The Habersham Christian Learning Center looked different to students who walked back through its doors on the first day of school Friday. That’s because the 40-year-old facility got a makeover thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.
“This summer, HCLC received an anonymous donation of $10,000 to update and refurnish our classrooms,” HCLC Executive Director Sarah Harrison tells Now Habersham. “We were able to order new desks, chairs, and another smartboard, so both our rooms are fully outfitted.”
Volunteers from Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Demorest painted the classrooms. Board member Laura Sutter helped paint the bookshelves “a fresh white color.” Several recent alumni and some current students tore up the carpet and replaced ceiling tiles.
One week before school started, ten volunteers worked ten hours straight to lay vinyl plank flooring and complete the rooms.
“None of this would’ve been possible without the hard work of our supporters,” says Harrison.
It’s that spirit of giving that keeps the Habersham Christian Learning Center alive.
Founded in 1980, HCLC offers community-funded, off-campus Christian training to high school students who choose its courses as electives for credit. Each school year, the Center welcomes over 100 Habersham Central High students into its classrooms.
HCLC operates on a released time agreement with the county school system. No tax money is used to fund the program. Classes are offered to students free of charge.
As a nonprofit, HCLC relies on individual, church, business, and civic donations to keep operating. It also receives funding from the Habersham United Way.
Donations pay for equipment, teaching materials, supplies, and staff salaries. They also cover the cost of utilities, facility upkeep, and maintaining the HCLC bus that transports students to and from the Center.
Erric Adams, an HCLC alum and General Manager of Papa John’s Pizza in Cornelia, is a proud supporter of the Christian Learning Center. Harrison says he’s “always eager to help.”
Papa John’s hosted several fundraisers for HCLC. On opening day, Adams presented a $250 check to the Center to help kick off the new school year.
On August 6, HCLC marked the beginning of its 80th semester of classes. It’s a remarkable milestone and the Center is paying it forward.
While undergoing its interior facelift, the Habersham Christian Learning Center donated its old desks to the new Stephens County Christian Learning Center. SCLC opened its doors to middle schoolers this year.