Opening Doors To Enrich Young Lives is the motto of the Annie D. Jones Child Enrichment Fund organization.
The nonprofit organization awards scholarships to disadvantaged children living in the East Smithfield Community to attend recreational and cultural activities.
To date, 23 scholarships have been awarded to youth ages six to eight to attend three summer camps sponsored by Smithfield Parks and Recreation, Kidz @ Play, and Artzy Kidz Play held at Smith Collins Community Park, plus a week of camp at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center.
The namesake of the scholarship, Mrs. Annie D. Jones (1918-2015) was a native of Smithfield, NC for 97 years. She exemplified the characteristics of an upstanding citizen throughout her life.
Annie loved children. She and her husband, Robert raised five children of their own, and one granddaughter. She also parented all of her grandchildren and the majority of her great-grandchildren during different stages in their lives. Annie played a parental role in the lives of her siblings’ children and was known fondly as “Aunt Annie Lou”. During Annie’s years of full time employment, she also worked part time as a childcare provider. Many of her full time employers hired her to care for their children and grandchildren. Every child who was in Annie’s care received the love and nurture that helped to shape them into the kind of adults they are today.
Education was important to Annie. And she knew that the development of a well-rounded child required learning outside of the classroom. Annie believed in exposing children to new experiences at an early age to discover their gifts and talents. Spending the money and time to nurture talents and gifts, she always said, is always worthwhile.
This Child Enrichment Fund is a tribute to Annie for her enormous love for children. Founded on the values most important to Annie D. Jones, the organization believes children should be provided the chance to learn, laugh and play through summer enrichment. For more information about scholarships and to make donations, visit www.anniedjones.com.