Non-profit

Lakewood Kiwanis Celebrates 100 Years

On May 14th, 2021, The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood will celebrate it’s centennial anniversary at the Lakewood Country Club. 100 years of community service to Lakewood and the world.

The attendees will include 2020-2021 Kiwanis International President, Art Riley, Kiwanis International Trustee, Kip Crain, Ohio District Governor, Jamie Kauffman, Lt Governor, Division 14, Kris Cornell and Past Intl. Kiwanis President and past Lakewood Kiwanian, A. Alan Penn. Local Lakewood officials from the city and school board will also be attendance to celebrate this organization’s milestone. 

On this momentous occasion, the Club will present the Lakewood Board of Education with a monetary donation for $15,000 to build an illuminated sign at the new Lakewood Board of  Education location on Clifton. #KidsNeedKiwanis

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Community Organizations To Benefit From Successful Rotary Fund Raiser

The members of The Rotary Club of Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise are pleased that they will be able to support several organizations that help needy families and seniors in Lakewood and Rocky River. Two local community organizations that will benefit from the recent Fundraising Raffle are the Rocky River Assistance Program of family food distribution of non-perishable food to over 300 families in Rocky River and the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation program which delivers food to 300 needy families in Lakewood at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Recently, the Sunrise Club added the Trials for Hope program to the list of organizations it helps. This program provides food for the homeless and needy on the near west side of Cleveland.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Know Your Rights - Tax Credits And Free Professional Tax Preparation And Filing Opportunities

Tax season is once again in full swing, but the lasting economic impacts of COVID-19 linger. Here’s what you should know about available resources that may provide direct financial relief:

  • If you were one of millions of people who still have not received one or both of your Economic Impact Payments, more commonly known as a stimulus check, filing your taxes is an opportunity to claim that missed income. When you file your taxes, you can claim that missed payment or payments as a tax credit. For example, if you were set to owe $2,600 for this upcoming filing, but did not receive $2,600 in Economic Impact Payments, your liability drops to $0.
  • Working families and individuals may qualify for a larger refund via the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is designed to provide a tax break for workers with low-to-moderate incomes and their families. You may qualify for the EITC if you are:
    • A grandparent caregiver
    • A foster parent
    • A victim of abuse
    • Earning a low income at work and have no children
    • A family or individual with excessive debt
    • A person with disabilities earning a low income
    • Recently unemployed
    • A person with limited English proficiency earning a low income
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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Cleveland Kids' Book Bank

As children, many of us have fond memories of parents, grandparents, and older siblings reading our favorite books to us. Although these memories may seem insubstantial, to children who don’t have these experiences, they’re crucial. Reading shapes pathways in children’s lifestyles that impact their success in the future. Having stories to read also provides a creative outlook on the world, making their present brighter in addition to their future. 

Thousands of children don’t have access to books in their home, and according to Scholastic.com, “Findings published in the journal Social Science Research show that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts her future academic growth and job attainment” (Rodriguez). This being said, children without books in their home are already at a disadvantage compared to those that do have access to books. To be successful in this world, reading and writing are common skills that every employer expects employees to have. Without these basic skills, one is likely to have trouble finding and keeping an occupation to support their family. 

The Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank of the Greater Cleveland area was founded when two brilliant minds, Judy Payne and Judi Kovach, realized this issue. Payne and Kovach were part of the Little Free Library Cleveland movement to encourage citizens to “take a book, leave a book.” Passersby could take a book home with them from the little library if they needed one; it was as simple as that. Upon gaining recognition, this movement was so successful that the  book bank founders needed to do something more. What they did was create the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank. 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:37 PM, 03.03.2021

Help Rotary Serve The Community - Jewelry Raffle Fundraiser

In this time of the Pandemic, many agencies and organizations that provide needed services to the Lakewood and Rocky River area need help to meet the needs of their clients. The Rotary Club of Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise is devoted to serving the community as it follows its motto of “Service Above Self.”  Club community support includes the Rocky River Assistance Program family food distribution packages of non-perishable food for over 300 families in Rocky River and the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation program which delivers food to 300 families in Lakewood at Thanksgiving and Christmas, two of the community organizations that are helped by Rotary each year. Recently, the Sunrise Club added Trials for Hope to the list of organizations it helps. This program provides food for the homeless and needy on the near west side.

You can help by participating in a Jewelry Raffle Fund Raiser. Over the last 11 years the Sunrise Rotary has held a Dinner Auction event, with over 200 friends of members and supporters of the Club attending. Due to the pandemic, it is not possible for us to have our Dinner Auction at this time. We are replacing it with the raffle which will assist the Club’s Foundation in meeting the needs of the local organizations mentioned above and others such as Beck Center, Harrison School in Lakewood and The Rocky River Firefighters Charity. 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 11:16 AM, 02.03.2021

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Announces Four New Grants

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) board of directors recently approved four new grants that represent a continuation of its commitment to meeting community needs stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. They are:

  • $4,000 to the Barton Senior Center for an internet connectivity pilot for senior residents of the Westerly apartments;

  • $35,000 to Lakewood Community Services Center for food assistance for Lakewood residents for the period of February through June 2021;

  • $25,000 to the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for services and outreach to Lakewood residents; and

  • $25,000 to the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to support capacity to provide school-day care for Lakewood’s elementary school-age children while learning is remote or hybrid for the period of January through March 2021

“Although we’ve been living with COVID-19 for almost a year, the pandemic’s devastating effects have only become more acute for many,” said HLF President Jeanine Gergel. “Many people have lost jobs or income, and we know some residents are struggling with food insecurity. Some are also worried about having their utilities shut off or being evicted.”

 

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

Hospice Of The Western Reserve’s Palliative Care Program Receives $150,000 Grant From Three Arches Foundation

Three Arches Foundation has awarded Hospice of the Western Reserve a $150,000 grant (over two years) to support its Western Reserve Navigator (WRN) in-home palliative care program in Lakewood and surrounding areas. WRN is a comprehensive non-hospice program that supports people with advanced, serious illnesses as their health declines. A dedicated team of caregivers develops and implements a customized plan of palliative care to address the physical, functional, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient and their caregivers.

