Project 50, No. 9: Porter Leath

Project 50, No. 9: Porter Leath

Project 50 is a weekly feature on a Mid-South nonprofit that will go on through 2014. I hope that you decide to get involved with at least one organization you hear about this year and put your love for Memphis to work. For this week's Project 50 edition, I've asked Alexandra Samsell to write a guest post about Porter-Leath.

Porter-Leath’s vision is “to be the leader in helping children and families succeed”. Originally founded as an orphanage in the 1800s, Porter-Leath now benefits more than 10,000 at-risk children and families each year through its various programs. 

The goal of the Early Head Start program is to guide healthy physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development for children up to age 3. The children are required to attend weekly preschool with trained professionals who identify and work with the development needs of each child. Home services offered include health screenings, nutrition planning, and one-on-one training/counseling. 

The Cornerstone program provides in-home services for pregnant mothers and parents of children up to age 5 to learn best parenting practices for healthy child development and to reduce infant mortality rates in Shelby and Fayette Counties.

Spoonfuls brings healthy and economic meals to children through adult nutrition education, financial planning, and reimbursements. Through CareerPlace, eligible parents can receive career-training and even matches to jobs best suited for both them and their employers.

Connections provides a safe environment for children up to age 18 to live due to neglectful, abusive, or unstable households. The residents receive shelter, meals, counseling, transportation, and any other support they may need.

Porter-Leath has programs for minors and seniors alike! Generations provides opportunities for both children and seniors to provide emotional support, learn from one other, and gain stability through seniors tutoring, cherishing, and mentoring children.  

Porter-Leath is also hosting the 22nd City Auto Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival on April 27 from 11 am to 6 pm on Riverside Drive in downtown Memphis. The best part: it’s free to attend! Come out and enjoy the 18,000 pounds of crawfish, spicy boiled shrimp, and various food and drinks that will be offered for purchase. Live music will be in full swing throughout the day and there are still limited team spots for the gumbo competition as well as tickets for the VIP Swamp Tent. Contact Angela Meekins at 901-577-2500 x1119 for more information about the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival.

Memphis’ own Holly Whitfield is even a gumbo judge this year. We hope to see you there! 

Official Mission Statement: “Empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle.”

Biggest Annual Events: 22nd Annual City Auto Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival (April 27th), GE Patterson Memorial 5k (September 20th), WRVR toy truck (early December). 

How You Can Help:
-Volunteer, i.e., reading to an early head start class
-Attend an event

Learn more/follow:


Alexandra Samsell is an intern with the development office at Porter-Leath and part-time PR consultant with TrueDesign Group, LLC. She is a strong advocate for animal welfare and has a passion for writing. Originally from the east coast, she loves volunteering for organizations in the Memphis area. You can follow Alexandra's blog, The Hostess From Home, here. You can follow her on Instagram here. Or check out her volunteering profile here.


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