The Black Suit Initiative has partnered with the Children’s Home Society to provide young men with workshops designed to better prepare them for making sound, responsible decisions in their future.

Some of the workshops have dealt with understanding the health and legal ramifications of illegal drugs and the misuse of prescription and over the counter drugs.  The workshops, developed by Jasmine Perry, Youth Empowerment Center Coordinator with the Children’s Home Society, allow for candid discussions about a growing epidemic among African American males.

Beyond these discussions, Perry developed a panel of distinguished males to speak openly about issues important to young men. Topics included females, dating, sex, education, careers and racial stereotypes. These workshops are a required component in helping young men earn their black suits.



The Ascena Retail Group, Inc. selected Evainna Ross/The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. as one the winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards recognizing individuals who help


empower women and children. This new annual awards program honors the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, who co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962.

“Ascena’s philanthropic vision is simple: empowering women and children to be their best,” said David Jaffe, CEO of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. “Across our communities there are amazing stories about individuals working tirelessly toward this goal.”

These ‘everyday heroes’ are making the world a better place for women and/or children in the areas of education, health, social reform, and self-esteem. “We specifically chose individuals whose non-profit organizations may not be well known, but have the potential for major impact with the recognition and financial support that comes with the award,” said Elise Jaffe, Executive Sponsor for Ascena Cares.

The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. received $25,000 in recognition of their work in the community.


The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. held  a 24 hour hunger awareness campaign beginning on November 20 at 6pm at Rankin Elementary School. Youth in the program fasted from food and surrendered their cell phones while collecting nonperishable food items to stock their newly created Crisis Cabinet food pantry at Rankin Elementary School in Greensboro.   FINAL FOOD

Approximately 20  Guilford County Schools middle and high school students consumed a modest meal on Friday evening prior to their 24 hour fast and spent the remainder of the evening participating in cell phone free activities with their peers including relay races, basketball, team building activities and movies.

Prior to the official canned food collection on Saturday morning, the students of Rankin Elementary had collected over 500 items to kick off the campaign drive.  The Sparrow’s Nest youth began their blustery canned food collection at 6am on Saturday morning in front of Rankin Elementary School.  When their grocery store partner, Save A Lot on Yanceyville Street opened at 8am, additional students solicited donations at this location as well.

  The aggressive goal of collecting 5,000 nonperishable items was achieved by 4:30pm. Students continued to collect an additional 500+ items through their original deadline of 6:00pm.

 Based upon the 2014 Hunger in America Studies, North Carolina has one the highest percentages in the United States of children under 18 years of age who are food insecure on a regular basis:  in N.C. over 1 in 4. (26.1%). The entire student population of Rankin Elementary receives free lunch based upon the overall poverty level among their families. Food insecurity is a weekly concern for their students and their families and the youth in The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. sought to make a change by creating the Crisis Cabinet back in September.  With the upcoming holiday breaks, the organization decided to host a campaign to collect a substantial amount of food to provide families with nutritious items to sustain their families through January.