The community-based program is not fully funded by Medicare or commercial insurance and is grateful for philanthropic funding.
Three Arches Foundation (threearchesfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that invests in advancing the health and well-being of the people of Lakewood and surrounding communities through grant making. The Hospice of the Western Reserve grant is part of $1.5 million awarded this year to 20 Northeast Ohio nonprofits for their work in addressing solutions that make it easier for people to navigate, understand and use information and services to take care of their behavioral and physical health.

“We are extremely grateful to the Three Arches Foundation for supporting the vital role of palliative care in improving the quality of life for seniors with advanced illnesses,” said Joan Hanson, RN, director of Western Reserve Navigator. “Our team-based approach combines home visits from advanced practice registered nurses and social workers with 24/7 phone access to nursing staff. Trained volunteers serve as a ‘second set of eyes and ears’ for the team and provide spiritual support and companionship between visits. The program fosters greater independence among seniors and prevents repeated hospitalizations.”

Patients keep their own doctors and can continue to receive curative treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The WRN team collaborates with patient, the family caregivers and the patient’s physicians on a plan of care that provides an extra layer of support. The social worker communicates with insurance companies or the Veterans Administration about benefits, helps access community services and assists patients in identifying and documenting their longer-range healthcare wishes and advanced care plans.

More information about the Western Reserve Navigator program is available at hospicewr.org, or by calling 216.383.3700.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Fee Reductions Available For Driver’s License Reinstatements

A new year is a good time to make a fresh start – and right now, there’s good news for Ohioans who want to reinstate their driver’s license and get back on the road. As of December 13, 2020, a new program from The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can help people who have had their license suspended obtain a reinstatement. The program, called the Reinstatement Fee Debt Reduction and Amnesty Program, allows eligible individuals to pay reduced reinstatement fees or receive a complete fee waiver, depending on their income.

The BMV automatically screens everyone with a suspended license for the program and sends an email or letter to those who meet eligibility criteria. Thus, there is no need to apply – but you must have a working email address or current mailing address on file with the BMV in order to be notified. To activate the program and reinstatement fee payment plan, you also must provide proof of insurance.

Program requirements are as follows:

 

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

Win $100,000 (Or 39 Other Fabulous Prizes) In The Straight From The Heart Raffle!

Community West Foundation and Cleveland Clinic Avon, Fairview, and Lutheran Hospitals are holding their annual Straight from the Heart Raffle where participants have the chance to win a Grand Prize of $100,000! This year’s raffle boasts 40 fabulous prizes including a Mercedes Benz, Sea-Doo and trip to The Greenbrier. All proceeds provide heart healthy initiatives in the community and support cardiology services within Avon, Fairview and Lutheran Hospitals.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

LCAC Gift Of Love And Food For 600 Families

On behalf of Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation, I would like to thank all the people who rallied to help LCAC fulfill our annual Holiday Food Distribution in 2020, despite the pandemic! While we were unable to hold our traditional food drives and gather in person at the Masonic Temple to pack turkeys and all the trimmings, we were still able to provide assistance to 600 Lakewood households in November and December. With your help, each household received a $50 Giant Eagle gift card. Without the donations we received from individuals, businesses, and organizations, LCAC would have struggled to meet this year’s outreach goal. Thank you, Lakewood, for continuing to be a community that cares!

Charles Ballou,

LCAC President

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,
On behalf of Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation, I would like to thank all the people who rallied to help LCAC fulfill our annual Holiday Food Distribution in 2020, despite the pandemic! While we were unable to hold our traditional food drives and gather in person at the Masonic Temple to pack turkeys and all the trimmings, we were still able to provide assistance to 600 Lakewood households in November and December. With your help, each household received a $50 Giant Eagle gift card. Without the donations we received from individuals, businesses, and organizations, LCAC would have struggled to meet this year’s outreach goal. Thank you, Lakewood, for continuing to be a community that cares!
Charles Ballou,
LCAC President

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

20 Northeast Ohio Non-Profits Awarded Over $1.5 Million In Grants

Three Arches Foundation Announces 2020 Annual Grant Awards

Three Arches Foundation, a community-focused grant making foundation, announced awards totaling more than $1.5 million to twenty Northeast Ohio nonprofits for their work in advancing the health and well-being of the people of Lakewood and surrounding communities. Each grant award reflects the Foundation’s priority area of access to care, specifically the advancement of solutions to remove barriers and improve behavioral and physical health.

Grants awarded expand existing programs, fund new initiatives and promote collaborations that integrate health care and social services, which will have a direct impact on the lives of people – both young and old. “Throughout the strategic grant process we were enlightened by the innovative ways these organizations have found to not only maintain, but implement much needed programs and services despite going through a period of immense organizational adjustment this year,” said Chas Geiger, board chair of the Foundation. “We’re proud to provide financial resources to help carry forward these impactful efforts for the benefit of our community.”


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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Legal Aid Helps Those Struggling With Food Insecurity During COVID

Prior to COVID-19, more than 37 million people in America struggled with hunger each year, including more than 11 million children. The economic impact of the pandemic left even more families without the means for meals.

There are a number of resources available to those who are struggling with food insecurity issues. Legal Aid regularly helps clients put food on the table by connecting them with critical benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

One person Legal Aid helped recently is Frankie Subhani (name changed to protect privacy). Frankie, who is an insulin-dependent diabetic, applied for the SNAP program in April. It is important for Frankie to eat regular meals so he can maintain a healthy blood sugar level and avoid life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, weeks passed and he never received the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card he needed to purchase groceries.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Supports Lakewood Families With Remote Learning Needs

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) took several actions in November 2020 aimed at assisting Lakewood families with meeting their school-age children’s learning needs during the pandemic. In specific, the board approved:

  • A $25,000 grant to the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to support its expansion of capacity to provide school-day care to school-age children while learning is remote;

  • The allocation of funds previously awarded by the foundation to the City of Lakewood, Department of Human Services, to provide scholarship assistance for care during the school day for children from Lakewood families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level; and

  • The use of funds previously awarded to the Lakewood City Schools for document cameras to support teaching staff in their efforts to share documents, handouts and worksheets digitally and make connectivity easier for instructional purposes for families with school-age children. 

