Food pantry opens
Catholic Charities’ Helping Hands of St. Louis opened its doors to a new client choice food pantry July 1. The pantry will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Previously, clients who came to the Helping Hands’ pantry received pre-packaged bags with the same food items for each family.
“A lot of clients would receive food they wouldn’t use or their family didn’t need,” said Sue Shrewsbery, staff member at Helping Hands. The food pantry provides an average of 200 bags of groceries each month.
The new format provides clients with a grocery store atmosphere and allows clients to choose food based on their individual or family’s needs.
The pantry will be divided into nutritional categories – grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats and combination foods/miscellaneous. Clients will also have the opportunity to pick items dependent on household size.
Helping Hands has partnered with the Toledo Lucas County Health Department for the creation of the client choice pantry. The Health Department donated shopping carts, nutritional pamphlets and recipes.
Catholic Charities also operates a client choice pantry in Mansfield, called the H.O.P.E. Pantry. “The client choice format provides people with dignity because they are able to choose what is best for themselves and their family,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Rodney Schuster.
At its May meeting, the Ottawa County Community Foundation Board of Trustees approved grants totaling $26,819 to a number of projects and programs.
On June 18, a Grant Award Breakfast was held to present the 23 approved grants to the following projects and programs:
• Ability Center Ottawa County, outdoor recreation activities for disabled through “A Day at the Range”;
• American Red Cross of Ottawa County, scholarships for Babysitter Training;
• Bethel United Brethren Church, modular stage for use by programs at “The Block” in Elmore;
• Black Swamp Conservancy, kiosk at Scheef Point Nature Preserve;
• Camp Sabroske, kitchen equipment in remodeled lodge;
• Firelands Positive People design & printing of promotional brochures;
• Habitat for Humanity of Ottawa County, construction of a home for a family in need;
• Ohio Buckeye National M.S. Society, short-term assistance, equipment, home modifications and respite services;
• Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, automatic gate for self-guided auto tour route;
• Ottawa County 4-H Program; camp scholarships;
• Ottawa County Board of D.D., six transmitters to expand Project Lifesaver;
• Ottawa County CASA, obtain domain name and develop a website;
• Ottawa County Museum, creation of a staff workroom and uniform preservation display cases;
• Riders Unlimited, Inc., handicapped-accessible viewing entrance;
• Schedel Arboretum & Gardens, establish Summer Science Camp;
• Church of Truth Ministries, food for disabled and veterans;
• The First Tee of Lake Erie, youth scholarships;
• Salvation Army, school supplies and book bags for low-income students;
• United Way Ottawa County, production of Ottawa County Resource Directory.
Grants are funded from the earnings from several unrestricted funds held by the Ottawa County Community Foundation including the Armburster Fund, Peterson-Blackburn Fund, Rhiel Fund, Rofkar Fund, Stensen Memorial Fund, and Theirwechter Fund.
For more information, visit www.ottawaccf.org.
The Stranahan Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to Black Swamp Conservancy.
A portion of the donation is a one-for-one challenge grant, requiring the Conservancy to raise matching funds from new supporters or increased contributions from current donors. These funds will be used to support the Conservancy’s annual operations.
In order to receive $5,000 of the grant funds, the Conservancy must raise an additional $5,000 in donations from new supporters or increased gifts from current donors. The Conservancy has until the end of the year to meet the grant match challenge.
The funds from the grant will be used to help pay for the day-to-day expenses of running the Conservancy. The costs include employee salaries, land protection expenses, stewardship costs, public education programs and conservation defense insurance.
For more information on how to help the Conservancy reach the challenge portion of the Stranahan Foundation grant, call 419-872-5263 or visit www.blackswamp.org.
Black Swamp Conservancy is a regional land trust whose mission is to permanently protect natural habitats and family farms for the benefit of current and future generations. The Conservancy’s service area includes 16 counties in Northwest Ohio. To date, the Conservancy protects more than 13,300 acres of agricultural lands, woods, prairies and wetlands.
Patrol seeking votes
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is looking for votes in the online “Best Cruiser Contest” being conducted by the American Association of State Troopers.
Through July 15, visit the AAST Facebook page and cast a vote for the best looking state police/highway patrol cruiser. The photo receiving the most “likes” will be featured on the cover of AAST’s national newsletter, “Trooper Connection.”
To vote, visit www.facebook.com/StateTroopers. To view a gallery of photos detailing the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s vehicle history visit http://tinyurl.com/l23pg4b.
