E3 Mentoring and the Dream Center
by: Rachelle Rea
E3 Mentoring, September’s Engage partner, aims to educate, elevate and empower young people in North Charleston to become leaders. E3 Mentoring is affiliated with Seacoast Church and offers students a variety of ways to volunteer. Interested students should contact Julie Jongsma, service learning coordinator, in the Brewer Center or visit the E3 Mentoring website and click Volunteer.
“The E3 mentoring program was established in August 2009 to address the needs of the youth in the North Charleston community by matching middle and high school students with a mentor," said Jongsma. "Mentors are trained and equipped to help the students of the Dream Center by targeting issues such as character development, community service, staying in school and finding part-time work. Students maintain personalized scorecards with their spiritual, academic, leadership, life skill and health and wellness goals.”
In addition to becoming a mentor, students may volunteer with the Adopt-a-Block program, Dream Center Clinic, Dream Closet and Dream Pantry. Students may also volunteer their Spanish translation skills during the operation of any or all of these services.
Jongsma said, “They have recently purchased a new home that will be used for a battered children and women’s shelter that needs repairs and rebuilding.” Students interested in volunteering to help with repairs should contact Jongsma or visit the E3 Mentoring website.
Adopt-a-Block has expanded to 16 blocks throughout North Charleston. On the first Saturday of every month from 9:30 a.m. - noon, an average of 250 volunteers reach out to people that live in these neighborhoods. Volunteers work in teams to clean homes, make minor home repairs, organize community picnics and visit the elderly. Adopt-a-Block has touched the lives of more than 4,000 people by volunteers knocking on doors and simply asking, “How can we serve you?”
The Dream Center Clinic provides free routine outpatient health and wellness services to medically underserved residents of the North Charleston and Hanahan communities. The Clinic sees more than 5,000 patient visits a year and has expanded to offer vision, dental and neurology services. The Clinic operates and accepts volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – noon and 6 – 9 p.m. as well as most Saturday mornings.
The Dream Closet, a clothing outreach, provides gently used and new clothing to the community through donations. The Dream Closet serves an estimated 19,000 individuals each year and hosts several drives throughout the year to help provide school uniforms, winter coats and blankets. The Dream Closet operates and accepts volunteers on Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m.
The Dream Pantry provides emergency food assistance, supplying groceries and communicating a positive message to each family. An estimated 50,000 meals have been provided through the Dream Pantry to the community. Volunteers are needed every Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. During the academic year, CSU focuses on a different ministry partner each month.
Remaining partners for the year are:
- September - E3 Mentoring
- October - A21
- November - Operation Christmas Child
- January - Crisis Ministries
- February - Children's Miracle Network
- March - Water Missions
- April - Eagle Harbor Boy's Ranch