Story and video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
Until recently, the Ann Arbor Community Center depended on families to stop by the center at 625 N. Main Street to apply for the goods and services they need.
More and more, the AACC believes in going out to where the people are. And for students at nine Ann Arbor Public Schools, that means practical help is in a closet down the hall.
Every week, AACC staff visit those nine schools to make sure the Aways Available Caring Closets are fully stocked with snacks and food, school supplies and homework packs, clothing, and hygiene products. These closets are located in these Title 1 schools: Allen, Bryant, Dicken, Lakewood, Haisley, Pittsfield, Mitchell, Lawton, and Pattengill.
Each school provides the closet space and a staff person to monitor the Caring Closet and let AACC know when new supplies are needed.
The Rev. Yolanda Whiten, who is the Executive Director/CEO of the AACC, says her own son flourished in Ann Arbor Public Schools, and she is excited about the partnership with the district.
“These people I’ve been working with in the Ann Arbor Public Schools are people I have grown to love,” she said, noting several building principals who’ve been particularly caring and helpful. “We’re very excited to help families in need, and teachers are the ones who know the needs.”
The Ann Arbor Community Center offers a range of programs and services that help children, families, and senior citizens, while at the same time promoting self-reliance, well-being, diversity and community involvement.