Amazing 10th Birthday Food Drive

Madeira Elementary School recently held a food drive to benefit NEEDS. One student was so inspired that she chose to celebrate her birthday by giving back even more!

Victoria Jackson is celebrating a very special birthday this year: not only is she turning 10, but her her birthday falls on Earth Day. To mark the occasion, Victoria distributed bags and flyers requesting donations for the NEEDS pantry. “I want to do something special for people I will probably never meet…Cincinnati friends that are not as lucky as me,” Victoria wrote. With help from her brother Hogan, she then collected the filled bags and loaded up a waiting SUV for a drop-off at the NEEDS pantry.

What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday! Thank you, Victoria and Hogan!

Designer Donates Services to NEEDS

One way that NEEDS reaches potential clients and donors is by distributing brochures to local organizations. Recently, NEEDS realized that our materials were due for a refresh – and Amelia Riedel of Riedel Creative Group offered to help, at no charge! We are tremendously grateful to Amelia for her generous gift of photography and graphic design services in the development of our new letterhead package and brochure. We’re so proud of our new, updated look!

For more information about the services Riedel Creative Group can provide, please contact Amelia at ariedel@riedelcreativegroup.com. Thank you, Amelia!

March Impact

Over the past few weeks, requests for emergency financial assistance have decreased slightly, while requests for food have risen. Here are the latest totals:

During the month of March, the NEEDS pantry provided food to 80 families – for a total of 270 people!

NEEDS also provided emergency financial assistance to 4 families, distributing a total of $1336.67 to cover rent and utilities.

February Impact

February may be a short month, but there was no shortage of opportunities for NEEDS to help our clients!

During the month of February, the NEEDS pantry provided food to 67 families – for a total of 247 people!

NEEDS also provided emergency financial assistance to 6 families, distributing a total of $2200.00 to cover rent and utilities.

Thank You, Madeira Elementary School!

Families at Madeira Elementary School love to give back! Last month, the school hosted a food drive to benefit NEEDS. By the end of the drive, four SUVs had been filled to capacity with food, personal care products, and household supplies – including some of our most-needed items.

The best part of the drive was the students’ enthusiasm. Fourth graders took charge of carrying donations to the waiting SUVs, and even helped to load up the goods. NEEDS volunteers were impressed by the students’ polite, friendly attitude. One boy said that the drive was so much fun, he would like to do it all again! As assistant principal Chandley Bacher says, Madeira students always love to help – especially right here in their community.

NEEDS is excited to continue working with Madeira Elementary School. Thank you to each family who participated in the drive!

Current Pantry Needs

The NEEDS pantry served a record number of clients in 2020, and the need in our community remains high. If you would like to help us stock up, please see the following list of most-needed items.

Food:
Stuffing mix
Pasta sides (Pasta Roni, Knorr, etc)
Canned pineapple
Hamburger and Tuna Helper

Personal / Home:
Tissues (Kleenex)
Body wash
Sanitary pads
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Shampoo and conditioner
Shaving cream and disposable razors

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!

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!

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