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50 Years and Counting: A Note from CEO David Dennis

It all started with one belief. That all children matter and regardless of their circumstances they all deserve an opportunity. And so 50 years ago, in 1968, our founders, Jack and Ruth Eckerd opened a small outdoor therapeutic camp for young people who needed a second chance. Today, that camp has grown to become a national nonprofit with 160 programs operating in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

While our mission started with a focus on youth we now work to serve the entire family; offering workforce, child and family services, and juvenile justice services to more than 34,000 people each year. By extending our reach I hope that over the next 50 years we can effect real change for communities across the country: pairing foster children with caring families who open their homes; aiding teens who’ve exited the justice system and are in search of a second chance; and training hard-working people so they can secure well-paying jobs and support their families.

To better reflect our expanding footprint, we recently changed our name to Eckerd Connects because it represents not only where we are today, but where we are headed tomorrow.

I am proud of the way we honor the legacy of our founders while evolving to better serve our communities. Your investment and partnership has made this transformation possible and your continued support will make change possible.

–  David Dennis, President and CEO of Eckerd Connects