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Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, Outreach & Education Officer, ServeOhio

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2018 Make a Difference Day Grants

ServeOhio, along with their Stewards of Service partners Honda, AEP Foundation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, announce grant awards to support community service projects organized for Make A Difference Day on October 27, 2018. Make A Difference Day is the largest national day of community service, where hundreds of Ohioans plan service projects each year involving corporations, communities, nonprofit organizations and individual volunteers.

The ServeOhio project grants will support local projects throughout Ohio that commit to bringing volunteers together to create or improve community assets or infrastructure such as parks, schools, senior centers, community gardens or low-income homes.  The various projects involve a broad spectrum of community participants, include collaborative partnerships, and benefit entire communities around Ohio.

ServeOhio awards these grants with support from their Stewards of Service partners Honda, AEP Foundation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Each grant totals between $600 and $1,000, for a total of $16,880.

These are the 2018 Make A Difference Day project grant recipients:

  • After School Discovery, Ashtabula – 35 volunteers will make fleece blankets that will go to the local homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter, and police and fire departments to give to their clients in need this winter.
  • Connect to Success at Washington State Community College, Marietta – 90 volunteers will combat bullying by painting the Marietta Middle School boys and girls’ student bathrooms with colorful, inspirational, validating messages and murals reminding students of their worth, strength, and the power of individuality.
  • Columbus Recreation and Parks, Columbus – 50 volunteers will enhance the beauty of Beatty Park and the surrounding neighborhood by completing a litter cleanup and beautifying front garden beds with a mixture of annuals and perennials.
  • Jackson Area YMCA, Jackson – 25 volunteers will help to reduce social isolation among senior citizens in Jackson by going to seniors’ homes, bringing a meal to share, and providing pet food and weatherization services. 
  • Kinsman Township, Kinsman – 30 volunteers will participate in a community-wide effort to re-roof the Bandstand in the town square.
  • Local Matters, Columbus – 15 volunteers will increase access to healthy food in the Weinland Park community by winterizing the hoop house at a local settlement house, enabling food to grow year-round.
  • Muslim Family Services of Ohio, Columbus – 120 volunteers will make 400 blankets and package them for distribution to families and individuals in need including those coming out of homeless shelters and refugees resettling in the community.
  • Russia Local School, Russia – 50 students, parents, teachers, and administrators will repaint the school mascot on a barn in Community Park.  
  • Sisters of Empowerment, Columbus – 75 volunteers will participate in a beautification and cleanup day in the Linden Community. Additionally, community resource tables will be set up to link residents to area service providers.
  • Springfield Promise Neighborhood, Springfield– 50 volunteers will restore and refresh a school garden on the grounds of Lincoln Elementary School. 
  • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Ashtabula– 25 volunteers will repaint and repair wooden tabletops and seats on nine picnic tables to allow for continued use by the community for many years to come. 
  • The Olander Park System, Sylvania– 75 students, teens, and community members will help with watering existing trees, planting additional native plants in several riparian areas, removing invasive species, and seeding in the parks.
  • The Volunteer Center of Erie County, Sandusky– 30 student volunteers will address homelessness and poverty by assembling 100 “We Care” bags filled with toiletry/hygiene products, putting together “Trick-or-Treat” bags, and collecting non-perishable food items for distribution.
  • Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners, Twinsburg – 100 volunteers will participate in park cleanup and improvements at Astorhurst Park. Activities will include removal of outdated signage, removing sign posts and old split rail fences, tree trimming, and litter cleanup.
  • UC Clermont College (University of Cincinnati Foundation), Batavia– 50 volunteers will winterize and close the UC Clermont County Community Garden. Volunteers will harvest crops for donation at local food pantries, construct cold frames, and prepare the soil for next season.
  • Village of Garrettsville, Garrettsville – 30 volunteers will clear dead branches, debris, and garbage at Eagle Creek, a historic waterway in Garrettsville.
  • Village of West Jefferson Parks and Recreation, West Jefferson – 40 volunteers will clean up area parks and Community Center grounds. Volunteers will rework flower beds, plant perennials, spread mulch around trees, and pick up trash.
  • Wyandot County Public Health, Upper Sandusky – 10 volunteers will build and fill a new garden box at the Wyandot County Community Garden.  

Nationally, for over 20 years, millions of volunteers from around the world have united for Make a Difference Day in a common mission to improve the lives of others. 

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