Bravo to the four Kent State University students from Haiti — Sony Ton-Aime, Florvilson Jumior Marcelin, Venix Cador and Jodex Saint-Vil — who are happily paying it forward.
The students are on scholarship and came to KSU following the massive earthquake that pummeled their homeland June 12, 2010. Operating on the to-whom-much-is-given-much-is-expected philosophy, they have launched a campaign to collect soccer balls for the children in Quanaminthe, Haiti.
“Soccer is a big sport in the country, and a single ball can serve to provide many young Haitians with a lot of joy and satisfaction,” wrote George R. Garrison, professor of Pan African studies. “And the game is played often, when they can find a ball, helps to maintain their health as well …
“The Pan African Faculty and Staff Association and the Kent State United for Disaster Relief (which helped with Katrina relief) are assisting these students in their campaign to collect soccer balls that they will take to their country with them over the Christmas vacation.”
Regulation-size balls are needed. Drop them off at the main office of the Department of Pan African Studies, first floor of Oscar Ritchie Hall. Write on the box: “Deliver to George R. Garrison.” Deadline is Dec. 14.
Benefit light show
Laura Farchione and her family are offering the public a way to enjoy a spectacular Christmas light show, “Christmas on Crownpoint,” and to make donations: nonperishable food to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, and financial support to Wishes Can Happen, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
“Each year, we create a bigger and better show by adding thousands of lights and elements that families and folks in the surrounding communities can come and watch from the comfort of their warm vehicles all holiday season long,” Farchione wrote. “Each year, our family has designed a show honoring the magic of Disney and all that making wishes is made of; with that in mind, this year we will be honoring many of the children who have made a trip to Disney their one ‘wish.’ … Being able to make one child’s wish come true costs an average of $4,710. Our goal is to make as many wishes happen as we can.”
Hours for Christmas at Crownpoint — located at 3459 Crown Point St. NW, Massillon — are 7 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 29.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help for homeless
Big, beautiful bouquets for Project RISE’s fifth annual Harvest Dinner, held recently at the Salvation Army for local families experiencing homelessness.
According to Rachel Breece, child and family development specialist for Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education), some 150 Project RISE staff members and a dedicated crew of volunteers from Kenmore High School served scores of families, a sweet way of making sure their holiday was in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving.
Project RISE is a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools to provide supplemental educational services to children experiencing homeless.
For more information on Project RISE and its programs, please call 330-761-2969 or email Executive Director Debra Manteghi at email@example.com.
Holiday dance party
The ladies of TWIG#13 (Together With Important Goals) are hosting a holiday dance party from 7:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Musica, 51 E. Market St., Akron, to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital’s Holiday Toy Fund.
“Last year, TWIG#13 raised over $5,000 for Akron Children’s through our Oktoberfest fundraiser,” said Kathy Johnson, spokeswoman for the group. “Our members were delighted to Christmas shop and deliver hundreds of toys to the hospital for distribution to the kids who were hospitalized over the holidays.”
Tickets are $15 in advance from Johnson at 330-865-0649 or at the door for $20. Lots of good food, music and, of course, dancing.
TWIG#13 was instrumental in forming the Akron chapter of Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit that changes the way children with cancer view themselves through the gift of portraits. “TWIG #13 also made past donations to the Children’s Hospital Wish List, the TWIG Craft Cart, the Doggie Brigade, Camp CHOPS (Children’s Hospital Oncology Patients and Staff), Project Linus and Children who Witness Violence,” Johnson said.
Debbie Wears is inviting others to help her polish up Manicures for Mamas and Papas, which is going great guns in Portage County nursing homes.
Wears started the hands-on outreach effort after retiring from ManorCare of Barberton, where she was human resources director.
“Manicures for Mamas and Papas is a no-cost manicure program for nursing home residents, be it a long-term resident or a rehabilitative short-term resident,” Wears said. “No tipping is permitted. Currently, two Portage County nursing homes benefit from the program — the Woodlands in Ravenna and the Gardens of Western Reserve in Streetsboro.
“Additional volunteers are needed to consistently serve one or more days a week, every week, performing manicures for any nursing home resident. It requires reliable transportation, four to six hours for the day selected, and a pleasant personality, someone who enjoys conversing with senior citizens. Training provided as well as supplies.”
For more information, please call Wears at 330-592-1056 or email her at Dwears@neo.rr.com.
Monetary donations are needed to purchase supplies, or you can donate fairly fresh nail lacquers and enamels in any color (preferably name brand), base coat, top coat, metal nail files, and more. Supplies may be mailed to: Debbie Wears, P.O. Box 337, Randolph, OH 44265-0337.
Staff, students and clients of the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD), in preparation for dropping temperatures, are collecting new and gently used hats, gloves, scarves, and mittens to place on “Giving Trees” located in the entryways of the Achievement Center for distribution to families in need.
“Over the past seven years, the MCBDD has collected over 3,000 items that have been donated to local agencies such as the Medina Community Services Center, residents of the Medina County Home and the Battered Women’s Shelter, Salvation Army Medina and Wadsworth and the Rape Crisis Center of Summit & Medina Counties,” said Patti Hetkey, public relations coordinator of the board.
“This project gives so many people the opportunity to join in the spirit of giving,” Superintendent Greg LeForme said. “Many of our families are on limited budgets themselves, but they still feel a special sense of pride when they can make a difference in the lives of others.”
Private or group donations are welcomed and can be dropped off at the Achievement Center, 4691 Windfall Road, Medina, through Dec. 14.
Breakfast with Santa
Three cheers for Cynthia Slabaugh, a Howard Hanna agent who works out of the Green office, as passionate a community volunteer as they come.
One of the programs Slabaugh is closely aligned with is Green Kiwanis, a small club with only nine members that still manages to do big things, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas for neighbors in need.
Slabaugh and the other Kiwanians, aided by volunteers, do an annual Santa Breakfast at Raintree Country Club and do Santa deliveries, dropping off gifts for a donation on Dec. 16 to Green families requesting this service. Each delivery, organized by Slabaugh’s husband, Chuck, involves a Santa, two elves (members of Green High School’s Key Club), a driver and/or a Mrs. Claus. “We actually go into the home and spend some time with the children,” Cynthia explained.
The names of families being helped by the club with food and gift cards come from Green Local Schools.
Interested in learning more about the Green Kiwanis and their projects or helping them help more in their community? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com.