“Sometimes, all we need is a little hope.”
Summer is almost over and it’s time to go school shopping! For most college students this time can be both exciting and intimidating. Leaving home for the first time, not knowing what to pack, what to leave at home, meeting new people; it can all be very overwhelming. Thankfully there is the JCS Project that provides care packages for college students.
“The JCS Project is a Christian based organization who provides FREE College Care Packages to young students attending a college/university within Texas and surrounding areas. We also support students from Texas who attend school out of state.”
“The JCS Project focuses on encouraging young students to not only go to college but to finish. We do this by sending them FREE College Care Packages. The care packages that we send are not just boxes of food and materials, but it is packed with encouraging words, volunteer opportunities throughout the community and LOVE!”
The JCS Project (Just College Students) was founded and co-founded by Tiffannie Jones and her younger cousin Taylor Jones in the fifth ward area of Houston Texas. When Taylor went away to college, “I felt like it was my responsibility to care of her” said Tiffannie. She wanted to make sure that the little cousin that grew up in the blink of an eye had everything that she needed to be successful in college. Every time Tiffannie got paid from her job, she would put money in envelopes and mail them out to her cousin as well as her co-worker’s children that were also attending college at that time. Though this was a very kind gesture, it quickly became a financial strain on Tiffannie so she stopped sending money. However, this didn’t stop the mission that God had given her.
She then came up with a new way to make sure that each student had the things that they needed. They received something some much more valuable than money; a care package filled with food,hope, inspiration and love. Jones purchased boxes and filled them with food and trinkets and when the boxes were full enough she then drove around Houston and surrounding areas delivering care packages to students that were in college and getting ready to leave for college.Thus the JCS Project was founded.
The organization that just celebrated three years of business is built on so much more than what is inside of the boxes but more so building personal relationships with each student and their families. The JCS Project has also supported and donated to the Dresses For Queens prom drive, hosted by Erica Curry.“I want people to understand; if you think that all we do is give out packages, you’ve missed my whole entire point. It’s about building relationships.”
Not only does Tiffannie know each student by name but she also takes out the time to attend their events, whether it’s a basketball game, volleyball game, graduation party or Christmas dinner she is right there to support them every step of the way.
She also brings her two children along to show them not only how to run a successful organization but she also shows them the importance of giving back and helping others. Sixteen year old Theory and eleven year old Jayse are both aspiring artist and entrepreneurs that play a vital role in filling the care package boxes and creating hand painted college canvas paintings and handmade book markers that are featured and sold at the JCS Project back to school drives and events.
The JCS Project is funded by donations from Tiffannie’s friends,family, and parents of some of the JCS Project recipients but over 80% is funded directly out of her pocket. Getting volunteers is never an issue either. Many of the students that have received care packages from the JCS Project often come back to help out, as well as many of Jones’ church family and other community leaders.
There are many goals set forth for the JCS Project’s future including the College Trio Campus Tour, featuring three organization; JCS Project, Simply Helping Foundation and Trailblazers in Motion. All three organizations will be traveling together throughout Texas and Louisiana to personally deliver college care packages to students. Tiffannie and her business partner Tiffany Taylor Hicks both have another organization in the works called the NonProfit Networking Cafe, to help others start organizations without making the same mistakes that were made in the beginning stages of their first business. She also wants to fulfill one of the things on her bucket list and lead out a college band at a football game, “ I want to lead out a band for a football game… whoever is the drum major of the band; I want to be an understudy. I just want to do a few moves then i’m going to get out the way and let the band come out and take their positions.”
Tiffannie appreciates the love and support that she gets for the JCS Project from all of her students because she gets a chance to experience being a college student. “I didn’t go to college, so I get a little extra excited when i’m on a campus. So even though i’m there as a founder of an organization giving out packages, for me while i’m there for an hour or two hours i’m in that life…I feel like this is my school.”
Unlike some organization that give to college students, there is no hassle involved in receiving a JCS care package.Others have told Tiffannie that she change her organization and only cater to students that come from low income families, however she says “ if you can come pick it up from my event you can have it!” There is no fee, no background check, or essay required, “sometimes all we need is a little hope” said Jones. The JCS Project gives out packages to student in all collegiate levels, all you have to do is fill out a brief application that can be found here http://www.thejcsproject.org/application .This organization has helped many students gain the support and confidence that they need to be successful and to fulfill their dreams and will continue to do so in the future. If you would like to donate to The JCS Project or volunteer please go to http://www.thejcsproject.org/ .