The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


Emergency help offered
WSOS Community Action Inc., has announced that new funding for emergency food and shelter programs is available to Sandusky County organizations that provide emergency food and shelter programs.

A total of $56,747 has been awarded to Sandusky County by the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board, which is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. WSOS distributes the funds locally.

A local board comprised of community agencies will recommend who receives these funds. Chosen organizations must be private, voluntary, non-profit organizations or units of government; must have an accounting system; must practice non-discrimination; must have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if a private, volunteer organization, must have a voluntary board.

Public or private volunteer organizations interested in applying for these funds to provide emergency food and shelter assistance should contact Tony Lindenberger at 419-334-8911 no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 24.

Heating aid available
January’s temperatures and snowstorms have kept the staff of the Emergency Home Energy Assistance (EHEAP) at WSOS Community Action Commission Inc. fully occupied in the past month, resulting in assistance to 456 households in the WSOS four-county service area.

EHEAP provides income-eligible families in danger of losing their heat with one-time assistance with their heating bills to resolve their heating emergency. Another program, Home Energy Assistance program (HEAP), provides similar assistance to families who are not in an emergency situation. WSOS provides applications to residents who request them.

The deadline for applications for both HEAP and EHEAP is March 31.

WSOS Basic Needs Specialist Tony Lindenberger said that residents who apply for regular HEAP and who may have questions about their applications should contact the state office directly at 1-800-282-0880, or visit

Lindenberger also suggests that propane customers pay attention to their tank gauges before they seek assistance to avoid running out of propane. Residents should make an appointment for EHEAP assistance as soon as they see they are within a 10-day supply of propane and/or fuel oil. EHEAP will pledge up to $950, and if more is needed, the participant will have to make a co-payment as part of the application process. If a tank is empty, the propane company may charge for a leak test, which will require a co-payment, and that may delay the application.

Appointments are required for EHEAP applicants. To make an appointment for EHEAP help, in Wood County call 419-353-7407; in Ottawa County, call 419-734-2652; in Seneca County, call 419-435-4884; or in Sandusky County, call 419-334-5126.

Cast members sought
Oregon Community Theatre will hold auditions for the comedy, “Ladies of Harmony,” March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fassett Auditorium, 3025 Starr Ave., Oregon.

Six men are needed to fill the roles of the "ladies" of the funeral committee. Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script provided at the audition.

Performance dates will be April 24-25 and May 1-3. For more information, call 419-691-1398 or visit

Four-star honors
Charity Navigator, the largest and most utilized independent national charity evaluator, has awarded United Way of Greater Toledo a 4-star rating for the second consecutive year, recognizing the organization as outperforming the majority of nonprofits in America in respect to fiscal responsibility.

Less than a quarter of charities evaluated have received a 4-star rating, the highest rating offered by Charity Navigator, and only 18 percent have ever received it in two consecutive years. Currently, only two charities in Toledo, 35 charities in Ohio, and 32 United Ways nationwide are ranked 4-star.

“We consistently strive to be accountable and transparent in all of our operations. We know donors have choices and want to invest their money wisely, and we are grateful the community recognizes our trustworthiness,” said Bill Kitson, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Toledo.

“We are extremely proud of our second consecutive 4-star rating,” Kitson continued, “and we continue to make the best decisions possible in order to keep advancing the common good in our community.”

United Way of Greater Toledo serves Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa counties. To learn more about the difference United Way is making in your community, visit

Safety Net fund created
The Toledo Community Foundation has created a new fund to be used exclusively for grants for food, clothing and shelter assistance to non-profit groups that provide these basic services to Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

Donations to the fund by local contributors will be matched 50 cents for every dollar (up to $2,000) to support basic needs services.

“Challenges in the economy have started to take a significant toll on our community’s most vulnerable people, including those who are unemployed, have lost jobs or who work in jobs that don’t cover basic living expenses,” said Keith Burwell, foundation president.

To ensure that basic needs assistance is responsive to community need, $200,000 has been designated so far to support food, clothing and shelter services. Individual donations to the fund will be matched with 50 cents for every dollar donated (up to $2,000) to support basic needs services. An expedited grant process has been devised so money can be made available quickly. One hundred percent of the funds collected will be granted for basic needs in 2009.

United Way of Greater Toledo is collaborating with the foundation in this effort.

To learn more or to donate directly to the fund, visit or call 419-2




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