Strong turnout for festival supporting Huntersville neighborhood


An arts and crafts activities table was provided at the Festival by la Escuelita San Marcos. /Courtesy of Ada Jenkins Center

HUNTERSVILLE – In an event co-hosted by the Ada Jenkins Center and Caterpillar Ministries, hundreds turned out for Saturday’s 2022 Festival of Services focused on support for families in Huntesville’s Huntington Green neighborhood.

Held at Lakehaven Community Church, the Festival featured 23 community partners sharing information about services available to residents of the low-income neighborhood.

The gathering included a free hotdog lunch provided by the Huntersville police and fire departments.

“What a fantastic day for our families in Huntington Green,” said Sarah Fortner, executive director of Caterpillar Ministries, which is in its 15th year of supporting the neighborhood. “Many of our families learned about resources they were not aware of.”

Among those opportunities, offered by the Charlotte Area Fund’s workforce development program, is a nursing assistant training class targeted specifically for working moms.

Information about a range of available services was provided at a booth staffed by Caterpillar Ministries volunteers. /Ada Jenkins Center

“This truly was a great example of nonprofits, local government agencies, and families and friends coming together to improve people’s lives,” added Maritza Stutts, the Ada Jenkins Center’s case coordinator assigned to Huntington Green. “The families here are hard-working and eager to contribute to our community, but their household incomes are fairly low. We want to support them in any way we can, as they work to improve their families’ economic situation.”

Other participating community partners included Beds for Kids, El Buen Samaritano of Lake Forest Church (Coalicion Latina de Fe y Salud), Camino, Camino Research, El Centro de Apoyo Legal de Charlotte-Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, La Coalicion (Latin American Coalition), CommonWealth Charlotte, Community Action, Davidson Housing Coalition, la Escuelita San Marcos, E2D, Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council, Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, the Town of Huntersville, Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, Novant Health, NC HealthyBlue, SafeAlliance, Sunrise ESL, Huntersville and the VIDA Wellness Center. 

The day – highlighted by a visit from the Easter Bunny – included arts and crafts, music, diaper distribution, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library’s MoLi mobile library bus and preschool registration along with information about legal services, English as a second language classes and housing resources.

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