December 5, 2023

Angel Tree Sponsors Needed For Children At Region 8 Mental Health In Rankin County

Morgan Howard

A nonprofit organization called “Emile and Brook’s Kids” is hoping the community will help them bring Christmas joy to 184 kids in need in Rankin County.

Executive Director, Jane Foreman said the organization is sponsoring 184 kids who need to be adopted for Christmas. The organization doesn’t have any fundraising activities this year so the community must step up to help these kids in need.

What does the “Emile and Brooke’s Kids” Foundation do?:

The primary focus of Emile and Brookes Kids centers around facilitating back-to-school and Christmas support for children in Rankin County, specifically those within Region 8. During the back-to-school period, they provide each child with five sets of new clothing, undergarments, socks, and shoes, along with grade-specific backpacks and school supplies tailored to their individual needs. All funds for back-to-school are raised through the organization’s 5K/10K walk/run on the Saturday before Memorial Day.

History of Emile and Brooke’s Kids:

The nonprofit started Christmas of 2021. They became a registered 501c3 with the MS Secretary of State’s Office and their Board of Directors are as follows: Matt Freeland, Matthews Cutrer & Lindsay – Treasurer; Shannon Ivy, Region 8 Human Resources – Secretary; Lisa Hayman, Chapman’s Florist & Brookes mother – Board Member; Melissa Jones, Rankin County News Human Resources – Board Member; Karyn Colton, Region 8 Community Support Specialist – Board Member

Emile and Brookes Kids, a non-profit organization, was officially incorporated in the state of Mississippi on January 2, 2022. The mission at Emile and Brookes Kids is to provide crucial support to children who are registered clients of Region 8 Mental Health, particularly in meeting their educational, clothing, and healthcare needs that may not be adequately addressed by Region 8 services. The eligibility criteria for assistance include a screening process conducted by a qualified social worker, qualification for disability benefits, and meeting poverty level thresholds.

The non-profit is named in memory of Emile Craig, a dedicated long-time employee of Region 8, and his beloved wife Brooke. Emile sadly passed away in 2020 due to cancer, and 18 months later, Brooke also succumbed to the same disease. Both Emile and Brooke were deeply committed to supporting the children in need within Region 8, leaving an indelible impact on the hearts of many.

Executive Director, Jane Foreman said,

“Brooke was my student at Hinds Community College and became one of my very close friends as we worked together at Hinds Community College for years.  When Brooke’s husband became sick with cancer, Brooke and I talked about starting this non-profit to honor him.  Brooke got sick with cancer a year later and a month before she died in 2021, she made me promise to carry through with the nonprofit and I did, naming it in honor of both Brooke and her husband.”

How can you get involved? Adopt an angel!

The organization has 184 kids this year and they need all the help they can get to get them adopted so they will have gifts to open on Christmas.

They started by sponsoring 58 kids in 2021 to 116 kids in 2022, to 184 kids in 2023!

All of the Christmas Angels are adopted through various organizations, including The City of Brandon Mayor’s Youth Council, Applebee’s, local churches, and individuals. Those who choose to donate are assigned an Angel and provided with a list of items purchased for that Angel with their contribution.

At Christmas time, children aged 12 and under receive three “wish items” and three “need items,” while those aged 13 to 18 who are still in school receive one “wish item” and one “need item.” (It’s important to note that the organization does not offer items such as bikes, computers, cell phones, or gift cards.

Jane said,

“The children we serve through Emile and Brookes Kids are among the most vulnerable in Rankin County, often relying on us as their sole source of clothing, school supplies, and Christmas gifts. Our organization operates entirely through the dedication of volunteers, ensuring that 100% of the funds we raise are directly allocated to benefiting the children we serve.”


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