     

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Changing The Tide For One Non-Profit At A Time

Shark&minnow, a Cleveland-based strategy and design consultancy, today announced its sixth annual #sharkATTACK, which acts in conjunction with #GivingTuesday on December 1, 2020. The movement brings together businesses and communities across the globe to champion the worthy causes they believe in.

“Now in its sixth year, we have the unique opportunity through #sharkATTACK to give back to our community during the holiday and giving season by changing the tide for one local non-profit through partnership, empathy and invention,” said Brian Jasinski, shark&minnow’s director of design. “Amidst these challenging times, we are here to elevate and illuminate the initiatives of the organizations for which we deeply care.”

Each year, shark&minnow joins the #GivingTuesday movement and global day of giving with its annual #sharkAttack. As one of the company’s ongoing efforts and commitment to building a brighter community, the creators and innovators at shark&minnow champion a worthy cause by donating expertise in strategy and design to a deserving non-profit in Greater Cleveland, including Lakewood.

The selected organization will have the opportunity to present their unique business challenge to shark&minnow’s team and, in exchange, be provided with a strategic and actionable plan that empowers the organization to turn their presented challenge into an opportunity.

Greater Cleveland non-profit organizations should submit their application for the sixth annual #sharkATTACK at www.sharkandminnow.com/givingtuesday before November 26, 2020 at noon. The chosen organization will be announced the following day, on November 27.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Help LCAC "Deliver" Food For The Holidays!

Trying times are when Lakewood neighbors show up for one another, even if they can’t “show up” in person.

For over 30 years, area schools have held non-perishable food drives and hundreds of volunteers have miraculously assembled at the Masonic Temple in mid-November and December to help Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation (LCAC) sort, bag and deliver holiday food baskets to neighbors in need. But then along came Covid.

Covid has presented many challenges to LCAC’s normal operations, including the cancellation of three major fundraisers for the charitable organization. At its October meeting, LCAC’s board members voted unanimously to continue to serve 600 Lakewood families and seniors in 2020. Members developed a plan to protect recipients and volunteers from Covid exposure by purchasing Giant Eagle gift cards that could be distributed safely, without personal contact.

One of the best things about LCAC’s annual food distribution is the sense of community it embodies. While LCAC regrets not being able to gather in person, its all-volunteer board still need lots of help! 

LCAC’s commitment to providing food for 600 Lakewood households in need over the holidays comes with a $30,000 price tag. Missing anticipated revenue from its 2020 fundraisers, LCAC is reaching out to its wonderful corps of volunteers and the entire community to help meet its holiday food distribution budget.

If you would like to be a part of LCAC’s 2020 Holiday Food Distribution, please make a donation  online at https://paypal.me/LCAC44107 or go to LCAC’s website at https://lcac.info and hit the donate button.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Announces Third Cycle Of Grants To Address COVID-19 Community Needs At Annual Community Meeting

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) held its second annual community meeting virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, September 17, 2020, at which time it announced its third cycle of grants aimed at addressing community needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic:

- Lakewood Community Services Center: $35,000 for food distribution to Lakewood residents
- Lakewood City Schools: $32,000 to Lakewood City Schools for digital connectivity for families with school-age children
- LakewoodAlive: $10,000 for housing outreach for seniors and low-moderate income residents

“We are grateful to everyone who was able to join us for our annual meeting,” says HLF Board President Jeanine Gergel. “We were of course glad to be able to announce our new grants, but, more importantly, the meeting provided a forum for residents to share their thoughts about what is needed to build a healthy Lakewood. The HLF board of directors is committed to continuously learning from our neighbors about the community’s needs and how we can help meet them.”

HLF will continue to assess community needs related to the pandemic through proactive outreach and dialogue with leaders and service providers to identify future grantmaking opportunities. A fourth round of grants will be awarded later in 2020.

To contact HLF, please visit www.healthylakewoodfoundation.org or email healthylakewoodfoundation@gmail.com.

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Volume 16, Issue 19, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020

Keep Lakewood Beautiful - The Great American Cleanup

In conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) is sponsoring #DoBeautifulThings in Lakewood. The Great American Cleanup, spearheaded by Keep America Beautiful, is the nation’s largest community improvement program. Last year, more than 550,000 volunteers participated in events to heighten awareness of the importance of caring for our environment. KLB is encouraging all Lakewood residents to get outside the weekend of October 16 through 18 and do beautiful things for your yard, street, block and community.

Any beautification project is fine; pick up litter, pull weeds, set up a compost pile, plant a tree; the list goes on. Starting this week, we will be sending out ideas each day through social media.

We encourage all to snap a picture of your efforts and post it at the Keep Lakewood Beautiful Facebook page or on our keeplakewoodbeautiful Instagram or tag us at #DoBeautifulThings. For more information or if you need supplies, call the mayor’s office at 529–6600 or email mayorsoffice@lakewoodoh.net. Thank you and hope to see you outside that weekend.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 19, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation To Host Virtual Community Meeting On September 16th

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) is pleased to invite the community to a virtual public meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 7 p.m. to learn about the foundation’s progress over the past 12 months and engage in conversation that will inform the foundation’s grantmaking in the coming year.

The meeting format will include reports from HLF’s officers on activities of the foundation over the past year, followed by breakout sessions in which all meeting participants will have the opportunity to engage with board members and with each other to share their perspectives on the health of the Lakewood community and future priorities.

“To say the last 12 months have been eventful would be an understatement,” says Board President Jeanine Gergel. “We are eager to share how we have responded to the needs of the community during these turbulent times. Even more important will be the chance to hear from our neighbors about how they are faring and what needs the community faces going forward.”

 

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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 5:22 PM, 09.16.2020

The Return Of The Annual Lakewood Kiwanis Scarecrow Festival

Wind nor rain nor COVID 19 will stop the scarecrows from arriving in the fall on Madison Ave. Madison Avenue will become a parade of playfulness with scarecrows lining the entire avenue: West 117th to Riverside Drive, from October 11-25, 2020 for the 7th Annual Lakewood Scarecrow Festival. Make plans to build your own scarecrow and participate in this fun opportunity for individual, families, businesses, clubs and organizations.

