South Street Ministries is hosting its 3rd annual golf outing Sept. 20 to help raise funds for its ministries and vast community outreach. The group is still looking for sponsors and golfers. The golf outing takes place at Mud Run Golf Club, 2000 S. Hawkins Ave., where golfing will begin at 8 a.m.
The slogan “Unlikely partners taking shared risks to renew our community for Christ's sake” says a lot in just a few words, but they are what has propelled the nonprofit for almost two decades. Seventeen years ago, Duane Crabbs uprooted his family and moved to South Akron to start a community mission “to enrich the South Akron neighborhood,” and now the ministries have grown into an anchor institution of this neighborhood.
There is a wide range of ministries South Street provides for the community, including afterschool and summer programs for children and a bicycle repair ministry that allows children to work on repairing bicycles and receive a new set of wheels. There also is a community garden ministry that teaches community members how to care for and maintain gardens, a studio for girls to make jewelry and talk to mentors and basketball and football camps for boys to help develop skills and prepare for scholarship opportunities.
The Front Porch Café has become a hub of community activity in South Akron, offering employment opportunities for ex-offenders and a locally run eatery. Now, the space above the Café will be developed with a number of possible outcomes, like local business co-operatives, office space or affordable rentals for nonprofits.
Although the second floor of the building is still in the construction phase, Joe Tucker, executive director of South Street Ministries – the building’s owner -- wants to keep one question top-of-mind for its use: “What are the needs of the neighborhood?”
“It's approaching reality,” said Tucker, who estimates completion of the second-floor space at about eight months away. “We’re gathering a committee to see how to use this space well, and how to use this space functionally for South Street and for the neighborhood's good.”
The Summit County Children Services "Clothing Center," which provides new and gently worn clothing of all types for client families in need who are served by the agency, is asking area residents who may be cleaning out closets this time of year to make room for new school clothes to consider donating any gently worn school clothes and uniforms to the agency.
In addition to school clothes and uniforms, The Clothing Center is also in desperate need of toddler clothing, and boys and girls clothing sizes 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Regular hours of The Clothing Center are Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Those interested in making a donation after hours or on weekends can make use of the convenient large blue donation bin recently installed just outside The Clothing Center building on the Summit County Children Services campus.
Summit County Children Services is once again asking for the community's assistance to ensure that every child in agency care will begin the school year prepared with brand new school supplies to help them succeed in the classroom.
Each summer, more than 1,000 children in the care of Summit County Children Services are given backpacks filled with school supplies – all donated. However, because of limitations on the agency’s use of funds for this type of purchase, the agency depends on the generosity of the community’s organizations and individual donors in order to provide school supplies to the children we serve.
A donation of $25 will purchase a backpack and school supplies for the youngest children. A donation of $35 will provide essentials for a middle school or high school student – including a scientific calculator. Monetary donations can now be made online through PayPal at www.summitkids.org (click on Donor/Volunteer Opportunities and use the “Donate Now” button). Individuals also may mail a donation to the agency, 264 S. Arlington St., Akron, 44306 -- in care of the Community Relations Department.
Summit County Children Services will host a free foster care and adoption information meeting July 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the agency on 264 S. Arlington St.
As of the end of May, 62 children in agency custody were waiting to be adopted – and of those, 49 were age 12 and older. Residents who attend the information meeting will learn more about foster care and adoption, including what and how long the process is, what kind of support is provided by the agency and the costs involved with adopting a child. Agency staff will also share basic information about the children coming into care.
Throughout the United States today, more than 500,000 children are in foster care – in fact, by one estimate, there are now some 12 million alumni of the foster care system nationwide. With May being National Foster Care Month, Summit County Children Services has planned several activities to honor its nearly 450 foster parents and express the agency’s sincere appreciation for the love, care, hope, guidance, and nurturance they provide to the abused and neglected children of our community.
This year’s theme for Foster Care Month in Summit County is, “Be the Sunshine in a Child's Life, Foster a Child,” which was created by Charles & Shannon Woods of Uniontown. Promotional buttons with this theme have been distributed to the agency’s foster parents.