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. For the 2020-2021 school year, AEC and its partners will feed 600 students. This program allows each child to take home a backpack filled with nutritional food each Friday. Each backpack provides enough food for the children to eat over the weekend … a big help for low income families in Jasper Counties.

If you’re interested in participating in this program, please contact your child’s elementary school.


Families in Transitions (FIT) Program

In order to assist more individuals and families affected by the Coronavirus, AEC has stepped up its service at its food pantries. With the help of 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 that 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’s goals are to decrease the number of homeless persons while preventing homelessness for those who are on the verge of losing their homes.

Volunteers are welcome. The one hour meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 11am at the AEC offices, located at 7557 West Main St. in Ridgeland. Come out and help us help our neighbors!

If you’re interested and a member of a low-income Jasper County household, please fill out the intake application below and email it to us at kbbrownaec@gmail.com.

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, 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 350 high school students in work training programs throughout Jasper County. Now that the program is in its seventh year, students are placed in government, schools, and non-profits offices throughout Beaufort, Hampton, and Jasper Counties. While being paid an hourly salary, students also gain valuable work experience and financial management training.

Temporarily suspended until June 2021.


Scholars’ Program

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

If you’re interested and a member of a low-income Jasper County household, please fill out the intake application below and email it to us at kbbrownaec@gmail.com.

Temporarily suspended until January 2021.


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. 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).  Limited financial assistance is available for those who qualify and apply early.  

For questions, please call (843) 645-9400.


Peeka

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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 not only funds Peeka for some Jasper County students, but also for some of the students of the Beaufort County and Hampton 2 School Districts.  AEC also has plans to launch Peeka in Bamberg and Colleton County School Districts during the 2020-21 school year.

All Peeka programs are temporarily suspended until January 2021.


Feeding Our Youth (FOY) Program

The AEC’s Feeding Our Youth (FOY) Program started in March of 2018, at the Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School.   In the 2019-2020 this program provided nutritious snacks daily for 217 students each day before they departed for home. Because of this afternoon snack program, all of the Jasper County School Districts’ 6th graders, and some 7th graders, did not go hungry between their 11am lunches, the long bus rides home, and their late evening meals .

This program is managed completely by volunteers and assistance is always welcomed.  Please contact AEC if you’d like to become a volunteer. 

The FOY Program is temporarily suspended until the 2021-2022 school year.


Holiday Giving Program

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

Applications will be taken annually beginning October 1st. If you’re interested and are a member of a low-income Jasper County household, please fill out the intake application below and email it to us at kbbrownaec@gmail.com.


Back to School Uniform Program

During the 2019-2020 school year, this program provided 400 sets of school uniforms each fall to Jasper County’s low-income students to help ensure an easier 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.

This program is temporarily closed for the 2020-2021 school year.


Clothing Closet

AEC receives large bi-monthly shipments of clothing from  the Church Mouse Thrift Shop on Hilton Head Island.  These donations include slightly used clean clothing for infants, children, and adults.  Some of Jasper County’s housing units take turns receiving the clothes. AEC also distributes clothes at their food pantries.  Because of the Church Mouse’s longstanding commitment to Jasper County, AEC has been able to provide free clothing for hundreds of low-income households. If you’re in need of gently used, clean, and folded clothing, please contact AEC at kbbrownaec@gmail.com.  


Legal Services

Like many rural communities throughout the nation, Jasper County lacks affordable legal services. AEC now provides legal assistance for many low-income Jasper County residents. This service offers highly qualified attorneys working in areas such as Power of Attorneys, expungements, landlord tenant disputes, child support, and more. AEC provides free facility and utility usage for these qualified attorneys. In return, they provide much needed legal assistance for low-income family members. This allows most of those seeking assistance to move forward free of their legal challenge(s), which allows them to pursue a better quality of life. 

If you’re interested and are a member of a low-income Jasper County household, please fill out the intake application below and email it to AEC at kbbrownaec@gmail.com.

AEC’s Legal Service Program does not include assistance for any felonies.


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