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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 4:58 PM, 09.02.2020

As More People Need Help Due To COVID-19, Legal Aid Continues To Expand

The economic impact of COVID-19 caused more people to become eligible for free legal assistance from The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. As a result, Legal Aid is taking on an increased number of cases, especially in the areas of housing law and employment law. Already, compared to the same time last year, the organization has seen a 25% increase in landlord-tenant cases and a 46% increase in work-related issues such as unemployment. 

Legal Aid is open and available to both new and returning clients, offering online intake 24/7 and phone intake during certain business hours. Hundreds have already benefitted from Legal Aid’s assistance and representation during the pandemic. 

One person Legal Aid assisted recently is Melissa Benjamin (name changed to protect privacy). Melissa lives with her husband and their three children. She worked as a Lyft driver to make ends meet, but lost her income when Ohio's “stay at home” order took effect in March. Unable to make the family’s mortgage payments, Melissa contacted Legal Aid. Her attorney knew that the CARES Act prevented banks from filing new foreclosures, so she submitted a forbearance request, which was quickly approved. Thanks to Legal Aid’s intervention, the Benjamin family is safe in their home as their payments are deferred, giving them time to save.

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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Three Arches Foundation COVID-19 Response Grants Highlight Increased Focus On Looking After Our Mental Health: Grants Help Nonprofit Organizations Take Care Of Their Clients And Front-Line Caregivers

Recognizing the immediate need for support at the onset of the pandemic, Three Arches Foundation (TAF), a community-focused grant making foundation, established the COVID-19 Response Fund. To date, eight nonprofit organizations serving the people of Lakewood and surrounding communities have received funding for resources towards unanticipated needs and to ensure continued focus on access to care. Prevalent in nearly all grant requests was a common thread of proactively supporting mental health initiatives for the benefit of those served, as well as caregivers and staff.

The health and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic are creating and intensifying significant behavioral health challenges for many individuals and local communities. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and magnified the flaws in our mental health system and the true burden of mental illness in our country,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA. “Behavioral health care integration can help save lives and is a proven model that has many advantages over a more divided one.”

Local organizations that received financial resources through the TAF COVID-19 Response Fund include:

Building Hope in the City
Funding to efficiently repurpose and expand capacity of the Refugee Ambassador Program towards serving and maintaining close contact with refugees and immigrants remotely or in-home within their culture and language comfort, as well as providing health and safety education, well checks and addressing mental health needs.

Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health
Funding to implement socially distanced and virtual delivery methods to allow for the continuation of vital music and arts enrichment programs and activity-based experiences for individuals affected by dementia and other brain health issues.

Cleveland Clinic
Funding towards the ongoing health, well-being and safety of front-line medical caregivers and first responders fighting COVID-19 in Lakewood and throughout the west side communities, including considerations to ease the burden of their critical roles within the family environment.


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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Concrete Floor Refinishing” Virtual Workshop On September 10

A first-of-its-kind workshop for our organization will help you bring new life to your old concrete flooring.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: Concrete Floor Refinishing on Thursday, September 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The ninth workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series aims to equip you with the knowledge and confidence you need to pursue a concrete floor refinishing project within your basement, garage or other rooms of your home.

Orchestrated by LakewoodAlive’s Matt Clark and Allison Urbanek, this free workshop will delve into best practices for refinishing your concrete flooring, as well as offer tips for repairing minor cracks and pitting. We’ll discuss when to repair versus when to replace your concrete flooring, and cover the following topics:

  • Maintenance & Prep
  • Products & Technique
  • Finishing & Aftercare
  • Trouble Shooting

To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: Concrete Floor Refinishing” virtual workshop, visit LakewoodAlive.org/ConcreteFloorRefinishing or call 216-521-0655.  

 

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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Lakewood Residents Facing Financial Challenges From COVID-19 Eligible For Interest-Free Loans

Lakewood residents experiencing financial hardships stemming from COVID-19 may be eligible for interest-free loans of up to $1,500 from HFLA of Northeast Ohio.

The loans can be used for a variety of needs such as to replace wages lost due to the pandemic, pay for unexpected childcare or medical costs, or keep households afloat during these difficult financial times. HFLA's team is able to process complete applications in 2-3 business days. Individuals interested in learning more about HFLA of Northeast Ohio’s COVID-19 emergency loan program and finding out if they qualify can visit the organization’s website at www.interestfree.org or can contact HFLA lending staff directly at team@interestfree.org or at (216)-378-9042.

The pool of loan funds designated specifically for use by Lakewood residents was established through a grant from the Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF).

“Our board recognized early on in the pandemic that there would be many local families and individuals impacted by the economic downturn,” says HLF Board President Jeanine Gergel. “While we have provided other grants to nonprofit organizations to help residents meet basic needs such as food and transportation, we decided to support the HFLA COVID-19 emergency loan program because it provides access to the most flexible form of assistance of all -- cash -- on an interest-free basis.”

Gergel says the HLF board was especially compelled by HFLA COVID-19 emergency loan program’s terms, which allow individuals whose financial situations have been harmed by the pandemic to qualify without a guarantor and repayment over a generous period of time without accrual of interest.

“We wanted to ensure that financial assistance would be available to people hurt by COVID who might not otherwise be eligible for loans through traditional lending institutions,” says Gergel, “either because they do not have a guarantor or because they are limited in the size of the repayments they are able to make. We believe the HFLA COVID-19 emergency loan program is structured to meet these very precise needs for our neighbors and friends who are facing financial struggles in these challenging times.”

About the Healthy Lakewood Foundation: The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community foundation. HLF was created to ensure remaining assets from the conversion of the Lakewood Hospital will continue to benefit the health and wellness of residents in the City of Lakewood. HLF was established in September 2018 as part of the master agreement following the closing of Lakewood Hospital. HLF was formed from the Foundation Planning Task Force and through their recommendation to the City of Lakewood and the Lakewood Hospital Association.

