Carl Perkins Center helps local youths with ‘Adopt a Teen’ program

JACKSON, Tenn. — The City of Jackson is decorated for the holiday season, and the Carl Perkins Center wants to make sure West Tennessee teens get everything on their Christmas wish list.

“They’re asking for lotion and deodorant, and we’ve had teens ask for pots and pans so they can cook for their brothers and sisters,” said Stephanie Isaacs, event manager for the Carl Perkins Center.

The Adopt a Teen program started more than twenty years ago.

Rusty Mac lost a son. Years later, in 1997, he asked the center if he could help a teen.

“He thought, well, if there was one teen there’s got to be some more, and so she said, well, there’s 18,” Issacs said.

And this year they have more teenagers than ever — 481.

“Trying to help them feel normal, you know. They’ve been hit hard. Let’s help them feel normal,” Isaacs said.

The Carl Perkins Center has just 50 teens left to adopt in their Adopt a Teen program this Christmas, and Isaacs says this is a perfect way to volunteer in your own backyard.

“When they wake up Christmas morning, just like all the rest of us are opening up gifts, know you’re helping someone open up a gift as well,” Isaacs said.

You can donate online at the Carl Perkins Center website, by phone by calling the center at 731-668-4000, or by dropping off a check at their offices.

The center has also started Conrad’s Good Deeds in honor of Conrad Delaney. Money donated to that fund will help students across West Tennessee get clothes and school supplies.

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