Hugs Across the County gains nonprofit status


Hugs Across the County, a local organization that provides emergency assistance to St. Johns County students in need, has been recognized as an official nonprofit with tax-exempt status under section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

“We are thrilled to be awarded 501 (c) (3) nonprofit status,” said Brette Reiman, founder and board president. “We are grateful to Investing in Kids, the nonprofit we have operated under since our start in 2010. We look forward to the exciting work that nonprofit status will allow us to accomplish.”

Hugs Across the County will work with its board of directors to develop plans to assist more students, build community partnerships and create new fundraising activities. The founding board of directors includes Brette Reiman, founder and president; Sandy Calvin, vice president; Dr. Joseph Joyner, president-designee of Flagler College and former superintendent of St. Johns County Public Schools; Beverly Slough, St. Johns County School Board; Bailey Benoit, school counselor at Crookshank Elementary; and Kim McNickle, homeless student liaison at St. Johns County Public Schools.

Hugs Across the County was originally founded in 2010 to provide classroom volunteers to Title 1 schools. Volunteers quickly learned of the extensive needs of many students in the area, however, and its mission expanded to include providing emergency assistance.