To learn more about HLF, visit www.healthylakewoodfoundation.org, or email the foundation at healthylakewoodfoundation@gmail.com.

About HFLA of Northeast Ohio: The mission of HFLA of Northeast Ohio (HFLA) is to provide interest-free loans to address the financial challenges of residents of Northeast Ohio who lack access to traditional lending sources. Founded in 1904, the organization is set up through donations as a revolving loan fund; money that is paid back monthly is then lent out to other people in the community – recycling dollars in the community, multiplying the impact of each donation tenfold in less than a generation.

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Volume 16, Issue 15, Posted 4:08 PM, 08.05.2020

Mamaliga, Here We Come--2020 Version

St Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral announces its Romanian Food Festival--drive-thru style--for August 21 and 22. Your favorite Romanian foods will be on the menu as you order from your car and enjoy your meal at home or perhaps a picnic at the lake. Stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, sausage/sauerkraut, mamaliga (our version of polenta baked with cheese and sour cream) and mititei, Romanian mighty burgers hot off the grill. Also enjoy freshly-made elephant ears and assorted pastries. All appropriate safety measures are in place for safe food preparation plus service.

"For 15 years our annual festival has steadily gained in popularity, so not being able to provide this opportunity this year for our neighbors and friends is particularly painful," says Father Remus Grama, parish priest. "The decision to offer this modified version of our festival in some small part hopefully will be seen as a valuable substitute for our successful yearly summer festival."

This year experience a smaller "Taste of Romania" through the good foods being cooked and offered with love by St Mary's Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, located just up the street at 3256 Warren Rd, in the Kamms Corners neighborhood. Friday, August 21: 4pm to 8pm and Saturday, August 22: 12pm to 8pm.

Call 216-941-5550 for further information or visit the website www.smroc.org

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Volume 16, Issue 15, Posted 4:08 PM, 08.05.2020

LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Cabinet Refinishing” Virtual Workshop On July 16

It's estimated that people spend more waking hours in the kitchen than any other room of their home. That's all the more reason to give your kitchen a splash of newness by transforming your aging cabinets into attractive centerpieces of this all-important room.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: Cabinet Refinishing on Thursday, July 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The eighth workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series seeks to equip attendees with the knowledge and confidence they need to pursue a kitchen cabinet refinishing project.

Led by Matt Clark, LakewoodAlive’s Tool Box Coordinator, this workshop will offer a step-by-step approach for refinishing your cabinets effectively by focusing on the process, products and safety measures necessary to ensure a job well done. Matt will share best practices for undertaking a cabinet remodel, covering everything from knowing which tools and materials you will need to repairing cracks and damage to maintaining hardware.

To reserve your free spot for our "Knowing Your Home: Cabinet Refinishing" virtual workshop, visit LakewoodAlive.org/KnowingYourHome or call 216-521-0655.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 14, Posted 4:19 PM, 07.15.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Announces Second Cycle Of Grants To Address COVID-19 Community Needs

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) board of directors awarded the following grants at its May 2020 meeting in an ongoing effort to address community needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Department of Human Services, City of Lakewood: $60,000 for resident emergency needs.

Hebrew Free Loan Association (HFLA) of Northeast Ohio: $57,500 to establish a pool of Covid-19 emergency loans exclusively for Lakewood residents (individual loans up to $1,500).

Asian Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA, Inc.): $15,000 to meet the emergency needs of refugee and immigrant families in Lakewood.

“The Healthy Lakewood Foundation board believes these three organizations are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of residents experiencing some of the most acute health and safety risks as well as those undergoing financial difficulties as a result of the public health crisis,” says HLF Board President Jeanine Gergel. “We are especially concerned about how the pandemic is impacting Lakewood’s most vulnerable residents and recognize our responsibility to make the resources we have been entrusted with available to assist them.”

The three newly announced grants are in addition to two previous grants awarded by HLF in March 2020 to Lakewood Community Services Center ($50,000) and Department of Human Services, City of Lakewood ($25,000), bringing the Foundation’s total year-to-date grantmaking to meet resident emergency needs to $207,500.


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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

LakewoodAlive To Host Birdtown Picnic To-Go On June 27

LakewoodAlive will host a Birdtown Picnic To-Go on Saturday, June 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Madison Park (south entrance to the park off of Athens Avenue). Sponsored by the City of Lakewood and Joe’s Deli Lakewood, this free community event is an initiative of LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Community Engagement Program.

In an effort to ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sixth year of our Birdtown Picnic will have a different look. Community members are invited to come pick up a to-go meal consisting of complimentary hot dogs, hamburgers or veggie burgers, chips, applesauce and a drink. 

200 meals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Drive-thru and walk-up guests will both be accepted. Masks are strongly encouraged.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

COVID Times: Nonprofit Comes Home To Lakewood

COVID-19 forced many workers to set up home offices during the stay-at-home order for nonessential travel earlier this year. That included two-thirds of the nonprofit, because I said I would’s staff returning to Lakewood from their Rocky River headquarters to work remotely from their homes. Because I said I would was founded in 2012 by two Lakewood residents, Founder, Alex Sheen whose father’s greatest attribute was being a man of his word, and Co-Founder, Amanda Messer whose early life was fraught with the pain of broken promises. Together, they started a social movement to better humanity through promises made and kept. The organization accomplishes this through volunteer projects, individual action plans, character education programming, tools, resources and inspirational content.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

Free Books For Children From Birth To Age 5 In Lakewood And Cuyahoga County

Free books for children from birth to age 5 are available in our community from The Literacy Cooperative and the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library!

id you know that “the single most important factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home before starting school”? (National Commission on Reading). As a parent or caregiver, snuggling up and reading daily with your child is one of the most important actions you can take to help set them up for future success.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails a free, brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years old, instilling a love of books and family reading from an early age. The Literacy Cooperative manages the program in Cuyahoga County and Wickliffe where it is available to every young child under age 5; the program is also available in other Ohio counties(check online at www.ohioimaginationlibrary.comfor availability). There are no income restrictions.

