Hunter’s Helping Hands, a local nonprofit group born from the heart of a mother in memory of her infant son, far exceeded its already lofty goal of providing gas and food gift cards to the families of all the babies in Akron Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over the Christmas holidays.
Vanessa Varga of Mantua — whose son Hunter (4/19/2010-11/24/2010) spent seven months in the hospital’s NICU as he battled myriad medical complications — saw firsthand the need for practical support for families like hers.
Cassie Craven, spokeswoman for Hunter’s Helping Hands, said the nonprofit “provides comfort objects such as mobiles [for current and future patients], bouncy seats and music players, to the NICU and gift cards and tokens of support to the families.”
For more information, visit http://huntershelpinghands.org.
Many good things
It didn’t take long for the newly inaugurated One Good Thing, One Good Day event to go viral, amassing nearly 20,000 hits. It was launched by Akron residents Danielle Hanna and Gift Sawatchoompon and scheduled for Dec. 21, with folks encouraged to perform acts of kindness.
The big push was motivated by the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Now, because the support was so overwhelming, the two have decided to expand the effort throughout the year, and as Danielle said, “create a permanent Facebook community where the movement can continue to gain momentum and encourage every person across the globe to participate in random acts of compassion permanently.
“While the community of supporters grows, a second event has gone live and is now gaining more participants for Feb. 8. Every adult and child is encouraged to join, participate and spread the word.
“To date, people have shared stories of buying groceries and gift cards for fellow shoppers to gestures of providing rides for strangers, and just speaking to strangers, proving that paying it forward is more than something to be done in the holiday season.”
Interested in learning more or participating? Please visit the One Good Thing, One Good Day community page on Facebook.
Free meal to be served
File the following invitation to a free, post-holiday dinner under the “Because it’s just nice to be nice” category.
A group of unnamed friends provides this event, primarily intended for those who are in need of a good hot meal and/or some companionship, and they don’t want any credit: “Maybe you could just say that it’s organized and presented by a group of local folks who each year wish to express their gratitude for their blessings by giving back to the community.”
They’ll serve turkey, ham, all the trimmings and dessert. The dinner is planned for 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at St. Eugene’s Hall, 1821 Munroe Falls Ave., Cuyahoga Falls. The hall is behind the church next to Waterworks Park.
For more information or to make a donation, please call Rich at 330-688-1515, Mark at 330-686-7940 or Dick at 330-283-4776.
Imagine Ball at Sheraton
WITAN (Women in Touch with Akron’s Needs) is hosting its annual WOW! event, the Imagine Ball, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls. The black-tie optional gala includes dinner, dancing, silent and oral auctions and a drawing to win a six-month lease on a new GMC Acadia.
WITAN, which dates back to 1943, has granted more than $1.2 million to the community through its fundraising events.
Tickets — which start at $150 — and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Carol Null at 330-352-6832 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Beth Fink at 330-958-1972 or email@example.com. RSVPs are a must.
Adopt a senior
Big, beautiful bouquets to Summit Arbor #765 of Gleaner Life Insurance Society, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, for completing more than 10,000 volunteer hours and sending its Samaritan Donation check in the amount of $750 to Mobile Meals’ Adopt a Senior Program, which will provide meals to a senior citizen for a year.
Interested in learning more about Summit Arbor and supporting volunteerism? Meetings are the second Wednesday of each month at Firestone Park branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library (community room), 1486 Aster Ave., Akron. For more information, please visit www.gleanerlife.org or call Dianne Oldenburg at 330-786-2147.
According to Summit Arbor’s Sharon Boykin, “Mobile Meals serves approximately 2,500 meals daily to seniors. Ninety-six percent of seniors live on less than $22,340 per year. … Winter is especially difficult for seniors because of high heating bills and other costs.”
Mobile Meals’ new Adopt a Senior program will provide seniors with nutritious meals, delivered to their home daily. Suggested donations are:
• $60 = daily meals for one person for one month.
• $185 = daily meals for three months.
• $375 = daily meals for six months.
• $750 = daily meals for one year.
For more information about the program, which is in urgent need of volunteers, please visit www.mobilemealsinc.com or call 330-376-7717.
Reverse raffle Feb. 21
The Kidney Foundation of Summit County is hosting its 23rd annual “Hot Dog Reverse Raffle” at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Getaway, 1462 N. Portage Path, Akron.
Event organizer Carolyn Aylward Henretta said the grand prize is $500. Sideboards and silent auction items will also be available. “All proceeds go directly to kidney patients in Summit County who need help with prescriptions, transportation to dialysis, and utility payment assistance,” Henretta said.
To purchase a $25 ticket, call 330-864-1236.
Benefit for grief center
Kelly’s Healing Hearts to benefit Kelly’s Grief Center is planned for Feb. 2 at Roses Run Country Club, 2636 N. River Road, Stow. Social hour is 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. followed by a program, dessert, and entertainment featuring Disco Inferno.
Kelly’s Grief Center was founded by Bob and Cathy Reeves, who lost their 16-month-old daughter Kelly Marie in 2002. It is located inside the Kent Wellness Center, 420 W. Main St., Kent. The mission is to provide “a safe, secure and professional environment where grieving people in Northeastern Ohio will find support, education and strength to begin the process of healing.”
Platinum Sponsor is Cascade Auto Group and Silver Sponsors are Akron General Medical Center, Highpoint Lawn Service, Rick and Maureen Huscroft, Summa Western Reserve Hospital, Wells Trecaso Financial Group at Morgan Stanley.
Tickets are $125, $1,000 for a table of eight. Wear casual dress or optional disco attire. RSVP by Jan. 20. For more information, please call 330-606-2358.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org