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12 Days of Giving for the CRC!

Your dollars are having a positive impact on neighbors’ lives. When you make a tax-deductible contribution to the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, you are donating to an organization whose mission is to “respond to the needs of our diverse community to foster safer, healthier and empowered lives.” During these final 12 days of the year, we’ll share some stories of how your dollars are changing lives. If you’d like to make a contribution to the CRC before the end of this tax, please click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka

DAY 1 (Dec. 19): Every day a group of students from Clinton Elementary School walk from the school yard to Kids Club 3 for afterschool programming at Columbus Mennonite Church.  The church is located about two blocks away from the school and, unless the weather is bad, the kids walk it every day.

After Thanksgiving we received a call from a parent whose daughter had broken her toe and was now in a full leg cast and using a walker.  The parent was concerned about how her daughter would get to Kids Club every day.  The Clintonville CRC was able to provide a wheelchair so staff could pick the student up at her classroom after school and push her the two blocks to Kids Club.education

An unintended benefit of this conscientious decision by CRC staff to help a student and family with this situation is that other Kids Club students are seeing first hand some of the challenges a person in a wheelchair might face.  It’s been inspiring to see how excited they are to help this student with whatever she needs.  They offer to carry her walker while she’s in the wheelchair, put her coat and book bag away, open doors, and in general assist with anything she needs.

Because of the support from Clintonville CRC, this student continued to receive the high quality afterschool experience that her family needs, while at the same time teaching other students about helping others.

Kids Club, serving about 150 students this year, is possible because of generous contributions from friends such as you!

DAY TWO (Dec. 20) —

A Clintonville resident was facing a dilemma.

It was time to move, as her situation changed and she needed a smaller home.

But she also had joined the Village in the Ville, a new network of adults 50 and older who socialize with each other and support one another in various ways. Membership in the Village, operated through the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, also gives individuals and couples access to a database of vetted services, connection to a vibrant array of social activities and more.

However, the Village concept is built on remaining neighborhood-based, as members interact in a cohesive group. And this member did not want to lose that feeling of community, and support, she had enjoyed this past year through the CRC’s Village in the Ville.

So one of the most important demands the village in ville logoresident placed on her Realtor was her new home had to be within the Village in the Ville geographic boundaries – primarily the same Clintonville borders recognized by the Clintonville Area Commission.

Last week at a Village dinner, the member shared that she had sold her home and found a new residence within the Village boundaries. The Village has been a really great help and I’ve really enjoyed being a member, she said.

These types of community-enriching activities, which evolve as neighborhoods change, are at the heart of a settlement house’s mission. Thanks to your support now and in the future, the CRC will continue to explore new ways to make the neighborhood a better place for everyone!


DAY THREE (Dec. 21):

Sally, not her real name, was born with significant developmental disabilities.

She lived with her mother and father for most of her adult life, but when her parents both passed one soon after the other, her two brothers had a difficult decision to make.

They loved Sally a great deal, but both live on the East Coast and they did not want to rip her out of the community she grew up in. Sally is minimally able to shop, socialize and pay her own bills. However, she does not have the capacity to navigate many of the governmental systems including Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security/etc.

A brother contacted the CRC, and discovered he could secure some support from a Clintonville-Beechwold shelterCommunity Resources Center caseworker. The staff member is able to help Sally maneuver through the difficult and confusing forms, and she also has helped Sally engage with other neighbors and seniors through some of the CRC’s Senior Supportive Services programs.

One highlight of this relationship is the staff member’s ability to get Sally signed up with a new medical insurance carrier after a previous one went out of business. The new plan enables Sally to see the doctors who have developed relationships and a comfort level with after many years of service.

Supporting the CRC with your financial gift means neighbors such as Sally will continue to live independently and safely in their own homes, even when relatives do not live nearby. It’s easy to make a gift: just click here – http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka


DAY FOUR (Dec. 22):

When thinking about the impact an organization such as the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center has on a community, one aspect often overlooked is the opportunity the agency provides for neighbors to volunteer and give back.

