HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) – It’s a small space, but it’s power-packed with good activity. At one end are pencils, sharpeners and erasers sorted into pouches at Earlington Elementary.
“Let them know they are important that we don’t intend for a child to be left out or left behind.”
At the other end— resupplies of mac and cheese and cans of soup are stacked into shelves in the food pantry.
Steve Johnson is a food pantry volunteer. He says some kids will never eat between lunch on Friday and the next school meal –
“This isn’t the meal we would hope it would be but it’s something in a hungry belly.”
In between, mini closets are stuffed with coats, shoes, socks and gloves. This clothing bank for kids in need is the brainchild of a remarkable woman.
Janet Nichols is the program director for the James Larmouth Family Resource Center which supports families and removes barriers so every child can be successful.
“If a child is happy, has a full stomach, gets along with peers, and he can progress and do well at school – to me that’s success.”
Over the years, Janet has touched the lives of countless children and families in the Hopkins County area. Where she saw a need, she started a program to address it.
The Sugar Plum Preschool was the first preschool for African American children.
GLAD, or Guided Learning Academic Development, is an organization for low income and minority students to close the learning cap.
Renaissance Readers, a black achiever program, is the first Martin Luther King, Jr. program. She also helped start the STEM summer program and Adopt A Child.
That’s just a few of them.
“Her determination, it’s genuine.”
“She has concerns, brings her to tears.”
“She makes a difference. You’re emotional talking about her – why? Because I see the joy in her heart. The work she does. And it’s not just superficial. She could care less if you mention her name. It’s genuine.”
But Janet is the first to tell you, she doesn’t do it alone.
“They say it takes a village, well it takes a village for Janet to do what she does.”
Because much like the Larmouth Center, Janet may be small, but she is power-packed with goodness, passion, vision, and heart.
“Her love has spread throughout the community and it’s like wildfire, catches on. You just want to be a part of it.”
If you’d like to volunteer or donate to Janet’s many programs, click here.
(This story was originally published on Feb. 11, 2020)