The Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, has just awarded Beech Acres Parenting Center a $25,000 grant toward its newly created Family Emergency Support Fund. The Fund enables Beech Acres to offer urgent financial support for basic material needs and customized, mental and behavioral health services for vulnerable families who are in crisis due to economic hardships.
This grant comes at a critically important time for Greater Cincinnati families as the economy causes an increasing number of parents to be unemployed or underemployed add huge additional stress factors to families. Currently 75% of Beech Acres clients are seeking supportive services and do not have the means to pay even a nominal fee for assistance they desperately need. Over 20% have three or more children.
“We’re finding that families facing economic hardships find it hard to even seek out mental health or family support because they cannot meet even basic material needs,” said Dr. Patrick Nugent, Beech Acres Parenting Center vice president for development. “They cannot focus on improving their family functioning because they are about to be evicted, or heat or electricity have been turned off, or a newborn baby lacks a crib. They may not even be able to keep therapy appointments because they cannot afford a bus token. Public funding does not cover these costs, so our Family Emergency Support Fund vital to the well being of the family.”
Beech Acres Parenting Center supports parents and caregivers in the most challenging and important job of their lives: raising children today who are able to thrive tomorrow. With a mission of Strengthening Families for Children, Beech Acres provided over 17,000 services for children, parents and educators across greater Cincinnati last year in homes, schools and in the community to strengthen parenting and relationship capabilities. For more information, please visit www.beechacres.org.
Anchored by Beech Acres’ Parent Connections Department, Family Emergency Support Fund services will include:
- Basic Material Needs: Financial assistance with emergency needs: transportation, utilities, food, child safety equipment, diapers, and other needs that prevent a family from working on social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
- Parent Connections: A Beech Acres Parent Liaison will conduct an initial assessment, consult with parents and determine which services best address their needs. Based on their findings, they will be enrolled in one or more of the services listed below. If necessary, families will also be referred to other organizations or services providers to meet their needs i.e. the Freestore Foodbank for food.
- Consultation and Coaching: Parents, and sometimes the entire family, will participate in face-to-face meetings with a trained consultant or coach as a more focused and affordable alternative to family therapy. The sessions are customized to the needs of each family and address the specific challenges the parents, couples and/or children are facing. Together, they examine barriers and explore practical solutions. On average, consultation services are offered for 2-3 sessions for a total of approximately 2-4 hours.
- Mediation Services: Divorcing couples, married couples under stress, or families will be brought together with a mediator to improve communication and resolve conflicts. On average, mediation services are offered for 2-3 sessions for a total of approximately 2-4 hours.
- Individual Crisis Intervention Services: This service is a solution-focused means to help children and parents resolve a particular crisis. On average, crisis intervention services are provided through 1-2 sessions for approximately 2-3 hours.
- Parent Peer Support: Beech Acres pairs parents and families with trained parent peer coaches who have successfully overcome similar challenges in their own lives. Peer coaches will assist them in responding to their specific needs. Hours of support vary based on the needs of the family.
It’s no wonder Loveland Elementary School 3rd graders Alex and Hannah Laman love to read…and want others to experience that same joy. Brent and Angela Laman have always read to their children, in fact, ever since Alex and Hannah were babies.
So, when news came out that a lack of funding was going to cause some local school kids to not have access to books, the twins wanted to do something. With support from their parents, they had a nonprofit called ‘Adopt a Book’ up and running in no time.
What a great way to instill a love for giving…by encouraging children to find a way of passing along to others something that gives them so much joy.
Alex and Hannah (and Brent and Angela) have been busy reaching out to their classmates and other community groups. Their house has become a warehouse of sorts with stacks of stories – from Harry Potter to Dr. Seuss. Over 2,800 books have been donated to Adopt a Book so far; and Adopt a Book has in turn distributed 1,300 books to children through area organizations.
If you have children’s books that you would like to donate, please contact them at: email@example.com. You can also drop books off at Beech Acres Parenting Center in Anderson (where Brent facilitates some groups) – 6881 Beechmont Ave; 45230.
Such a great project. Repair Affair is People Working Cooperatively’s (PWC) annual spring volunteer event, providing home repairs and modifications that enable low-income, elderly and residents with disabilities to remain safely in their homes. For a day individuals, businesses and community groups help a PWC client (with supervision from a trained professional) with home repairs that would otherwise be unaffordable.
Our community is so giving that this year 800 people signed up to help 135 PWC clients. In fact an extra day had to be added to accommodate everybody’s generosity.
Repair Affair was developed by People Working Cooperatively in 1983 as a free outreach program to help homeowners who are often the most vulnerable to keep their homes safe and habitable. Presented by Home Depot and sponsored by the City of Cincinnati, the event was held across the Tri-State in greater Cincinnati, northern Kentucky and Indiana.
Would you like to help? PWC also has a fall event called Prepare Affair where volunteers will help people with services from raking leaves to cleaning gutters and other small winter preparation tasks.
Working with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, I am so fortunate to be continually inspired by the actions of those with whom I work and get to know. Lois Fischer is the office manager of the Clippard Family YMCA. She is someone with a huge heart and a passion for kids.
You can imagine the devastation for her – and her family – about five years ago when they tragically lost Andrew far too soon. Still in high school, Andrew loved life. He loved to learn and to share, to explore and to experience. All of those things he did through camp…
And so, through camp, Lois and her family want to carry on Andrew’s legacy. They created Andrew’s Kids Scholarship Fund to give kids in their area whose families otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it, those life changing moments at YMCA Camp Ernst. This year with the help of the YMCA, family and friends, they raised enough to provide 14 children with scholarships. I was there on the night that Lois handed on the certificates.
Below is a group photo (of those who could be there) and a video I created about it.
Congratulations to Javele Jackson, a senior at Western Hills University High School who also spends after school time at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati’s (BGCGC) US Bank Club.
Javele found out at the BGCGC’s annual Achievement Luncheon that he was selected as Youth of the Year for his contributions to his family, school, the community and the organization. And what an extra thrill it was for him to have received his award from Nick Lachey!
The youngest of five children, Javele is someone to whom his cousins look up. He speaks to them about having a positive self-image, the negatives of drug use, and taking care of oneself by eating right and exercising. Javele is not just a kind person in the Club, but also at Lee Chapel A.M.E Church where he serves as a Junior Usher and fundraiser. He played basketball at the Club and school until he hurt his knee, but uses his leadership ability to help the younger kids with their basketball fundamentals. Javele said that the BCGCG is “a place where the staff cares about your well being and where there are resources and opportunities that you can’t get off the streets.” He plans on attending Mt. St. Joseph College to pursue a career as an athletic trainer and nutritionist.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati provide FREE daily meal and afterschool and summer programming for 10,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18 at ten locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The organization provides a safe, positive environment focused on enrichment activities that support high school graduation, fitness-for-life and community service.