Time and time again, volunteers with the CRC find their lives being improved as they reach out beyond their day to day experience and work – often side by side with others – to make a positive difference in their community,

For Day Four of our 12 Days of Giving, here’s a reflection by one of our dedicated volunteers:

To be a volunteer at CRC is to participate in community building. I participate in the program for those in need which provides food, clothing, toiletries and some medicine to those in need.

This is rewarding for me and I get to work kind, generous and dedicated people. I also participate in volunteeringthe CRC social programs including the Third Thursday events and the OktoberCrest event.  Here again I get to socialize and work with some outstanding and fun people. 

I have participated in the In Motion Movement program for those over 50 and have led a couple of sessions. All of this has bee very rewarding for me in many ways. 

These are a few of the programs at CRC. I am sure you can find a program to like and support.


To help ensure that CRC remains a viable and thriving option for residents seeking high quality volunteer opportunities, you can make an online donation by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka


DAY FIVE (Dec. 23):

Dec. 23

Earlier this year, a Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center staff member was introduced to a woman whose life seemed like one step forward, two steps backward.

A single mom raising four children, she was working one full-time job as well as a second part-time position so she could feed, clothe and support her kids. To supplement her income, she was invited to visit the CRC’s Choice Food Pantry and also bring home fresh produce weekly thanks to the CRC’s partnership with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Seeing some relief from her grocery bill, she was able to keep up with utility bills and those unanticipated costs that always arise when raising children.

While she was on the verge of turning the thank-you-note-gifts-of-kindness-editedcorner on her monthly budget, she noticed that driving her car began to feel strange. She soon discovered the vehicle needed new tires and brakes to operate safely once again.

With winter coming, and neither one of her jobs on a bus line, her situation quickly became desperate. Then the CRC staff told her about the Columbus Foundation’s Gifts of Kindness grants, which will provide emergency funds for a one-time situation to help an individual or family avoid a crisis that could be difficult to rebound from.

A CRC staff member secured estimates, successfully applied for the grant and worked with the mom to get her car in safe running operation once again. They even found a mechanic who, when he found a couple of other minor issues, repaired those free of charge because he was sympathetic to the family’s situation.

Attached is an adorable thank-you note from the family, expressing their sincere gratitude for the community – through the CRC and the Columbus Foundation – supporting them in their desperate time of need.

CRC’s 12 Days of Giving – Day SIX:

 With a nod to Clement Clarke Moore, here’s one CRC volunteer’s reflection on her positive experiences in her own special seasonal way

A CRC Volunteers’ Christmas Eve

T’was the night before Christmas, one light on in a house.

A volunteer at the door, quiet as a mouse.


Soon others arrive at the shelter aware

That gifts, food and donations soon would be there.


Clintonville is asleep, snuggled up in their beds

While CRC volunteers help prepare Santa’s sled.


They spoke not a word but went straight to their work

Packing toys, food and clothes from donations incurred.


For seniors, for children, and singles’ gifts, too.

Even the Families’ Wish Lists do come true.


They pack the gift baskets working hard on their shifts.

And delight in delivering CRC’s gifts.


They work at the auction held toward the year’s end

For the holiday fundraiser by Mozart’s and Friends.


Delivering toys is something they did

To stock the whole warehouse – Firefighters for Kids.


CRC volunteers, having helped those in need

Sneak back to the house, turn the light off and leave.


They were heard to exclaim as they drove out of sight,

Merry Christmas to all, volunteers say “Goodnight!”


–Michele Kenny


DAY SEVEN (Dec. 25):

Dec. 25

As many people in the community celebrate Christmas today, countless gifts are being exchanged and opened.

A couple of CRC staff members, both part of the Kinship Care team which serves families throughout Franklin County, get to experience that “Santa feeling” many times during the year. Thanks to your support of this important service, hundreds of children are allowed to thrive in better situations.