In

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

Keep Lakewood Beautiful - Beautiful Home Awards

Each year, Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) sponsors a Beautiful Home Awards program to honor exceptional gardens (annuals, perennials, shrubbery, vegetables. herbs, no limits) in our neighborhoods. We are currently accepting nominations for the 2020 awards. Do you know of an especially nice house and yard/garden in your neighborhood? Please consider nominating that home.

The only requirements are that the home is in Lakewood and the nomination is submitted by July 31. You can nominate a home through the Keep Lakewood Beautiful webpage on the city website (onelakewood.com). You may also call the office of the mayor (216-529-6600) with your nomination. You will need to provide your name and contact information and the address of the nominated home.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

Legal Aid’s Response to COVID19: Full Services Available + A New Resource

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only threatened the health of our community, but it has also magnified the needs of Northeast Ohio's most vulnerable residents. As a growing number of people struggled to secure basic needs such as shelter, income, and safety, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland mobilized its resources to continue fully serving Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, and Geauga counties. Since March 14th, Legal Aid attorneys have been working with clients remotely through emails, texts, phone calls, and video calls.

When Governor Mark DeWine closed all nonessential businesses in response to COVID19, many low-income workers faced layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours. Legal Aid developed new supports for those affected.

On April 9th, Legal Aid launched the Worker Information Line, which provides clear, direct answers to questions about work or unemployment benefits. Those with questions can call at any time and leave a message clearly stating their name, phone number, and a brief description of their question. A Legal Aid staff member will return the call between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Calls are returned within 1-2 business days. Cuyahoga County residents should call 216-861-5899; Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Lorain County residents should call 440-210-4532.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

Registration Now Open For Virtual Meltdown 5K, 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk

Ready, set, go! Registration is now open for the inaugural Virtual Meltdown 5K and Virtual 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk taking place July 15 to July 31.

In an effort to ensure health and safety for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, these popular centerpieces of LakewoodAlive’s Lakewood Summer Meltdown sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled will be orchestrated as virtual races this year, offering participants the opportunity to continue this long-held Lakewood summer tradition.

The Virtual Meltdown 5K serves as a fundraiser for LakewoodAlive. Lace up your running shoes and complete the race at your convenience anytime between July 15 and July 31. Participants can opt to conquer the actual Meltdown 5K course, or complete the race in another fashion of your choosing, such as by running through your neighborhood or using a treadmill.

In addition to supporting LakewoodAlive, your participation in the Virtual Meltdown 5K comes with the following perks:

  • A special edition Virtual Meltdown 5K commemorative t-shirt
  • Prizes for top finishers in each age category
  • A voucher for a “buy one, get one free” beer token offer redeemable at the Beer Garden during the 2021 Lakewood Summer Meltdown (age 21+)

Race participants are encouraged to share their pride by posting a race-day selfie on Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #VirtualMeltdown5K for a chance to be featured on LakewoodAlive’s social pages.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

Lakewood Kiwanis Club Awards $100,000 In Scholarships To 10 Students.

Lakewood Kiwanis Scholarship Foundation is proud to announce our 2020 recipients for this year’s graduating seniors. The following 10 graduates are being awarded $10,000 over the next 4 years in $2500 increments for their academic, citizenship and leadership abilities.

This scholarship fund is funded through the efforts of The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood. The Lakewood Pizza Bake-off and Annual Scarecrow Festival are just two of our major fundraisers.

Congratulations.. Nate A. White, Lakewood H.S., Sydney Wilhelmy, Lakewood H.S., Annie P. Gallagher, St. Joseph Academy, Olivia G. Vuyanich, Lakewood H.S., Audrey Stahl, Lakewood H.S., Emma P. Hisch, Lakewood H.S., Mollie P. Gallagher, St. Joseph Academy, Sean P. Mahoney Lakewood H.S., Cameron Levis, Lakewood H.S.,  and Emily McIntire, Lakewood H.S.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Universal Design” Virtual Workshop On June 11

There’s a growing movement within our society toward realizing better universal design in our homes, and now is your chance to learn more about this quality of life concept.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: Universal Design on Thursday, June 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The seventh workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series will cover how to incorporate the seven principles of universal design into your home.

Led by our friends at Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio, this unique workshop will offer clear examples of features you can add and improvements you can make to increase the accessibility and safety of your home so that people of all ages can enjoy it.

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Because of universal design, people in all stages of life can all enjoy the same home, and that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.

To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: Universal Design” virtual workshop, visit LakewoodAlive.org/UniversalDesign or call 216-521-0655. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

LakewoodAlive to Host “Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair” Virtual Workshop on May 14

We’re known as the “City of Beautiful Homes,” yet as many residents have discovered, maintaining our renowned-yet-aging housing stock requires more than some basic elbow grease on the part of homeowners.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair on Thursday, May 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The fifth workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series will focus on the process of working with a home repair/improvement contractor.

Led by Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing & Internal Operations Director, this free workshop will cover the basics of understanding your repair, including navigating the process of obtaining estimates, scheduling the job and ensuring the project is completed properly in a timely manner. 

The goal of this presentation is to help remove the guesswork from the daunting task of home repair and improvement projects. When your project is done correctly the first time, you save precious time, money and sanity.

To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair” virtual workshop, visit tiny.cc/ContractARepair or call 216-521-0655. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Community West Foundation Grants $100,000 to Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Response Fund to Support Fairview Hospital Caregivers

Community West Foundation is issuing a $100,000 grant to the Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Response Fund to help Fairview Hospital employees who are on the front lines of the pandemic. The grant will cover expenses like temporary housing for caregivers, many of whom are staying away from home to reduce exposure to their families, gift cards for meals, and comfort stations. Access to these self-care resources will support them as they care for current COVID-19 patients and prepare for any potential surge to come.

Formerly known as the Fairview/Lutheran Foundation, Community West has been supporting these Cleveland Clinic hospitals as well as many community non-profit agencies since 1997. “Many people don’t know about our deep history with Fairview and Lutheran Hospitals,” said Marty Uhle, President and CEO of Community West Foundation. “We are responding to COVID-19 emergency needs to support all of our partners during this crisis. Supporting Fairview Hospital is a no-brainer for us,” he said.

