Category: Stories

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!

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!

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!

Amazing Gift from Montgomery Community Church

Happy Thanksgiving! This year, NEEDS is especially thankful for a generous gift from Montgomery Community Church.

NEEDs serves our community by providing both food and emergency financial assistance. Local food drives and individual donations help us to keep the pantry stocked, but it’s often necessary to dip into our funds to shop for groceries to fill the shelves. This means that we have less money available for clients in need of financial assistance.

Montgomery Community Church has stepped in with an amazing offer: they will underwrite up to $1000 worth of grocery purchases. But it gets even better! MCC has extended this offer for a whole nine months, from October through June! NEEDS is so grateful to MCC for a wonderful gift that will help us to reach more people in need.

Thank You, Good Shepherd!

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church has been a faithful NEEDS partner for years – but sometimes they still surprise us with their generosity!

Recently, Good Shepherd held a food drive to benefit NEEDS. Three vehicles were soon filled with some of the pantry’s most-needed items. The drive was so successful that it took six volunteers all of four hours to organize and shelve the donations.

Thank you, Good Shepherd!



Soccer Teams Help NEEDS

Soccer players at All Saints School and Saint Vincent Ferrer School were sad to learn that there would be no contact sports this fall. Luckily, they were still able to put their teamwork skills to good use!

Coach Bill Keehn organized a food drive for NEEDS (combined with a greeting card drive for a senior living facility). Together, the soccer teams collected a full van load of food and personal care items to donate to the pantry. What a win!

Three Thank Yous

Harlow-HRK’s Jason poses with NEEDS volunteers.

Sometimes the best gift is an item that would otherwise go to waste, as three recent donations to the NEEDs pantry show.

Last week, NEEDS volunteers received a visit from Jason of Harlow-HRK, a food broker that represents a variety of consumer products to the Kroger grocery company. Jason stopped by to unload a trunkful of specialty items for the pantry, including flours, grains, baking mixes, coffee, and snack foods. This wasn’t Jason’s first visit – and NEEDS is so grateful that he thinks of us when he has leftover products to share.

Harlow-HRK isn’t the only organization to share extras with NEEDS. The Mason Food Pantry, located on the Grace Chapel campus in Mason, recently donated two crates of chunky soup to the NEEDS pantry. Another donation came from Operation Give Back in Blue Ash: OGB regularly receives leftover bread from local Panera restaurants, and they have generously decided to share the extra bread with NEEDS.

When it comes to helping our community, we’re all in this together!

NEEDS Fall Drives – Thank You!

Over the past several weeks, NEEDS volunteers have been getting ready to restock the pantry to meet the increased need that our clients experience during the colder months. To our excitement, several individuals and groups have recently stepped up to help by hosting food drives.

First up: Maggie Albers, who began volunteering with NEEDS this summer as part of her high school capstone project. Maggie’s “Do What You CAN” drive brought in two full carloads of food and personal care items for the pantry!

But Maggie wasn’t the only student eager to help. Inspired by WLWT’s Day of Giving, the Madeira High School Key Club hosted a food drive to benefit NEEDS – and when two more vehicles loaded with donations arrived at the pantry, it was clear that the drive had been a success!

Among NEEDS’ most faithful supporters are our member churches, including Church of the Saviour United Methodist. Recently, Church of the Saviour held a hugely successful food drive that benefited not only NEEDS but five other organizations. Thanks to this drive, NEEDS volunteers were able to fill several gaps on the pantry shelves with much-needed nonperishables.

Finally, NEEDS held a two-day food drive that attracted donors from 10 different churches and civic organizations. A big thank you to the volunteers who staffed this event, including Moeller High School senior Kyler Graves!

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