization J-Jireh Services that has resulted in local schoolchildren receiving book bags and school supplies.
The new relationship between the college and J-Jireh’s director, Gertie Williams Crute, began with a chance meeting between Crute and Warren County Campus Dean Mitch Evans on a playground near the Warrenton campus. They struck up a conversation about her work with local children and their parents, and formed a partnership on the spot.
Evans organized a drive among the faculty and staff at the college to collect book bags, pencils, paper and notebooks for some of the needy children with whom Crute works. In September, Evans delivered 51 fully-stocked book bags (one more than their goal) to Crute, who gave them to Warren County schoolchildren, ages 5 to 13.
“We feel it’s important for our campus to establish community partnerships and to reach out to everyone in Warren County,” said Evans. “I have personally seen and spoken to these kids on the playground, and the mere thought of having a book bag made them all jump up and down and cheer. These donations will hopefully give these kids a happier school experience and keep them on the path to academic success.”
Crute expressed her gratitude to Evans and other VGCC staff for their support. A Warren County native, she is a former student at VGCC, where she completed Nurse Aide (CNA) training, Human Resources Development and other courses, and has a daughter who attended the college as well. After a career in health care, Crute founded J-Jireh (which means “God provides”) in 2003 and moved back to Warren County in 2008. “I wanted to give back to my community,” Crute said. She helps low-income families, including the homeless, try to recover stability and find new opportunities. “I require the adults I work with to do their part to help themselves, which often means going to school,” Crute said. Now, she is helping the parents of many of the children who will receive the book bags and school supplies to enroll at VGCC. Many are already taking High School Equivalency, Nurse Aide and Basic Skills Plus courses at the Warren Campus.
For more information about J-Jreh Services, call Crute at (252) 820-9287. For more information about classes at VGCC’s Warren Campus, call (252) 257-1900.