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Non-profit expanding to Lexington to help kids get to camp

The Jo-Nathan Foundation also hosts a camp during the summer in June at Camp Long in Aiken.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — One non-profit is expanding its foot to Lexington County to help kids get to camp.

The Jo-Nathan Foundation was started back in 2011. 

Jonathan "Jo-Nathan" Simpkins, the namesake of the non-profit was an Electrical Engineering Student at South Carolina State University. He later lost his life due to gun violence while he was in college.

Rondie Cheatham with the organization says Jonathan's brothers helped get the non-profit started.

"(They) wanted to start this foundation to invest in the lives of young people through experience, education, and exposure," said Cheatham.

The foundation raises money to help get kids to get to any camp that they choose.

They also host a camp during the summer in June at Camp Long in Aiken. 70 kids from the ages of 12 to 17 come to the camp.

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The Jo-Nathan Foundation is based out of Edgefield, just outside of Augusta. The founder of the organization also has lived in Lexington for the last 20 years.

"We want to expand that footprint so that we're not always identified with Edgefield, that we are here in Lexington and other areas of South Carolina to be able to support youth in the community."

Cheatham believes it's important to help the young people in our community.

"It's important because a lot of times kids miss out on experience and certain activities because of the parents may not have funding. Although you have funding to feed your child or keep a shelter over their head, there may not always be extra funding to send them to extracurricular activities."

They also help set up shadowing opportunities for Junior and Seniors in high school to help them get started in the career path they choose.

If there's someone you know who needs assistance to get to a camp they are hoping to go to, you can apply on their website at http://www.thejo-nathanfoundation.org.

Their goal for 2020 is to raise $40,000. It will help get kids to camp and also pay for costs to run the camp they host in Aiken.

Right now, the non-profit needs assistance with volunteers for upcoming fundraising events and to help bring more awareness to the organization.

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