Chosen Outreach to host back to school event on Saturday

Published 3:51 pm Monday, July 31, 2023

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A Nicholasville nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization is hosting an event with the YMCA to provide local children with a free backpack filled with school supplies for the upcoming school year. 

This back-to-school rally will be held on Saturday, August 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Caroline Memorial YMCA on 220 East Maple Street in Nicholasville.

Elementary, middle and high school students are all welcome to come and pick up a free backpack provided by the YMCA.

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Chosen Outreach is the nonprofit organization that is organizing this event and is bringing together the different vendors and entertainment.

Fredrica Russell, founder and executive director of Chosen Outreach, said she already has 20 vendors coming to give out free goodies to families, and she’s getting more calls every day.

Some of the vendors include food and snacks, the Department for Children and Family Services, The Shepherd’s House and the Jessamine County Public Library.

Nicholasville-Jessamine County Parks and Recreation will be providing inflatables, and the Nicholasville Police Department will be in attendance with its Copsicle truck. 

Russell is a peer specialist, a motivational speaker, and a certified life coach and she is certified in recognizing human trafficking. She is also a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. 

She was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and has been in Nicholasville for nine years. She’s had a difficult life, which is what has led her to where she is today, laboring for the good of the community.

“I was on drugs before in my life, I have sold drugs, I’ve been shot at eight months pregnant. I was physically abused in a relationship for ten years, I’ve been molested, I’ve been homeless, I slept in my car, I lost literally everything that I had. I’ve had to stay at a shelter with my children,” Russell said, telling the story of her trauma. 

Russell has also been admitted to Charter Ridge. She said she knows now that she wasn’t crazy, and in fact she was “perfectly fine.

“There’s nothing wrong with me. I was just going through trauma as a young girl. I had been through experiences that left me trying to figure out Fredrica,” Russell said.

Her life has given her great compassion for women and mothers who have dealt with similar traumas.

“I just feel like my purpose is to try to help other women to be able to come out of it because it’s never about the fall. It’s how you get up,” Russell said, “This is the reason why Chosen Outreach is here. If (God) helped me, I know he can help other people.”

Chosen Outreach was launched in February this year.

Russell said she had been thinking about helping the community for a long time: ““I’m just now launching it this year and moving fourth in it. God gave me a vision, and he’s providing the provision. I had to really have faith and trust that all is well, and ever since I launched it it has been prospering wonderfully.”

Chosen Outreach is a faith-based non-profit organization.

Russell calls it a “street ministry” since the organization has no building or church. 

Russell doesn’t credit herself as much as she credits her board of directors and God.

She calls the organization her “purpose, I feel like it’s my purpose to give back.

One of the organization’s main programs is a women’s recovery and support group called Broken to Beautiful.

“We give out Narcan and Fentanyl test strips and just try to support the women in the area. As a peer specialist and motivational speaker, I just like to get with the women and try to help them stay on the right track,” Russell said.

The non-profit also does a Christmas event to help local families who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas dinner or toys for their children.

Last year was the team’s first time hosting the dinner, and they serviced 20 families.

“Me and my team got together and cooked the food for them; we went and got the blue building at the fairgrounds. We gave all families brand new toys – bikes and everything. I mean, it was really nice, and we’re expecting it to be even better this year. Hopefully, we can get 20 more this year. Every year we should be growing. That’s the vision; that’s the goal,” Russell said.

This event is unlike most other Christmas community giveaways- no one has to be a certain age to receive toys or dinner at this event. 

Russell also partners with several organizations so that if she can’t help someone, she will lead them to someone who can.

“Like if a family has just moved into a home and had been homeless, they need everything for their home,” Russell said.

She has connections for folks in this situation to get the household items they need that most people who haven’t been homeless don’t even think twice about having at their disposal. 

Chosen Outreach is looking for volunteers and donations for the Christmas event. Russell said she accepts monetary donations but also any items like car seats, diapers, and toys as long as they are new and unused. 

She also wants the public to know she is looking for community partners to continue helping people in need, especially people who don’t have the resources to drive to Lexington to get the services they need.

“If we can get together to help these people If we can get some services going on here to help them, we can help Nicholasville. If we come together, it would be better, and I just believe that,” Russell said.

To volunteer, partner with, or donate to Chosen Outreach, email Fredrica Russell at