At some point in life, most people find themselves in difficult and unfortunate circumstances. Luckily, Toledoans who’ve fallen on hard times have an incredible resource in Cherry Street Mission Ministries. Cherry Street serves all and focuses on life transformation. They’re available seven days a week to provide food, clothing, shelter and a variety of transformative services to help those in need truly get back on their feet.
We were honored to help prepare and serve lunch for Cherry Street guests this week. The team started by cutting and prepping veggies, then served a nutritious meal to more than 200 people. We left feeling hopeful for the futures of those served and thankful for an organization like Cherry Street.
At Halloween, kids go from door to door collecting candy. We decided to flip it around.
At Hart, we think Halloween is for everyone, and everyone deserves a surprise treat now and then. So we packed up some bags with candy and other goodies and a few members of our staff headed out to deliver them to a few neighbors in Arrowhead Park, where our office is located. We hope those offices are enjoying a mid-afternoon treat! Happy Halloween!
This week, many people will step up and participate in Make a Difference Day, uniting in a common mission: to inspire people to help make a difference for others and our community. Hart’s opportunity to join in came from Metroparks of the Toledo Area.
Our team went to Side Cut Metropark to help with prairie seed gathering. The seeds will be replanted to help spread the growth of indigenous grasses in other area metropark locations.
We are fortunate to have beautiful metroparks in the Toledo area, and we were happy to help preserve a little bit of Northwest Ohio’s natural beauty. Our metroparks are a vital part of our community and a place for all to enjoy.
Families sometimes find themselves in difficult situations and their lives change in an instant. Luckily, there are places like La Posada Family Emergency Shelter to provide temporary emergency housing for families who need a roof over their heads.
We went to the shelter to spend a little time with the kids there and allow them to make some beautiful artwork. They drew pictures of their favorite animals and told us a little more about their animal. We put it all together on a display board for them to keep. One boy told us he wanted to hang them ALL in his bedroom, like wallpaper!
The energy, excitement and smiles from the kids were contagious. And a few really liked to give hugs … it’s hard to say who appreciated those hugs more!
This week our team helped Lucas County Children Servicesspruce up its playground, where the kids enjoy some quality playtime during visits. We cleaned the toys, did some minor landscaping (trimming bushes, weeding, picking up sticks, sweeping, etc.) and cleaned up the playground sets. We also added a few balls to their small collection and left some storage bins so it’s easier to keep things looking nice.
The Lucas County Children Services staff was very grateful, because the playground is one place where children in difficult situations can find normalcy and just be kids.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes even a little girl who saw a need and felt the tug to respond. That’s how Hannah’s Socks was created in 2005 – when Hannah Turner, then four years old, saw a homeless man with holes in his shoes and no socks underneath. Concerned his feet would be cold, she sat down to take off her shoes and told her mom, “Mommy, he can have my socks.”
The story is heartwarming, and the Hart team has been Hannah’s Socks supporters since the beginning, with a couple staff members even serving on their first board of directors. We knew this wonderful year of 50 for 50 must include a sock drive!
For a week, our staff brought in new socks to donate. And today, we were proud to drop off about 150 pairs that will go to those in need around the Toledo area.
Most of us take for granted that a warm, dry pair of socks will be in the drawer. But for some, socks are harder to come by. Please consider picking up an extra pair next time you’re shopping and donate them to someone who needs them.
Spending time in the hospital is stressful for anyone, but imagine how much more frightening it is for a child. ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital knows all about the stress and anxiety their little patients go through. While providing top-notch care, TCH staff makes arrangements and accommodations to keep the child’s stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible. We wanted to do a little something, too.
We played games, colored and giggled a bit with a few of the kids at TCH. As one of our team members stated, “It was nice to spend time with the kids, but it saddens me to see those little ones sick and in the hospital.”
We wish a speedy recovery for those kids and all those who are suffering from an illness or injury.
We were introduced to The Friendly Center earlier this year and, instantly, we were impressed with their services. For more than 90 years, they’ve helped the Toledo community by providing food, tutoring services and counsel for health, wellness and adult development.
The brochure they use to advocate for their services was looking a little dated. Our design team lent their talents to revamp the brochure, giving it a fresh and friendly look.
This week the Hart team headed to Nature’s Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Education, which provides medical care to injured or orphaned wildlife animals. The center’s goal is to rehabilitate the animals and release them back to their natural habitat whenever possible. Animals with a debilitating injury or too tame to be released may be used in outreach programs to teach the community about natural habitats and conservation efforts in our area.
We headed over to the center to help clean the areas where the animals live. We weeded, raked and replaced mulch, and power washed the animal enclosures. Lenny the fox, a resident of one of the enclosures we re-mulched, seemed happy to have a clean home.
With over 2,000 animals taken in each year, volunteers are always needed to help clean cages, answer phones and feed the animals.
Helping Hands of St. Louis is a soup kitchen, food pantry and clothing center all in one. It averages a whopping 350 meals served each weekday to people in need. Today, we headed to this former church building to help prepare lunch.
Our team was busy chopping vegetables: tomatoes and onions to top hamburgers, and green peppers, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and more to bolster a salad.
We were humbled by the dedication of the staff and volunteers to prepare a nutritious and delicious meal. A few volunteers told us they’ve been cooking twice a month for eight years and have incredible passion for their work.