Big, beautiful thanks to everyone who reached out to help Josh, a 32-year-old, single father of three daughters — 5-year-old twins and an 8-year-old — who had lost his job and his apartment.
Not only does Josh have a new job, he also has a place to call home, in Ellet where he wanted to be.
First things first: Josh is grateful beyond words to Family Promise of Summit County. He says he owes that nonprofit a colossal debt of thanks.
Family Promise is a network of local churches and synagogues providing temporary housing and all manner of support to families, like his, facing homelessness. FP took him and his girls in, giving them a place to sleep, food to eat, safety and more, when he had no other place to go.
A big thank you to this column’s readers who reached out to him financially and with job leads. In most cases, when he had return addresses, he sent thank-you cards.
And a faithful and concerned reader has provided a two-bedroom home for Josh.
“The terms of the lease are as follows: month-to-month tenancy with no rent due from now until June 1, 2013,” she wrote. “At that time Josh can decide if he wants to stay at the house for minimal rent or he can decide to move at that time. I hope this helps Josh and his children get on their feet.”
“I don’t know where my children and I would be if it weren’t for the help and kindness of family and friends,” she continued. “So I already feel blessed every day I wake up with good health, a roof over our heads and peace in my heart. As my mother has always told me, ‘we are all here to help one another.’ So, I feel privileged to be able to give back now.”
Josh is responsible for all of the utilities.
As the reader/landlord said, this should give Josh the leg up he needs and the desire to help others once he regains his footing.
Family Promise also is helping Josh with before- and after-school child care while he works.
Interested in helping Family Promise help more families like Josh’s? Mail donations to Family Promise, P.O. Box 1266, Akron, OH 44309.
Rev. Thomas has stroke
The Rev. Curtis Thomas, director emeritus of Haven of Rest Ministries, suffered a major stroke Saturday morning and is in intensive care at a local hospital.
“Rev. Thomas and his family are comforted to know that many people love and admire them and are praying for his recovery,” said Rose Rose, community and public relations director.
The staff at Haven of Rest asks that cards of prayer and encouragement be sent to him c/o Haven of Rest Ministries, P.O. Box 547, Akron, OH 44309-0547. Birthday cards also are in order since he turns 77 on Monday.
Chad Crawford needs the support of family, friends, co-workers and strangers alike.
Chad, who turned 50 on Sunday and calls Jackson Township home, was diagnosed last October with a very rare cancer that led to the amputation of his lower leg.
“He had his first chemotherapy session in February, a second in March and returned to work in June,” his brother-in-law Todd Lewis said. “In July his cancer had spread to his lungs and he had some of his left lung removed and could no longer work.
“Chad has always been a man of great character, strength and family and truly would do anything to help anyone without asking for or expecting anything in return.”
On Saturday, those who have Chad’s back are returning the favor, hosting a “Chad Crawford Benefit Event” — reverse raffle/silent and live auction/door prizes — at St. George Serbian Center, 4667 Applegrove St. NW, North Canton. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free beer and appetizers from 6 to 7 p.m. (wine and other beverages available); 8 p.m. buffet dinner and dessert table.
You must be 21 or over to attend. Cost is $35; sideboard tickets available at the door for $5.
Live auction features Cleveland Cavaliers floor seats and a Roger Staubach signed jersey, among other bounty; $500 grand prize; two sideboard prizes, $250 each.
Tickets can be purchased at www.ChadCrawfordBenefit?.com or make check to the Chad Crawford Benefit and mail to: Elaine Crawford-Futrell, 6407 Southview Drive, Clinton, OH 44216. A Chad Crawford Benevolent Fund has been set up at Charter One Bank (any branch).
Chad graduated from Manchester High School in 1982. He and his wife, Shawn, have three children. The former Kenmore resident was the first male president of Pfeiffer Elementary School PTA.
He worked at R.E. Michel Co. for 10 years, Wolfe Bros. Supply Inc. for seven years, and is currently on health-related leave from Robertson’s Heating Supply.
“Chad has been involved in a huge number of community and school events,” Todd Lewis noted, including at Northwest High School and at Miller South School of the Visual and Performing Arts when his children attended there.
Team Barb event
Here’s a special request from a loving son, Kyle Klever, on behalf of his mother and all of the families held hostage by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
“My mother, Barbara Klever, was diagnosed with ALS in November 2010. We also participated in the Walk to Defeat ALS at Canal Park this past Sunday as ‘Team Barb.’ So far we have raised over $1,100. In order to reach our goal of $1,750, we are hosting a benefit concert on Oct. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. It will be at Erie Station Grille in Tallmadge (70 East Ave.) Music will be by Coach, an a cappella quartet that plays music from the ’50s and ’60s, and Kathy Johnson, a singer-songwriter/guitarist who does folk rock, old-time cowboy songs and fun originals.
“Free to get in to hear the music. We are selling raffle tickets for $1 each with over $1,000 in prizes. Erie Station is donating a percentage of food sales that night also.”
Wheelchair finds home
Big, beautiful bouquets to nurse Joyce Crumrine, who after a whole lot of trying finally found a deserving home for an electric wheelchair her family no longer needed. “We would like to donate it somewhere but are having difficulty finding a place that will pick it up. It is presently in Cuyahoga Falls,” Crumrine wrote in an initial email request for help. “It cost $10,000.”
Every place I suggested either couldn’t use it or wanted her to deliver it.
Crumrine found a great fit with Lisa Bruening, patient services coordinator for the ALS Association, Northern Ohio chapter, who came with her pickup truck and portable ramp to collect the wheelchair. “It feels good to know that it can be used by someone to help them,” Crumrine said.
If you’re a Zumba aficionado you may want to set aside a little time Oct. 7 to rock out at “Zumbathon,” a benefit from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at the Tallmadge Recreation Center, 46 N. Munroe Road, Tallmadge.
The popular fitness craze will be led by Terri Koch. Cost is $20 (refreshments, snacks and prizes included) with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Secure Harbor, a nonprofit that provides financial support to patients and families affected by amyloidosis, a rare blood malignancy that’s often misdiagnosed.
Secure Harbor’s financial assistance includes housing, meals, and transportation during a patient’s evaluation and treatment.
The event is being co-sponsored by Connecting Touch and Totally Cooked Catering.
Program for teens
Big, beautiful bouquets to the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens which recently awarded $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve in the Akron area. “The funds will support real-world experiential programs that help Akron’s teens stay in school and graduate,” said Meryl Bradley, marketing/special events coordinator.
“Teens will be given wide and varied exposure to career options, providing motivation for working hard to develop a plan for their adult lives. … Professionals who have overcome challenging circumstances to become successful adults will serve as motivating speakers to our teens. Workshops that allow teens to explore career paths and the education needed to attain them will be conducted.”
According to Bradley, America’s high school dropout rates are staggering, with one student dropping out of high school every 26 seconds. More than 30 percent of U.S. teens and up to 50 percent of Latinos and African-Americans fail to graduate with their class. Dropouts are more likely than high school graduates to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty, in prison, or on public assistance.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.