Our Programs

Backpack Buddies Program for the Jasper County School District (JCSD)

The 2019-2020 Backpack Buddies Program provided food for 350 elementary students at the Ridgeland and Hardeeville Elementary Schools. This program allows each of the children to take home a backpack filled with nutritional food each Friday. This backpack provides enough food for the children to eat over the weekend … a big help for low income families in Jasper Counties.

Temporarily suspended until Jasper County School District classes resume.

Families in Transitions (FIT) Program

In order to assist the many individuals and families affected by the coronavirus, AEC has stepped up its service at food pantries. With Second Helpings and the Lowcountry Food Bank, AEC has more than doubled its food distributions at its food pantries located throughout Jasper County. In addition, AEC has taken the lead in distributing much needed information to other non-profits (and FIT members) who work with low income families and individuals.

The Families in Transition (FIT) program was organized in 2015 to track and monitor the most economically challenged residents of Jasper County, especially the homeless population. FIT goals are to decrease the number of homeless persons in Jasper County while assisting and preventing homelessness for those who on the verge of becoming homeless.

Volunteers are welcome. The one hour meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 11am at the AEC offices, located at 7 West Main St. in Ridgeland. Come out and help us help our neighbors!

A special thank you to all of the partners who continue working to assist Jasper County’s low income families and individuals. Among AEC’s many partners are: American Red Cross, Beaufort Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission, The Deep Well Project, Family Promise, City of Hardeeville, Hope Zone, Mercy Missions, St. Paul Food Bank (Coosawhatchie), First Presbyterian Church (HHI), Hopeful Horizons, Jasper County Emergency Management, Jasper County School District, Safe Haven, Salvation Army, Town of Ridgeland Fire Department, United Way of the Lowcountry, and SC Legal Services.

Summer Youth Worker’s Program

Since 2014, AEC has placed over 250 high school students in work training programs throughout Jasper County. Now, in its seventh year, AEC has expanded the program to include students in Hampton and Beaufort Counties as well. Students work in government, schools, and non-profits offices throughout Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Counties, while being paid an hourly salary to gain much needed work experience.

Temporarily suspended until Jasper County School District classes resume.

Scholars’ Program

The Antioch Scholars’ Program began in 2014 and is now completing its sixth year.  This program tracks gifted and talented students throughout their academic career (first grade all the way through graduation from high school).  This twelve year program includes national and international travel for the students, as well as monthly field trips, and an afternoon tutoring/mentoring program. This innovative program offers everything from virtual reality learning tools to martial arts and archery training. 

The main focus of this program is to allow each student to reach his/her full academic and leadership potential. Tuition is waived for those children selected for this unique program. Space is extremely limited. Please contact AEC for more information.

Nursing Assistant Training Program

AEC’s Nursing Assistant Training Program graduated its first class of seven students in November of 2014. Since that time, another 81 students have also successfully graduated. This program consists of 110 hours (66 classroom and 44 clinical). Clinical sessions are held at NHC in Bluffton for this quality training program. AEC has four sessions a year (January, March, May, and September). If you’re interested, you can get started by downloading the application online (see below).  Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.  

Call us at (843) 645-9400 if you have any questions.



Peeka is a new virtual reality game introduced to Antioch Scholars during their trip to Seattle, WA, in July 2018. Through the funding made available by AEC, the designers of Peeka visited Jasper County for the implementation of Peeka throughout all the first grade classes of nearly 300 students. AEC has now funded Peeka, not only for the students of Jasper County, but also all of the first graders of Hampton 2 School District.  AEC has also launched Peeka in the Beaufort County School District for Wellbranch Elementary School during the 2019-2020 school year. AEC has also received funding to launch Peeka in Bamberg and Colleton County School Districts in the 2020-2021 school year.

Temporarily suspended until classes resume at Jasper County School District, Beaufort County School District, and Hampton 2 School District.

Feeding Our Youth (FOY) Program

The AEC’s Feeding Our Youth (FOY) Program started in March of 2018 at the Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School.  This program provides nutritious snacks for 217 students each day before they go home. Because of this program, all of the Jasper County School Districts’ 6th graders and some 7th graders did not go hungry between their 11am lunch and their evening meal (sometimes much later than 6pm) and an extremely long bus ride home. AEC plans to feed all of the Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School’s 6th and 7th grade students during the 2019-2020 school year. This program is managed completely by volunteers and assistance is always welcomed.  Please contact Antioch if you’d like to become a volunteer. 

Holiday Giving Program

Through this program, AEC has provided holiday gifts and toys for more than 275 children every Christmas holiday since 2011. This all-volunteer managed program solicits and transports toys from donors throughout the state of South Carolina so that the children of Jasper County will receive  much deserved treats and gifts.

Back to School Uniform Program

This program provides 400 sets of school uniforms each fall to Jasper County’s low-income students to help ensure an easy transition into a new school year. All uniforms are donated throughout the region by generous individuals, faith-based groups, and area non-profits.  High school students from AEC’s Summer Youth Work Program have also donated part of their wages back to purchase uniforms for the younger children in Jasper County.

Serving Thanksgiving Meal for Jasper Seniors

AEC, along with its partner First Presbyterian Church of HHI, served a delicious Thanksgiving holiday brunch to our seniors. We also gave an extra large gift basket for 25 low-income senior residents.

All of these programs can use volunteers (with the exception of the Nursing Assistance Programs).  Contact AEC to volunteer!