Author: Olivia Foltz Buyniski

Annual Report: 2020

We can all agree that 2020 was an incredibly challenging year – and that was especially true for NEEDs clients, many of whom suffered job loss and other hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NEEDS volunteers have had an unprecedented opportunity to serve a community in crisis. Here are a few highlights from our annual report.

Pandemic Response:
– In order to keep clients and volunteers safe, NEEDS began operating a drive-through pantry service in the spring. This has been a great success!
– To meet the increasing need of our community, NEEDS also implemented a new policy allowing clients to visit the pantry approximately once per month.

Record Numbers:
– During 2020, the NEEDS pantry provided food to 950 families – for a total of 3,660 individuals. This is our highest number ever!
– NEEDS also provided substantial emergency aid during 2020. A total of over $30,000 was distributed to 82 families to cover housing and utilities during financial emergencies.

NEEDS is so grateful to the donors and volunteers who supported our mission in 2020. Thank you!

January Impact

January was an active month for NEEDS! In addition to distributing the proceeds of our annual winter clothing drive, NEEDS kept busy with pantry services and emergency assistance. Here are our totals for the month:

During January, the NEEDS pantry provided food to 91 families – for a total of 356 people!

NEEDS also provided emergency financial assistance to 16 families, distributing a total of $5803.60 to cover rent and utilities.

HUGSS Drive Results

The results of this year’s HUGSS drive are in!

Throughout December and January, NEEDS collected donations to provide warm winter clothing (Hats, Undies, Gloves, Socks, and Sweats) to local schools. Many students who lack winter essentials not only have to face harsh weather, but also suffer bullying due to their inadequate clothes. Fortunately, NEEDS donors really stepped up to help. Financial gifts for the HUGSS drive totaled $1720 – and with donation matching from NEEDS, the final total was $3420!

Last week, NEEDS volunteers distributed gift cards and clothing items to 12 schools in the Princeton, Deer Park, and Sycamore districts. School officials were excited to use the gift cards to purchase their students’ most-needed items. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the HUGSS drive a success!

Unlimited Generosity

You may not be able to see pantry coordinator Maureen’s smile in this photo, but underneath the mask she’s beaming! Many local businesses provide annual support to NEEDS, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, several of these companies have shown exceptional generosity.

Take Unlimited Systems: in previous years, this Kenwood-based software company has held a food drive to benefit NEEDS. Recently, Unlimited Systems employees instead pooled financial donations, presenting NEEDS with a check for over $550. Wow!

Another wonderful example of generosity comes from Everything But The House (EBTH), a local firm that provides services to downsizing families. EBTH hosted a food drive and collected enough donations to fill two vehicles – and then some! EBTH’s connection with Grippo’s (yes, the potato chip company!) led to a donation from the latter as well. Most touchingly, the two winners of the EBTH raffle for participating employees chose to donate their $50 Visa gift cards back to NEEDS.

NEEDS served a record 950 families in 2020. As our clients continue to deal with COVID-related job loss and other hardships, we are incredibly grateful for the support of our generous donors. Thank you!

Paying It Forward

Recently, NEEDS received a special visit. A gentleman arrived at the pantry with two large spiral hams to donate. He explained that he had been to the pantry before – as a client seeking food for his family. Now, he wanted to give back – and when he found a great sale, he immediately thought of NEEDS.

This isn’t the first time that a client has returned to NEEDS to help others. It’s wonderful to see such generosity!

Current Pantry Needs

Serving hundreds of people each month, the NEEDS pantry always welcomes donations of food and personal care items. If you would like to help us stock up, please check out this list of currently needed supplies.

Food:
Pasta sauce
Bean soup
Clam chowder
Canned salmon
Black beans
Dessert items (cookies, cake mix, pudding cups, etc)

Personal / Home:
Dish and laundry soap
Toothpaste
Paper towels
Toilet paper

Donations can be dropped off at Kenwood Baptist Church Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. NEEDS volunteers are at the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Thank you!

Thank You, Frame USA!

For the past 10 years, the Frame USA company has held an annual holiday drive called “Fill-the-Truck” to benefit local charities. Frame USA staff park large trucks in accessible lots throughout the city, and solicit community donations to support NEEDS and other organizations. Each Christmas, NEEDS has received a huge truckload of donations ranging from canned food to household supplies. Fill-the-Truck is always a highlight of the holiday season!

This year, Frame USA chose to accept mostly gifts of money for their selected charities. NEEDS volunteers wondered how this shift would affect the success of the drive – but  there was no need to worry. Just before Christmas, Frame USA customer service manager Travone Hall stopped by the pantry to deliver a check for over $3000! What a wonderful gift!

NEEDS is so grateful for partners like Frame USA, who continue to support our mission year after year. Thank you!

December Impact

Happy New Year! NEEDS closed out 2020 with another busy month, providing food and emergency assistance to 100 families. Here are our totals for the month:

During December, the NEEDS pantry provided food to 93 families – for a total of 339 people!
NEEDS also provided emergency financial assistance to 7 families, distributing a total of $2550.00 to cover rent, utilities, and medical expenses.

In January, NEEDS will wrap up the annual HUGSS warm winter clothing drive. It’s not too late to contribute – check out this post for details.

https://cincyneeds.org/2020/12/08/this-month-hugss-winter-clothing-drive/

Four Schools Give Generously

NEEDS pantry volunteers serve food to hundreds of people each month. Sometimes the shelves can get a little bare – but thanks to four local schools, the pantry is now fully stocked!

During November and December, three elementary schools – Montgomery, Blue Ash, and Maple Dale – organized food drives to benefit NEEDS. Students, staff, and parents all helped to collect donations. Another drive was held by St. Xavier High School, whose students took time to pick up donations from neighborhoods across the area. Two St. X alumni then delivered the goods to the pantry.

NEEDS is so grateful for these schools, as well as the other organizations and individuals who help us to fulfill our mission. Thank you!

This Month: HUGSS Winter Clothing Drive

With a pandemic holiday season in full swing, many of us are missing warm hugs from our loved ones. However, we can still spread some cheer with HUGSS!

Each year, NEEDS holds a HUGSS (hats, undies, gloves, socks, and sweats) drive to provide students in the Princeton, Deer Park, and Sycamore school districts with much-needed warm winter clothing. Over 70% of Princeton students and over 50% of Deer Park students rely on financial assistance from the school district and the government; often, these students’ families struggle to afford essential winter gear. For Deer Park students, many of whom walk to school each day due to lack of bus service, the need is especially great.

You can help us meet that need!

In order to provide winter clothing as safely as possible, NEEDS is currently collecting financial donations (including gift cards) to share with each school district. School officials will use these donations to purchase the items that their students need.

If you would like to contribute, simply mail a check (with “HUGSS” in the memo line) to our address below. Gift cards for Meijer, Walmart, and Target are also welcome

You can also drop off your check or gift cards any time NEEDS is open in December (Tuesday and Thursdays 9 am to 1 pm) at Kenwood Baptist Church.

NEEDS c/o Kenwood Baptist Church
8341 Kenwood Rd
Cincinnati OH 45236

If you belong to a NEEDS member church, please include the church’s name with your donation.

Thank you!

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