The Kinship Care program works with families in which a parent is unable to care for a child, so another caregiver – often a relative such as a grandparent or aunt and uncle – steps in to provide that loving support. There are times when those new caregivers aren’t yet equipped with the proper resources to raise the children, and so the CRC can match families with items and services to help the children flourish.

One grandmother, who welcomed a couple of grandchildren under her care, suffered from some health issues and also had limited income to support the grandkids. CRC supporters rallied to provide clothing, food, diapers and toys for the children – and one even supplied a couple of Kenny G CDs after learning the music was relaxing and helped the grandmother deal with her severe headaches.

Another woman needed to get her grandson, who had just moved in with her, clothingprepared to attend school. She needed a birth certificate and school supplies, among other things. The CRC helped her with those things so the grandson could focus on doing well in school.

“I am such a ‘lucky girl!’ “ wrote one of our Kinship Care staff members. “ I get to bring your resources to families in need and see how much they appreciate your gifts. … I can’t thank you enough for the food, clothing, toys, books, bus passes, school supplies, soaps, bedding, etc. You help so many people in need and I appreciate you so much!”


To support the efforts of our Kinship Care program, visit our website (http://clintonvillecrc.org/crc/) and click on the donate button! Merry Christmas!


Dec. 26

On Day 8 of our “12 Days of Giving,” a CRC manager shares one of the experiences that motivates her to be so committed to this work in our community.

The huge holiday distribution weekend at the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center is always a lot of work, balanced with many, many rewards.

Along with regular work, our staff — and hundreds of volunteers and supporters – purchase, prepare and deliver gifts to 100 “adopted” families and 250 seniors, host a Secret Santa Shop for children and a social gathering for our neighbors who are alone.

This was no different this year, when on Dec. 10 I was approached my one of Holiday Food Bag volunteers with concerns about one the seniors on his delivery route. The volunteer explained that the person was under many stressors and, with the holidays approaching, shared some indicators that she was having thoughts of harming herself.

I proceeded to thank the volunteer for bring this to my attention and I then developed a plan of action to assist this neighbor.

Not only did the CRC deliver two bags of self-stable food and a frozen chicken to this person, but we came up with resources to help with these feelings and a plan to keep this individual safe. Just the connection with the CRC and the volunteer, countering those feelings of isolation that can be common for seniors especially during the holidays, made a big difference in this situation.

The volunteer reported that this experience gave him and his family “special meaning” to this holiday season — and he asked me for a hug!

This kind of work, and these sorts of experiences, would not be possible without your ongoing generous support! Thank you, and if you are looking for a way to make a tax-deductible contribution before the of the year, you can mail a check to the CRC at 3222 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43202 or click on the following link: http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka



DAY 9 — Dec. 27

A caseworker for the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, specifically its countywide Personal Finance Management program for seniors, began working with a couple who were both in their 90s.

Let’s allow her to share the story:

“Mel and Julie (not their real names) continue to live independently. They don’t have any children, but with the support of other agencies they have been able to stay in their home.

“They both have some senior-pfmcognitive impairment and were pretty hesitant to allow me to help them with their finances. After a little rapport was built, they allowed me to review their situation and I discovered they had misunderstood changes made to their insurance coverage and had unintentionally cancelled their Medicare supplement plans.

“I was able to assist them in rejoining their supplement plan. This already has saved them thousands of dollars, as they both ended up in the hospital for various reasons and required temporary stays at a skilled nursing facility.”

Many people, as they enter their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s, are able to live independent lives when they have the necessary support from their families, neighbors and/or communities. The CRC, through its Senior Supportive Services program, can provide some of that support with its medical transportation, grocery store trips, personal finance management and lots more.

If you would like to see these kinds of services continue in your community, and live in a place that honors its seniors and helps them thrive, please consider an end-of-year donation to the CRC at 3222 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43202 or by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka

If you know of someone who would benefit from these services, please send us an email at info@ClintonvilleCRC.org.