Golf outing set
The fourth annual Thanks for the Mammories Golf Outing and Putt Putt Fundraiser to benefit the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen will be held Saturday, July 12 at Bedford Hills Golf Club, 4500 Jackman Rd. in Temperance, Michigan.
Registration will begin at 7 a.m. Golf will begin at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start with a scramble format. Putt Putt will start at 10 a.m.
The fee is $85 per golfer, which includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, range balls, prizes, coffee and bagels at registration plus lunch. The cost to Putt Putt is $25 per person, which includes lunch.
The lunchtime silent auction will include a number of prizes including BGSU football tickets, Cleveland Indians tickets and a chance to watch batting practice from the field, a pink KitchenAid stand mixer, a two-night stay at Disney World and park tickets and more.
For more info, contact Melissa Cogar at 419-245-4712 or visit www.facebook.com/thanksforthemammories.
Reducing shelter barriers
As of July 1, four local shelters are implementing efforts to reduce barriers for homeless families moving into permanent housing,
The efforts are made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Toledo Community Foundation through the ProMedica Advocacy Fund.
Recipient shelters include Catholic Charities’ La Posada Family Emergency Shelter, Family House, Aurora Project and Bethany House. The grant will be used to assist with utility costs, first month’s rent and other challenges that may hinder families from moving into permanent housing.
Of the 381 families that were housed in thee shelters last year, more than 150 faced barriers that delayed their transition into permanent housing by more than a week. More than 80 percent of the families had children under the age of 18.
“This is an example of agencies coming together to find a way to best serve people in our community while reducing redundancies, cost and inefficiencies,” said Rodney Schuster, executive director of Catholic Charities. “We are very excited for this partnership and look forward to success and positive results.”
Private school scholarships
The second application window opened July 1 for two state-funded scholarship programs – the EdChoice and Income-Based Scholarship programs, which help eligible families to send their children to the school of their choice.
“These scholarships provide life-changing opportunities for thousands of families across Ohio,” said School Choice Ohio Senior Director of Programs Sarah Pechan Driver. “More than 20,000 students applied in the first application window for these two programs combined, and there are still plenty of scholarships available for interested families who apply during this second application window.”
Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship Program provides scholarships worth up to $5,000 to students who are attending, entering or assigned to the state’s lowest-rated public schools to be used toward tuition at the participating private school of their choice. In the program’s first application window, which closed May 9, the Ohio Department of Education received 18,228 applications.
The Income-Based Scholarship Program makes scholarships available to Ohio’s working-class families from any school district to send their children to the participating private school of their choice. This year, incoming kindergarten and first-grade students from families with income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible to apply for the scholarships that are worth up to $4,250. Already, 3,209 students applied for this program during its first application window.
Once a family determines their child is eligible for one of the scholarships, they will go through the regular application process at a participating private school. If accepted, the school will apply for the scholarship on the family’s behalf. The second application window closes Aug. 1.
For more information, call School Choice Ohio at 1-800-673-5876 or visit the organization’s website at www.scohio.org.
A portion of Isaac Streets Drive in Oregon will be closed through Friday, July 18 at 5 p.m. to permit Smith Paving & Excavating, Inc., to remove and replace the existing concrete pavement on the road as part of the city’s 2014 Roadway Improvement Program.
The work zone, which will be in effect between Dustin Road and Munding Drive, will be closed to traffic. Construction on the entire project is expected to be completed by the end of September.
For more information, call the City of Oregon Director of Public Service at 419-698-7047.
The Salvation Army-Port Clinton Service is seeking volunteers to ring the bell for the “Christmas in July” Red Kettle Campaign July 25, 26 and 27 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Locations include Bassett’s, the Jet Express Port Clinton and five Put-in-Bay locations. All proceeds will help support the Port Clinton Salvation Army Service Unit.
To volunteer or make a donation, call Director Maureen Saponari at 419-732-2769.
Pay raises OK’d
Pay raises approved recently by the Ottawa County Commissioners for non-union employees will cost the county about $125,000 annually in wages and $20,000 in retirement benefits, according to Dennis Jensen, county administrator.
The commissioners approved raises of 3 percent or 50 cents, which ever is greater, to go into effect with the pay period beginning June 29.
About 150 employees whose wages are drawn from the county general fund are affected.
Employees hired after Jan. 1 of this year aren’t receiving an increase.