April Thomas Jones is the Director at the Old Pine Community Center where every person is welcomed and everyone in need is serviced. She sat down to answer our Give Back questions to help you better understand their mission, purpose, and, yup, even their bottom line.
RH: What do you want people to know about your organization and/or it’s causes?
ATJ: The Old Pine Community Center services people across the age spectrum and regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. We are a place were ALL can gather and feel as if they belong.
RH: What was your first impression of your organization?
ATJ: That this place truly helps people. It directly helps people and you can see it daily. It may be by feeding someone hungry, helping an Adult read for the first time or by providing resources that will help someone achieve their long term goals, no matter how it is done this spirit was alive and well!
RH: What influenced you to work with your organization?
ATJ: I wanted to be apart of a growing organization whose mission was all inclusive and whose bottom line was to help others succeed.
RH: What has surprised you most about working with your organization?
ATJ: The dedication of supporters. Many of our supporters truly believe in our mission and in what we do daily and you see it by the constant support they provide.
RH: What do you find most challenging about working for organization?
ATJ: Obtaining grants and other revenue streams.
RH: Who are some of the interesting people you’ve met while working at the organization?
ATJ: I have met so many interesting people, a senior who walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, a homeless man with some mental issues but is a master pianist, an IBM guy with a heart of gold that constantly gives of his time and money and never even expects a thank you, my list can go on and on!
RH: What do you think will change about your organization or it’s causes in the next five years?
ATJ: I believe we will have a strong literacy component to help address the crisis Philadelphia is facing now with having to cut funding to most of the literacy programs in the city. I think our homeless program will change and become even more comprehensive. Also I would like to be able to offer more scholarships to low income children. Physically we will have our bathrooms converted to become fully handicap accessible.
RH: What would you say to someone thinking about donating, volunteering, etc?
ATJ: Stop in, give us a call, see what we do and please join us in the fight to help save a life!
The Old Pine Community Center is a place where all belong! We are a part of Philadelphia’s fabric and have been bringing people together for over 30 years. We strive to make a profound impact on the community as well as all aspects of life by providing a place for Fun, Fitness, Education and Relaxation! Our mission is to provide programs and services that enrich the lives of others without regard to age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or social status. So whether it is a rental for a wedding, a party, an event or joining a program like afterschool, adult education, or Saturday for Seniors the Old Pine Community Center is always a place where you feel at home.