The CRC’s 12 Days of Giving: DAY 10 (Dec. 28) —
Today’s insight into the power of your giving comes from one of the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center’s dedicated volunteers, who was moved to share this story after a recent experience. She titled it: “We Are Not as Separate as We Think.”
“I was thoroughly enjoying a gentleman’s company as we drove to his doctor’s appointment. He had obvious physical limitations; however, his charming personality didn’t dwell on that. He was optimistic, informative and engaging.
“The conversation shifted to holiday lights and how beautiful light displays are. His energy shifted to kid-like, as his eyes twinkled, talking about seeing lights at night. His excitement was contagious!
“This man helped me volunteeringbetter understand why he was in such deep gratitude about the lights. It isn’t a religious reason like you might think.
“He is a German and was a child raised in that country during World War II. The safety protocol was to have ALL lights out throughout his town — both inside and outside the houses. Total darkness!
“He explained that “then it isn’t as easy for the “enemy” to know where the town/buildings were.” I was trying to imagine the trauma of growing up in a war-torn environment, bombings, sirens, death, uncertainty, etc. Of course I fell short (of being able to imagine), but was feeling extremely sad for him.
“He said his whole childhood he could only imagine what his town would look like with lights twinkling in the dark, but didn’t get to experience that until later in life.
“Then it hit me!!!! My dad served in WWII as a crew member on a 247 Bomber. He was one of those people dropping the bombs!
“Immediate guilt took over me! Sure my dad was serving his country and following orders, but this nice man I have met and enjoyed in conversation was at the other end of those bombs, invasions and unimaginable terror — along with his neighbors, family and friends.
“It is by grace that he survived and I was able to extend an apology for him having to grow up in such a horrible situation. I realize this simple act doesn’t change his childhood, however, I am thrilled that he survived and that I was able to meet this extraordinary man.
“You see, we are not as separate as we think we are. We are one human family with many connections. Volunteering with the CRC allows me the opportunity to realize this important reality.”
During these final 12 days of the year, we are sharing some stories of how your dollars are changing lives. If you’d like to make a contribution to the CRC before the end of this tax, please send a check to 3222 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43202 or click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka

The CRC’s 12 Days of Giving — DAY 11 (Dec. 29):

Most of us strive to be in a comfortable, stable situation: steady income, good health, solid roof over our heads and food on the table.

As children are added to our lives, the pressures of providing those things increase exponentially.

So when the storms come, and they almost always will, it’s important to have an effective support structure around us so we can weather the tough times and get through them.

For a growing number educationof people, the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center can be that structure. The support can come in many ways.

Recently, Stacy (not her real name) assumed primary care for a young relative. While her life was fairly stable, Stacy knew this was the best decision for the little girl.

But there was a problem. Stacy worked full-time and needed to continue doing so, despite the fact her niece would be let out of elementary school several hours before Stacy’s work day was finished.

High quality afterschool programming for elementary school students is difficult to come by, with spots filled months ahead of time. But Stacy heard about the CRC’s Kids Club program, which fortunately had an opening.

The sliding scale fee (based on family income) and the convenience (staff meet students at the school and walk as a group to the Kids Club location) were just what Stacy needed. What she has been most pleased with, however, is the excellent programming – especially for a little girl whose life had been stirred up.

She quickly learned that the child loves the staff and “playground time.” Stacy has shared that she loves the enriching programming as well as the social interaction with students in other grades from other schools.

She certainly is thankful for CRC’s Kids Club and the important structure it has provided as her family has become accustomed to its new situation.


Programs such as Kids Club would be impossible without your support. During these final 12 days of the year, we’ve shared stories of how your dollars are changing lives. If you’d like to make a contribution to the CRC before the end of this tax, please send a check to 3222 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43202 or click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/hzj8bka


CRC’s 12 Days of Giving — Day 12 (Dec. 30):
We received a heart-warming voicemail a few days ago, and it just needs to be shared with you as we simply could not serve the community the way we do were it not for your generous support. Thanks for believing in the CRC and the work we do! Happy New Year!



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