Angie Clark is co-director of HUGS St. Johns along with her friend Rachel Erickson. She has been in that role with the nonprofit organization for a couple of months now, and she looks forward to the future and carrying on the legacy established by founder Brette Reiman.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I am originally from American Fork, Utah, and my family moved here after my husband was offered a job as a professor in Jacksonville. We absolutely love living here in Florida and hope to never leave.
I have always enjoyed working with children and after my own two kids were old enough to be in school, I became a substitute teacher for the St. Johns County School District.
I love getting involved in the community and previously helped lead the service group Helping Hands of St. Johns County.
How did you get involved with Hugs Across the County and how long have you been a part of it?
I heard about HUGS from my friend, Rachel Erickson, who had volunteered in their clothing warehouse several times last year.
She knew they were looking for a new director as Brette, the founder and director, was in a new stage of life and hoping to retire.
Rachel and I have been friends for several years and supported each other in different community service activities, so when she asked me if I would like to co-direct the organization with her, I was happy to accept.
Rachel and I have been co-directors of HUGS now for about two months and learning about this organization and all the good they have done, and continue to do, has only strengthened my excitement to be a part of it.
What do you enjoy most about it?
Volunteering with the best people and making a difference in the lives of children.
We are an all-volunteer team and the time and effort that our program coordinators put into making sure that children in St. Johns County have the necessities they need is incredible.
I love spending time with the volunteers at our warehouse as they help us pack bags of clothing for children. I love people who love helping others.
What are the primary goals of the organization?
Hugs Across the County was created to help provide necessities for children in need in St. Johns County.
School counselors, social workers and other organizations send us referrals and we provide clothing, shoes, food, books and other items.
We also have a Girls Empowerment Program at Murray Middle School that pairs lunch with lessons and covers topics such as positivity, cooperation and good communication skills.
We have recently changed the name of the organization from Hugs Across the County to HUGS St. Johns to better represent our area focus.
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
I appreciate that there are so many things to do here.
Some of my favorites include kayaking at Silver Springs State Park, visiting the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Dark of the Moon tour at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, shopping at the Riverside Arts Market and time at the beach with my family. (Our favorite is River to the Sea Preserve.)
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to read and host an online book club, cook new recipes, spend time with girlfriends and go on adventures with my husband and two kids.