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nourish dignity

"We our neighbors with .”

Jessika Jessik Tucker

ANGELS AND SPARROWS

SOUP KITCHEN

JESSIKA TUCKER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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ou’re greeted by name, with a welcoming smile, as you walk through the door. Once you’re seated a server takes your drink order, then returns with your delicious plated lunch. Vibrant colors and fresh, organic produce are the fare of the day. A tray offering a variety of dessert treats comes next. You linger, chatting with friends, as the plates are cleared away. Is this the script for a ladies-who-lunch commercial for a country club? Nope. It’s the lived experience, five days a week, of the guests who visit Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville. As the charity’s executive director, Jessika Tucker, describes it, “We nourish our neighbors with dignity.” This year, Angels and Sparrows has provided over 62,000 meals to folks in need, thanks to Jessika and her team of staff, volunteers, and donors. The need in the community is tangible. While the Charlotte area has experienced exponential economic growth over recent years, the poverty rate has increased 10 percent. “I see the best and worst of society every day,” says Jessika. “Many of our guests have experienced the worst life situations such as being sex-trafficked as a child, or the loss of their home and possessions due to medical bills.” She goes on to say, “I also see the

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best of our community in the volunteers and numerous people who donate food and funding to care for our neighbors in need.” Those donations are the charity’s greatest necessity, as sudden expenses—for HVAC repairs, equipment maintenance, and utilities—frequently arise. The biggest annual fundraiser is the Gather and Give, featuring live music, a silent auction and raffle, a wine pull, and a fine dinner, expertly prepared by a local chef. There is also the Angels and Sparrows 5k Turkey Trot, which is held in Birkdale each Thanksgiving morning. Growing up in a single-parent household, being the first in her family to earn a college degree, Jessika understands the struggles her guests face. This personal connection is what drove her through the final six months of her degree program. She completed her Master of Science in Business Management, with a focus in nonprofit leadership, while working full time and taking over her current role as the charity’s executive director. She succeeded with the support of her husband and her faith…and her commitment to upholding Angels and Sparrows’ objectives: enabling guests to reserve their resources for their jobs, education, and plans for the future, while enjoying a nutritious meal and the company of other guests from all walks of life. Angels, indeed. w

WRITER CYNDY ETLER

Profile for Lake Norman Woman Magazine

Lake Norman Woman December 2019  

December 2019 Lake Norman Woman Magazine

Lake Norman Woman December 2019  

December 2019 Lake Norman Woman Magazine

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