JUNE 2019
Wow! We had another successful Miracle on Ashley Street. For 25 years, local celebrities have served the community and our clients delicious food. Over 1,200 guests dined under the big, white tent at the Clara White Mission this year. The goal was to raise money for our programs and initiatives for homeless veterans and low-income residents in our community.

More than 135 local business, community and political leaders were celebrity servers and 120 people volunteered to make the event a success. Barbecue was the theme. We even had lobster, salmon, shrimp, corn on the cob and much more! Thanks to our food sponsors: Chartwells, Sysco, Cupcake Fifty, Mixon, Fixin BBQ, PSG-Performance Food Group, Atlantic Urban Farm, Coffee Perks, Four Rivers Smoke House and Smokey Jays.

In addition, I want to thank our 25th Annual Miracle on Ashley Street title sponsors, Citi and Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund. Miracle on Ashley Street is one our most successful signature fundraisers. I want to thank WJXT, Channel 4 The Local Station and Meteorologist Richard Nunn for their continued support. I appreciate all of our sponsors. Thanks to all of our supporters! We raised more than $62,100 this year. We are so grateful for your contributions in continuing the legacy of service.

The Clara White Mission continues to work with lawmakers to advise them of the achievements and challenges to assist with initiatives and programs for homeless veterans who depend on the mission as a safety net service. Congressman John Rutherford and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz recently held a roundtable discussion at our office with local nonprofits. We discussed veterans’ needs and issues on the First Coast and how we work to bridge the gaps of services and how the support of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is working to serve our veterans in need. This meeting was informative to our lawmakers.

Volunteers and support are need year-round to feed homeless veterans and the underserved. Our feeding and training programs provide an opportunity for our clients and students to get their life back. Our initiatives lead to long term sustainability, which becomes a game changer when funding resources are available. Please visit theclarawhitemission.org to make your donation and/or volunteer. Call TODAY and don’t DELAY to see how you can make a difference.

Clara White Mission will do all the good we can, for all the people we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, while we can. We look forward to continuing our 115 years of service in the Jacksonville community. Can we count on YOU ?
When I was approached to be a member of the Board of Directors for Clara White Mission, I was humbled, overwhelmed and anxious! I couldn’t say no because I felt like I would be missing out on being part of a team of people and an organization that was making a difference in Jacksonville.

As a christian and minister of the gospel, it was my humanitarian goal to selflessly help others and live out the Great Commission. The board has been given this unique assignment to come together to work for a worthy cause. In my opinion, every board member should bring the following for the betterment of Clara White’ Missions vision:
  • Love for others
  • Professionalism
  • Time 
  • Talent
  • Resources

The mission reaches back and brings forth the vision of Dr. Eartha M. M. White by advocating for the poor and providing social services. The programs we currently host restore dignity and give empowerment for a second chance. It is so important to continue this work so that lives can be restored, recharged and reconnected to a gateway of a productive life. The work we do gives holistic meaning to a life that was once deemed despaired. We give HOPE and we spread LOVE !
Chef Keith Smith does not talk a lot and he does not like the spotlight, but he is truly the backbone of the Clara White Mission. He started volunteering at the mission when he was 14 years old. According to Keith, “My mom made me come with my uncle during my summer break, Christmas break and any break I had to make sure I stayed out of trouble.” He helped out in the kitchen and around the mission. 

Keith started working as the janitor after his high school graduation in 1988. “I liked helping people. I was doing it for free. So, I figured why not get paid for my work. Back then, I made $3.50 an hour. I thought I was rich!” His responsibilities increased over the years. In the early 1990's, he was told to cook lunch. “I didn’t know how to cook. I still remember the first meal I made. I cooked hot dogs, baked beans, corn bread and rice that came out gummy like grits. The corn bread was flat and hard as a brick.”

Boy, how times have changed. Keith eventually went to school to train as a chef. His cooking is now top notch. He trains the Culinary Arts students, helps manage the kitchen and so much more. Keith has been a part of the fabric at the Clara White Mission for 31 years and counting. “I love what I do helping people and giving back. Once you are at the mission, it’s in your blood.”
"I recently graduated from Class 52. I will love the mission for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream at your establishment. The mission taught me the definition of giving because every assignment I worked was to not only enhance my skills but create a opportunity for the classes to come. Y’all taught me a lot about what I was doing wasn’t totally about me so the objective of the mission will always stick with me as I move forward in life!"
Abdul Ghani
Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity that is rewarding and life changing? Clara White Mission has great ways for you to use your skills! Please call us at (904) 354-4162, ext. 1100.
  • Customer Service Specialist - Administration Department
Duties: greeter, answer telephones, respond to customers' requests and inquiries in a professional and timely manner and handle clerical tasks in the lobby
  • Veterans Customer Service Specialist - Veterans Department
Duties: greet homeless veterans, answer telephones, respond to veterans' request and inquiries and provide clerical assistance in Drop-In Center

  • Admin. Finance Clerk – Finance Department
Duties: assist with finance clerical support

  •  Special Events Coordinator - Marketing Department
Duties: assist with the planning and implementation of signature and special events
We always love sharing the history of our founder, Dr. Eartha M. M. White. She was an entrepreneur and philanthropist. She was a woman of many firsts. Dr. White was born Nov. 8, 1876 and died on Jan. 18, 1974. She was the daughter of Molly Chapman (a former slave) and a white father. Lafayette White and Clara English White adopted her as an infant.

Education was an important part of her life. She attended Stanton School in Jacksonville. After graduation, she moved to New York and studied hairdressing and manicuring at Madam Hall Beauty School. She also attended Madam Thurber's National Conservatory of Music and Florida Baptist Academy.

This is just a small glimpse into Dr. White’s incredible life. She never married and did not have any children.