It’s hard to believe we have come to the end of 2018. What a busy year it’s been! I have always felt that the holiday season provides a refreshing change from our usual hectic pace: it is an opportunity to focus on others and the ways in which we might be able to give back and offer a helping hand in the midst of a busy time.
The following organizations are just a couple of the many in the 68th Ohio House District that accept volunteers, as well as item and monetary donations, and could always use extra help. If any of them strike a chord with you, I encourage you to spend an afternoon or evening in the service of others by working with one of these community partners.
It is hard to believe that 1 in 6 Ohioans do not know where their next meal might come from. Though this statistic is devastating, there are practical things we can do to help those in need, some of whom might even be our very own neighbors.
There are many opportunities to provide needed assistance in our community. One example is Food for the Hungry, an organization that operates a community drive and keeps 100 percent of their donations in Knox County, whether those donations are food or basic necessities, benefiting Ohioans right here in our area.
Another local organization delivering crucial services is People In Need, Inc. (PIN), which serves Delaware County residents in a plethora of ways. Just a few of their many services provided are emergency assistance services for those who have been evicted or are dealing with unexpected job loss or sudden illnesses, as well as a program that offers free shoes to students at the beginning of the school year.
PIN is one of many organizations offering incredibly helpful outreach to Ohioans who just need a boost to get back on their feet.
Finally, I want to highlight the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, an organization striving to end hunger for Ohioans by stabilizing families, connecting people with community services and energizing communities. This organization targets hunger at its source and works to lift our friends and neighbors back on their feet by connecting them with resources and services, rather than solely providing meals.
I was recently able to visit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and was amazed by the size and scope of their operations. The Foodbank serves a 20-county footprint – including Knox and Delaware Counties – and coordinates with approximately 250 local partners to get food and groceries to those most in need.
Likewise, it offers a variety of opportunities for volunteers of all ages (over 13). If your family, church group or co-workers are interested in giving of your time this season, you can explore the Foodbank’s opportunities at https://www.midohiofoodbank.org/.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns on state-related matters during this holiday season—my office will strive to serve you, just as I hope we all seek to serve the less fortunate in these winter months and every day. I wish you and your families a very safe and blessed holiday season.
Rick Carfagna is the state representative for the 68th District of the Ohio House of Representatives. He is a Republican. The district consists of Knox County and about half of Delaware County.