Jenks Care Point opens to offer free clothing and classes to those in need

JENKS, Okla. -- Jenks Care Point officially launched Thursday as a clothing bank and classroom space, offering opportunities like English and sewing classes.

The courses started at South Tulsa Baptist over the summer. As they increased in popularity, the church realized it needed to do more.

"We need to learn a lot, especially when we move to another country... it means that we're studying from the beginning. Everything is from the beginning," Burmese refugee Cing Huei said.

Dozens joined the sewing program this year. Now more than 40 women are enrolled, and the wait list is growing.

"It's helped provide not only the sewing skills but also communication, learning English, building relationships, getting integrated into the community," South Tulsa Baptist pastor Eric Costanzo said.

But as the church spoke with Jenks Public Schools, staff recognized many of these families also struggle to provide.

"Children come to school and they don't have shoes. Children come to school and they don't have coats. The Jenks schools did the best that they could to provide for the children in their schools but they realized the need was much larger," Jenks Care Point director Kara Lee said.

Everything at the center is free. Although Thursday was the official opening, Lee said they've already served about a thousand people over the last two months.

"It reminds you just how blessed we are, when you have somebody in tears because they get to take home new underwear for their son that they've never had before," Lee said.

Students said these classes allow them to feel at home.

"When you get to the point that you know what they're talking about and you understand what they're asking and you have this confidence of "ok I know what they're saying." Before that you're not sure what they're saying," Huei said.

The center opened through a partnership with multiple organizations including First Oklahoma Bank, Yale Cleaners, First Baptist Church of Jenks, and the RH91 Tennis and Racquet Ball Center.

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