NEEDS was founded over 40 years ago by the late Marysue Dickmann of Blue Ash Presbyterian Church. Since then, NEEDS has provided food and emergency financial assistance to thousands of families – a wonderful legacy!
Blue Ash Presbyterian Church recently merged with Montgomery Presbyterian Church to form Evergreen Presbyterian Church. As Blue Ash PC prepared to sell their building, they gave careful thought and prayer to how they could best use the proceeds to support their mission partners, including NEEDS. This month, they surprised NEEDS with an incredibly generous check that will enable us to meet the needs of our neighbors at a time when many families are truly struggling.
Several years ago, Marysue shared the story of how NEEDS came to be:
“It started out of my garage as a Christmas sharing of outgrown toys and clothing, mostly from our own three kids. Little by little neighbors heard about it and wanted to participate. At the time, I was the director of First Step Nursery School, and there were lots of children who had very little that were in the program. My position as director gave me access to needs of the community. When I couldn’t do it alone, I asked our church to help, and they often did.
The single incident that got me to find a better way was when a young teenaged girl who had a baby was thrown out of her house. She was too young to receive WIC (a government-sponsored program for women, infants, and children). I was appalled and could see no reason why anyone living in our community of plenty could not have their basic needs met. At the same time, I knew our church could not handle all of this alone.
At that time there was a ministerial association of ministers from the Northeast area. Don Leckrone, our pastor, was able to introduce me to the member ministers of the group. He was most supportive of me and my efforts. I tried to point out the advantages to the area ministers of one group handling the people asking churches for assistance, thereby eliminating duplicate services. Each group would contribute to the pantry with volunteers and donations. From my garage we moved the food into a neighbor’s empty basement until their home was sold. Next the City of Blue Ash gave us a cupboard to work out of. For awhile we were housed in the Hazelwood Civic Center. We would meet clients at the pantry and would serve on call. As we grew, that was no longer possible, and Kenwood Baptist Church offered us space to receive calls, meet clients, keep records, and distribute food.”
NEEDS would not exist without the generosity of our member organizations, donors, and volunteers. We are so grateful for this gift from Blue Ash Presbyterian Church and for their decades of commitment to NEEDS!