Mar 21

Quick hits of gratitude:

We are reminded time and time again that this is a generous community, and the kind acts and extra efforts to make this corner of the world a better place are truly a blessing to many.

Indeed, the CRC is serving more people than ever — and in more diverse ways — than at any time in its 45-year history. In 2016, for example, more than 8,000 unique individuals visited our Choice Food Pantry. With some of those folks visiting once and others using the pantry and other Family Services multiple times, the CRC shared 450,000 meals with neighbors in need.

Keeping up with that growth simply could not happen without the many partnerships we are blessed with here.

The following are a few partners who stepped up in a big way the past couple of weeks:

Bob Erlanger and his team — Thanks to Allstate volunteer Robert Erlanger for being a positive force for change in our community. Bob gave his time and enabled us to receive a $1,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands in the Community grant. The foundation supports the causes that Allstate agency owners, financial specialists and employees care about most by providing Helping Hands in the Community grants to nonprofits where they volunteer their time to bring out the good in their communities.

Crossfit Clintonville — For the second year, this intense local business is using its annual “Murph Challenge” to raise money for two causes — the Michael Murphy Scholarship Foundation and the CRC! Register for this challenge — which consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and another 1-mile run — and test your limits while raising money for the CRC! The event takes place here in Clintonville on Saturday, May 27. For more information and to register, visit http://crossfitclintonville.com/about-us/community/.

Instant Signs — We appreciate the extra efforts of Rob Rosati and his team at Instant Signs, 4578 N. High St., for preparing new outdoor signs at the CRC’s two locations: 3222 N. High St. and 14. W. Lakeview Ave. The agency continues to seek new ways to show off its colorful new logo, created by Proforma Buckeye, and Rob’s staff did a great job in producing new signs for the CRC.

Whetstone High School Key Club — Thanks to this new but growing service club, sponsored by the Northern Columbus Kiwanis Club, for helping to put together 200 “Welcome Bags” for the CRC’s Kinship Care Program.

As part of a $7,000 grant given to the CRC by the Kiwanis Club of Columbus, the Kinship program will be able to present each new family with a reusable bag (donated by Proforma Buckeye) filled with special gifts and resources to aid the Kinship family.

Thanks to everyone who stepped up to share their caring for others in the community!

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Mary Rodgers — Many thanks to this leader of the Clintonville Historical Society for attending this month’s Breakfast Club and sharing stories of the community’s history with our seniors!

Peanut and Little Miss — These two furry friends, and their generous owner, last week stopped by the food pantry to donate 300 pounds of cat litter. The contribution was a match for all of the litter that was donated during a special challenge earlier this year. It often can be difficult for neighbors-in-need to keep up with their many bills, especially pet-related, and so support such as this can go a long way to improving the quality of life for people living on the edge. Thanks to everyone who donated!

The Family Services Team — You might think February is a slower month around our Choice Food Pantry and material assistance efforts, but that was not the case last month! With the numbers just recently tallied, we served 687 unduplicated individuals during the 24 days we were open, with those folks making 1,266 visits through our front door. That’s nearly 53 per day, with 30% of the people we serve younger than 18 and 18% older than 60. Overall, with your support and their hard work, 34,605 meals were served through the pantry!

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DSCC Child Development Center — This facility on the East Side donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food to the CRC’s Choice Food Pantry!

BESA — This fantastic organization, which mobilizes volunteers and coordinates all sorts of services to make the community a better place, teamed up with the Columbus Foundation for the first-ever Columbus Kindness Month that was bigger and better than expected. According to information provided by BESA, more than 10,000 acts of kindness and more than $10,000 was donated to the effort.

Our Awesome Volunteers — It takes a village to unload 10,670 pounds of food delivered by the MidOhio Foodbank, which is why the CRC is so thankful to the dozens of volunteers who came to the Choice Food Pantry last Tuesday night to move potatoes, eggs, grapes, cabbage, lettuce, apples and various bakery items into the CRC. Most of those items were in the hands of 200+ families Wednesday night and late Thursday morning — thanks to everyone who helps in this weekly effort!

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American Chemical Society — Collected nearly 1,500 nonperishable food items, donated to the CRC’s Choice Food Pantry;

Nathan, of Urban Oasis Landscaping — contributed his time and labor to make a critical repair to the flooring at the CRC’s pantry building;

Tabletop Game Café — Thanks to Tabletop and its customers, dozens of new and used board games, puzzles and flashcards were donated to the CRC’s Kids Club, Kinship Care program and Family Services; and

Weiland’s Market — Customers at this Clintonville cornerstone business continue to donate clean plastic bags, which Weiland’s is kind enough to collect so they can be utilized by visitors to the CRC’s Choice Food Pantry.