Fries nonprofit has big dreams

A small, and new nonprofit from Fries has big dreams.

Rejected Cornerstone Organization was formed in January by Abria Jones, after she had studied, dreamed and prayed to find a way to help children and families in crisis in this area.

In January, when Jones asked on Facebook what her friends saw as needs in the area, eventual Rejected Cornerstone co-founder Pam Johnson offered her perspective from a former teacher. Others joined the project and soon an all-volunteer board was formed.

The name of the organization comes from passages in the biblical books of Psalms and Mark. Johnson said the name shows how Jesus Christ was rejected and became the cornerstone of people’s lives.

In Mark 12:10-11, the passage says, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

“We serve an often ‘rejected by their peers’ population of children and families,” she said. “We want these children to have what they need to be clean and well clothed in school. This allowing them to focus more on their education and less on who is going to bully them because they are not clean.”

Rejected Cornerstone works with local schools, individuals and families to fill the gaps in government assistance, giving additional supplies that include school supplies, hygiene products, clothing, shoes and food. The group delivers monthly to schools in Carroll, Grayson, Smyth and Wythe counties.

Currently, Johnson said, more schools in Smyth are asking for products. She added that the greatest need is hygiene products, especially deodorant, and shoes, sock and underwear in in sizes 4T to 2XL.

Rejected Cornerstone has a form on its website,, that schools and families can fill out for help. The organization also takes referrals.

“In the past nine months we have realized that there is a greater need than we anticipated,” Johnson said. “We have also learned how to hard it is to find donors for our cause.”

The group has delivered supplies to 12 schools so far and helped numerous families with a goal of delivering to all 48 schools in the four-country region. The organization, which got its nonprofit status in June, is looking for office, storage and distribution space in or near Fries.

To help raise money for the group’s mission, Rejected Cornerstone Organization will co-host a wrestling event with All Star Entertainment at 7 p.m on Sept. 30 at Grayson County High School.

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