Non-profits participate in Scioto Gives

By Joseph Pratt

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Dozens upon dozens of non-profit organizations work around the clock, and around the calendar, to make the area a better place. From assisting homeless people to homeless pets, from education supplements to artistic opportunities; the area is bountiful with dedicated locals committed to the betterment of our home.

It is that time of year again for many of these organizations to reap the benefits of matched donations, thanks to the staff at the Scioto Foundation. The Scioto Foundation offers many opportunities for community development, from scholarships to watching over endowment funds. They will be matching incoming donations to their registered non-profit organization accounts this year with the annual Scioto Gives event.

The Scioto Gives event is an annual fund raising drive that is held through the Scioto Foundation. The Foundation encourages and entices donations by offering a match to funds. They recently received a $10,000 donation that has raised their match price to now offer $40,000 in matching funds.

Twenty-six organizations will be partaking in the Scioto Gives event this year on Oct. 22. Some of the non-profit organizations dedicated to helping those who need help the most include Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets, the Animal Welfare League of Scioto County, Operation Safety Net, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Scioto and Adams Counties, Potter’s House Ministries, and the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.

Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets provides a home for cats and dogs that have been abandoned, often abused, and many times found injured or ill. Sierra’s mission statement is threefold: to provide shelter for abandoned, unwanted and often abused companion dogs and cats; to provide an affordable spay/neuter program for dogs and cats of low-income families; and to teach humane principles for the prevention of animal cruelty.

Sierra’s Haven opened its doors in 2006, assisting 43 cats and 32 dogs. Since then, Sierra’s Haven has sheltered 9,357 cats and dogs, adopted 5,436 of these animals into homes, transferred 2,656 adult dogs and puppies to Rescue Waggin and 122 cats and dogs to other agencies, has returned 86 pets to their owners, and has spayed or neutered 12,728 cats and dogs.

Another animal welfare agency to compete for funding is the Animal Welfare League of Scioto County.

For nearly 30 years, the organization has been providing reduced rates for pet care needs, such as vaccinations, spay/neutering, deworming, food, and more.

The program is for individuals who fall in a low-income category. The spay/neuter surgeries are served at a reduced rate and are also paid in half by the Animal Welfare League, which is accomplished by membership fees and generous donors.

“This just allows people an opportunity to take care of their pets and ensure their health at a reduced rate,” Jackie Servidea, of the Animal Welfare League of Scioto County, said. “Even saving on the cost it takes to see the vet during a visit is monumental.”

Operation Safety Net is assisting in area homelessness and will be seeking funds during Scioto Gives.

The shelter serves homeless families and individuals with emergency shelter, meals, and supportive services. The shelter is open 24/7 with an average of 35 households monthly. Singles are housed with other singles, males and females respectively, and families are housed with their family members. Clients are offered budget management, daily living skills, nutrition education, job seeking skills classes, time and stress management, cooking classes, parenting skills, substance abuse referrals, housing referrals, and more.

The mission of Operation safety Net is to provide a caring family oriented facility which recognizes and addresses the need for a safe, yet motivational, educational, and inspirational environment is to ensure a good quality, short term stay during an individual’s or family’s crisis transitional period.

“Our program alleviates homelessness and hunger by providing emergency housing, meals, showers/bathing facilities, programs, career planning, education enrichment referrals, budget management, and job club,” Maureen Cadogan, of Operation Safety Net, said. “These components help clients who are below the poverty level to become productive citizens in the community.”

While the Scioto County Homeless Shelter is offering a safety net for those who have lost it all, the Scioto County Habitat for Humanity is there to help people build their lives back up.

Scioto County Habitat for Humanity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable, faith-based housing organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing by providing a “hands up” partnership opportunity for low-income, working families to become self-sufficient homeowners. The program is about home ownership and providing a long-term solution designed to help break the poverty cycle.

Habitat offers qualified families, with demonstrated need, willingness to partner, and the ability to pay a zero-interest loan, the opportunity to own a home.

Scioto County Habitat was established in 1996 and is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. They have been able to help 12 homeowners build homes.

Potter’s House Ministries is competing for funding this year as well. Potter’s House has a mission to coordinate and develop resources to meet the needs of Scioto County residents, from food to other necessities.

“Our goal is to facilitate individual empowerment by connecting people with resources to become more independent,” Ed Myers, of Potter’s House, said. “We wish to offer hope through active participation in the lives of the people of our community, by providing basic resources and progressing toward education in life skills.”

In 2014, the organization served a total of 14,893 families and 31,318 individuals through a plethora of programs.

Another organization looking out for the well-being of area residents is the Scioto and Adams United Way.

United Way is how the community comes together to address the major issues it faces today. With support from donors, volunteers, and others, they are working to improve the community. The organization believes that there are three critical things that are a part of a strong, vibrant community: education, income, and health.

Gifts to the United Way Endowment Fund help children to become ready to succeed in school by providing school supplies, help families become economically self-sufficient, and help improve the health of children and adults through education and prevention.

“When you choose to donate to the United Way Endowment Fund, please remember, when you reach out a hand to one, you influence the condition of all,” Mary Ann Miars-Peercy, executive director of United Way of Scioto and Adams Counties, said. “Open your heart and help us work every day to advance the common good in our community.”

The Steven A Hunter Hope Fund will be competing for funds this year as well.

The money donated to the Hope Fund will go directly towards their endowment fund, which assists students in need at Portsmouth City Schools District.

“We are so excited to be participating once again in the Scioto Gives event. It’s a great way for donors to leverage their gifts to the Steven A Hunter Hope Fund’s Endowment,” Mark Hunter, of the Hope Fund, said. “Some of the endowed funds help support numerous programs benefiting students with financial needs in Portsmouth City Schools and some benefits Steven’s Power Packs providing weekend food for local hungry children in our public elementary schools”

Contributions from donors will be received on the SF website, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 22. Using the pull-down menu on the website, donors can select their charity and the amount they wish to donate, list credit card information and press “donate.” Donors can also drop checks off at the Foundation’s office at 303 Chillicothe Street or transfer stocks between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the designated day.For more information on the participating organizations and the event, contact the Scioto Foundation at 740-354-4612.

Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

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