“The gift from the Community West Foundation is significant and meaningful to us. We are grateful for the foundation’s support of our Fairview Hospital caregivers at this time when our caregivers are giving so selflessly to our community,” commented Lara Kalafatis, Chair, Cleveland Clinic Philanthropy Institute.
Since the pandemic struck, area non-profits are feeling the financial pressure that comes with increased demand, volunteer shortage and canceled fundraising events due to physical distancing requirements. In addition to establishing its own emergency response fund, Community West joined as a voting partner in the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to make emergency grants available to area non-profits. They also joined a similar collaborative being led by the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

The Legal Aid Society Of Cleveland Calls For Pro Bono Help Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is calling on attorneys, paralegals, law students, and law graduates to use their expertise to support the many people made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, due to limited resources, Legal Aid had to turn away nearly half of the people who sought help. As the need in the community skyrockets, additional resources are more critical than ever.

Legal Aid remains open and fully operational to represent clients, empower individuals with information and expert guidance, and advocate for justice at the policy level. While all four physical offices are closed, Legal Aid’s entire staff is working from home. Online intake is open 24/7 and phone intake is available during select business hours. Even so, Legal Aid will not be able to meet the needs of a growing client population without pro bono assistance from Northeast Ohio’s legal community.

Due to the pandemic, Legal Aid expects an increase in cases related to debt and bankruptcy, employment law and unemployment compensation, wage theft, housing stability, and domestic violence. Legal professionals can help those struggling with these issues in a variety of ways, at various levels of time commitment. Opportunities include: taking on a case; providing brief advice over the phone, participating in a “virtual” advice clinic, and helping Legal Aid with a project.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

LakewoodAlive Announces New And Improved Pricing Model For The Lakewood Tool Box

Welcome to year two of The Lakewood Tool Box. It’s never been easier or more affordable to rent the tools you need for completing essential repairs to ensure we live in healthy and safe homes.

LakewoodAlive announces a new pricing model whereby Lakewood Tool Box members will no longer be charged fees on a per-tool basis when renting from its ever-growing tool lending library, which consists of 60+ items ranging from standard hand tools to equipment for larger projects.

Annual Tool Box membership – open to all Lakewood residents, tenants and landlords – remains priced at $30 per resident/tenant and $75 per landlord.  Special pricing is available for low-to-moderate income residents. A refundable deposit will be required for tool rental, but will be refunded to the customer upon the return of all rented items in good, clean working order.

The Lakewood Tool Box is currently open by appointment only to ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis. Appointments can be made by contacting Matt Clark at 216-712-6674 or mclark@lakewoodalive.org. Both Tool Box members and non-members are also welcome to contact Matt with questions regarding their projects.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Lakewood Kiwanis Says Thank You.

Thank you, thank you to all the pizza lovers in Lakewood who came to the Lakewood Kiwanis Pizza Bake-off on a snowy February night at Lakewood High School. And a big shout out to all of our vendors for keeping the pizza and ice cream smoothly flowing all night. What a great event for our community. The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood wants to thank everyone for helping with the success of this event. Our attendance for pizza lovers was over 600 and we had 10 of the best pizza shops to work with and participate. You voted for the following categories:
Participated:
Georgio's Oven Fresh Pizza
Peppers Italian Restaurant
Nunzio's Pizzeria
Papa John's
Toni's
Tomori's

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Responds To COVID-19

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) has announced that it will focus its 2020 grantmaking on community needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

Funds will be awarded immediately to help support two organizations that are directly helping Lakewood residents who are in great need during this crisis. A grant of $50,000 will be awarded to the Lakewood Community Services Center (LCSC) to support increased food procurement and distribution. A grant of $25,000 will be awarded to the Department of Human Services, City of Lakewood, for resident emergency needs stemming from the public health crisis. 

The Foundation will be taking a phased approach for the remainder of the year to respond with additional grants to meet further needs as they become clearer as the crisis unfolds.

“The board places its full confidence in LCSC and the City of Lakewood Human Services Department to identify residents most at risk and provide increased services and basic needs support in this time of crisis,“ says HLF Board President Jeanine Gergel. “We trust the leadership of these two entities to be able to quickly provide help to those most in need.” 

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Community West Foundation Announces COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Community West Foundation has established the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to further support their long-time grantees as additional needs arise. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, area non-profits are feeling the financial pressure that comes with increased demand, volunteer shortage and canceled fundraising events due to social distancing requirements. In addition, Community West granted $50,000 to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to make emergency funds available to non-profits helping those in need during this crisis.

The Community West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $715,000 in quarterly grants to local non-profit agencies located in western Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties. Because of the timing of these grants, Community West allowed the organizations the freedom to allocate their grants as they deem necessary during this time of crisis rather than using them for specific programs outlined in their original proposals.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Sunrise Rotary Supports Trials Of Hope At Fundraiser May 1, 2020

The 2020 Annual Dinner and Auction Fund Raiser will be Friday, May 1 at 6 p.m. at the Don Umerley Center in the City of Rocky River Civic Center complex at West 210 and Hilliard Blvd. It will include a full course served dinner with cash bar and silent and live auction raffles. Trials of Hope will be a major benefactor of this year’s event. Tickets are just $30 per person.

The mission statement of Trials for Hope is to deliver dignity and hope to those who fall between the cracks, bringing wholesome food, personal care items, and warmth to the greater Cleveland area.

In 2010, Trials of Hope founder, Johnathan Gray was gifted a large donation of trial-sized toiletries and decided to bring it to a local community meal. A line quickly formed, and the expressions of gratitude were encouraging, but a greater need was also revealed. Many in the community had needs and requirements that weren't being met by assistance programs and they had fallen between the cracks. Whether it was the inability or lack of funding to provide medical, clothing, or personal care - the community was struggling, and Jon saw a way to answer the need. Through dedication, personal connections, and tireless outreach to both the giving communities and those in need he has been able to continually answer 'yes' when those who struggle reach out for help.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020

Popular Play & Say Program Will Now Be Offered In Lakewood

Join us for a new playgroup that is safe and welcoming for families in all communities who are seeking more connections and a supportive environment for their child (ages 0-6 years). The first Play & Say in Lakewood will take place on Thursday, March 5, 10 a.m. at Lakewood Family Room Main. It is supported by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River.

