Help support 'Trials for Hope' at Cahoon in June
Have you noticed the billboards along our local highways depicting young children with the staggering statistic that one in five does not get enough to eat? Can that be true, here in the United States, in Ohio, in our community? Unfortunately it is the sad fact for thousands of children and adults. So many slip through the safety net and struggle every day to eat, attend to hygiene and other basic needs.
Often choices have to be made between paying for utilities, food or personal care items. These neighbors of ours include the homeless, seniors on fixed incomes, children trapped in dysfunctional families, and others who just are trying to scrape by day by day.
A local grassroots organization, Trials for Hope, founded by Lakewood resident Jonathan Gray, is in its fourth year collaborating with and being a catalyst to gather and distribute donations of grocery items, blankets, socks, toiletries, toilet paper and clothing to those in need. The name of the program signifies the glimpse of hope that people get when someone reaches out through their personal trials. The effort is funded by a grant from Neighborhood Connections, as well as private and personal donations, and the organization recently gained a 501(c)(3) designation.
These basic items are taken directly to those in need at their homes or schools. Twice a week the journey takes them under the bridges on the West Bank of the Cuyahoga River to serve the homeless, or nearby on West 25th and Detroit. Weekly trips are made to senior centers and drug and alcohol treatment facilities, community meals and to supplement other agencies in our community.
This past Christmas 30 volunteers assembled over 1,000 “Christmas Stockings,” actually plastic bags filled with stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, snacks, candy and a toothbrush, neatly tied with a colorful ribbon. These stockings were given to the children encountered in these various centers of “hope.” Socks replaced the coloring books for homeless adults. What a blessing to those contributors and volunteers to know they made a difference in the life of a child or suffering adult.
You can make a difference by bringing canned goods on June 13 to the Trials for Hope booth at Cahoon in June. Meet Jonathan and learn more about how you or your group can get involved in this important outreach!
Canned goods may also be dropped off at at Lakewood Christian Church, at the corner of Cove and Lake. Visit trialsforhope.weebly.com for more information and how you can get involved.
Bill is volunteer with Trials For Hope.