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A Journey of Hope and Achievement

Established in 2007 as a summer lunch program serving 23 children in the Linden area, The Hardy Center has evolved into a beacon of hope. Today, its multifaceted initiatives, including after-school programs and extracurricular activities, respond to the educational setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the benevolent backing of our donors, the center has implemented a transformative digital learning curriculum, providing online study materials and homework assistance. This strategic effort aims to propel students toward academic excellence, placing them on par with their suburban peers.​


1,400 +

students tutored


1 million

meals served to Columbus children



of our students performed at or

above grade level

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The students of The Hardy Center are a testament to the resilience and diversity that defines the Linden community. despite facing challenges, these young minds, comprised of 90% Black, 5% Caucasian, 3% Hispanic, and 2% Asian students, shine with curiosity and untapped potential. In a community where 30% of families live below the poverty level, these students defy statistical expectations, with 90% achieving grade level proficiency or above through our tutoring program. Their achievements stand as a poignant reminder that, with the right resources and support, these extraordinary young minds can transcend challenges and emerge as beacons of inspiration within their community.

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The Hardy Center serves the Linden area of Columbus, encompassing 5.8 square miles and home to 72,300 people, predominantly comprising the highest proportion of Black or African Americans in Franklin County. Within this community, many families grapple with economic hardships, as a significant percentage live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, relying on public assistance as their sole income and food source. The resulting heightened risk of food insecurity contributes to challenges such as poor nutrition. This environment of elevated violence and racial isolation not only underscores the urgent need for support but also emphasizes the critical role The Hardy Center plays in providing resources and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty and offer a path to a brighter future for the students in this community.

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We provide a comprehensive range of services for the Linden community, offering tutoring, a dynamic digital learning curriculum, engaging extracurricular activities, nutritious meals, and facilitating safe student transportation to and from school. Beyond academics, the center actively participates in community outreach through initiatives like a Thanksgiving food giveaway and a winter coat drive. These efforts underscore the center's commitment to holistic support, addressing not only educational needs but also crucial aspects of well-being for the families it serves.

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The Hardy Center staff comprises a dedicated team committed to the growth and well-being of the students and families in the Linden community. Our staff includes retired teachers, bringing a wealth of educational expertise and a commitment to foundational principles of learning. In addition to these experienced educators, the team includes college tutors—enthusiastic individuals engaged in education curriculums and eager to gain hands-on experience in the community. These college tutors play a crucial role in assisting students with their homework and reclaiming learning opportunities lost during the pandemic. Complemented by community volunteers, including grandparents and devoted residents who intimately know and care for the children, the staff fosters a holistic approach to education.

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Join us in making a lasting impact in the Linden community through The Hardy Center. Your support can be the catalyst for positive change—contributing to academic success, ensuring educational access, fostering community engagement, and providing vital resources for the well-being of our students and families. Every donation, big or small, helps us break the cycle of poverty and empower the next generation. Be a part of this transformative journey; together, we can create a brighter future for the Linden community.

The Hardy Center Timeline

Summer of 2007

Summer of 2008

Summer of 2009

2012 - 2014


The Hardy Center began its first summer children’s program:  

  • Program Director Stephen Garland and six senior church members spear-headed this project. 

  • Supported 23 neighborhood children by providing breakfast and lunch through the Children’s Hunger Alliance.  

  • Engaged children with playground games and movies.  

The Hardy Center improved programming options available for families:  

  • Organized neighborhood carnival with live entertainment, health awareness information, food, games, and prizes.  

  • Served up to 150 children during the summer and expanded the program during the fall to provide 170 children with after-school snacks, dinner, and homework help.  

The Hardy Center expanded its positive impact on the community: 

  • The summer program increased to 300 participating children.  

  • VISTA volunteers, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and Grace Apostolic Church supported program development. 

The gardening project began by converting an unusable 1500 square foot plot located across from the Hardy Center into a viable, productive green space: 

  • The entire space was redesigned and divided into individual plots to grow healthy fruits and vegetables. 

  • Through this project, we guide young students as they work together to build food security in Columbus' urban communities.

The Hardy Center continues to serve the Linden community. Over the years, we have: 

  • served over 1,000,000 meals to children in Columbus.

  • tutored over 1,400 students

  • been showcased in United Way’s 100 years of giving campaign.

  • been awarded Columbus Dispatch’s top community garden.

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