At Play & Say, you'll learn new skills, meet other families and connect to community resources. An experienced Speech-Language Pathologist from the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center will highlight a new topic each month and families will go home with an educational handout. As participants practice social and communication skills, staff members will be available to answer questions and offer tips. This program is free and open to the public of any community and is designed for children with and without developmental concerns. Registration is preferred, visit connectingforkids.org/play-say. Co-sponsored by the Lakewood Family Room.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020

Cox Communications Returns To Award $30K In Grants To Local Nonprofits

Despite the important work nonprofits and community organizations do in the communities they serve, many are lacking the modern technology tools needed to perform their missions to the fullest. To bridge this technology gap, Cox Communications today announced the 2020 recipients for its “Tech Boosts” program, which awards grants to nonprofit groups committed to investing in technology equipment for the betterment of its patrons and mission.

In Ohio, the company presented GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland with a $15,000 Tech Boost grant. GiGi’s will use its grant to purchase high-tech devices ranging from light tables and tablet devices to fitness trackers and a silhouette cutting machine. The new equipment will help GiGi’s enhance its free, purposeful programs in ways that support learners with Down syndrome who thrive under a multi-sensory approach. In addition, the new equipment will reduce reliance on a handful of devices between volunteers and employees, a change that will allow GiGi’s team to be even more hands-on with program participants and more efficient in their instruction.

This marks the third year of the Cox Communications Tech Boosts program, and the mission remains the same: to invest in technology equipment and services that support a common goal of enriching the lives of community members and fulfilling their missions to the fullest. The company recognizes community organizations across its Northeast footprint, which includes Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Ohio.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

LakewoodAlive, ESOP Join Forces To Offer Free Tax Preparation On March 7

LakewoodAlive has teamed with Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) to offer free tax preparation and filing to working low-income families and individuals on Saturday, March 7. “Super Saturday” takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Harrison Elementary School in Lakewood’s Historic Birdtown Neighborhood (2080 Quail Street).

Call 2-1-1 or visit refundohio.org to schedule your appointment to have your taxes done for free by one of ESOP’s certified tax preparers.  Walk-ins are welcome but will be seen after all scheduled appointments.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program provides free tax preparation to working low-income individuals and families by trained, certified volunteers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Tax preparers will help participants receive their full income tax refund – as much as $6,557 in refund monies utilizing electronic filing and direct deposit.

Tax Credit Eligibility Guidelines for Tax Year 2019:

  • Families with three or more qualifying children who earned less than $50,162 in 2019 (or less than $55,952 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit of up to $6,557.
  • Families with two qualifying children who earned less than $46,703 in 2019 (or less than $52,493 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit of up to $5,828.
  • Families with one qualifying child who earned less than $41,094 in 2019 (or less than $46,884 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit of up to $3,526.
  • Individuals who do not have a qualifying child, but are between the ages of 25 and 64, with earned income of less than $15,570 in 2019 (or less than $21,370 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit up to $529.
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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

LakewoodAlive Honors Volunteers With Appreciation Happy Hour

As the saying goes, it takes a village. This is certainly true in the case of LakewoodAlive, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that relies heavily on community members to help fulfill our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods.

LakewoodAlive hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour on Thursday evening, January 30, at the new office of Blue Ridge Media Company, a Lakewood-based marketing agency. The event, attended by more than 50 volunteers, featured refreshments, friendships and stories of remarkable volunteerism. LakewoodAlive celebrated the nearly 750 volunteers who, in 2019, contributed their time and talents to supporting our organization and to helping improve quality of life in Lakewood.

Volunteer Champion Awards were bestowed upon the following individuals for their outstanding service to LakewoodAlive:

Outgoing LakewoodAlive Board Members

  • Steve Clark
  • Dr. James Hekman
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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.05.2020

Lakewood Kiwanis K Kids Awareness Week

February 17-21, 2020 is Kiwanis International recognition week for Kiwanis K Kids. Lakewood Kiwanis is proud to sponsor 4 K Kid Clubs in our community: Grant Elementary School, Horace Mann Elementary School, Family Life Before and After Care at Harrison and EmersonElementary Schools.

K Kids is the youngest youth leadership club in the Kiwanis family. Each K Kids club has a school/administrator advisor and Lakewood Kiwanian advisor. Each club has their leadership team of K Kids selected through essays submitted or elected at the beginning of school. After that is in place, the voting of projects by the kids are done for the year. Our K Kids projects include food drives, community trash cleanup in the Spring and local initiatives that they have chosen to do. The kids learn that they have a voice in the club and need to make the commitment to complete their projects. As advisors, we try to have different speakers come in to connect the kids to the community service they complete. Win, win for all. Lakewood Kiwanis also sponsors Builders Club at Harding Junior High and Key Club at Lakewood High School.

Our K Kids have been busy this school year. Grant School K Kids just completed a successful food drive for LCAC (Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corp.). By making posters and having Special Days (Hat Day, Pajama Day) through the week, the K Kids drew attention to the importance of the food drive. Grant K Kids are now planning a Save Lake Erie project this Spring. Horace Mann K Kids collected toys for the Lakewood Christmas Store. Again, posters were made, and the kids promoted the collection to their classmates. Horace Mann K Kids also had an Alex’s Lemonade Stand this month for Pediatric Cancer. Family Life K Kids at both Harrison and Emerson Elementary made Snowman Soup (hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, a candy cane and a holiday poem) for a homeless ministry in the area.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.05.2020

Dr. Martin Luther King Remembered at Barton Center

On January 20 the Barton Senior Center offered several events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The day long celebration was initiated by Cheryl Shaver, Barton Center Manager of Marketing and Development. Most of the activities were coordinated by Patricia Wellborn, a Barton member.

Beginning at 10 a.m. in the Center's auditorium, the "Black Voices Open Mic" session began. Multi faceted aspects of the Black experience were illuminated by various speakers. Participants included Michael Knight who read two poems, "Let America Be America Again," by Langston Hughes, and "(SOS) Save Our Sons," by Benjamin Zephaniah.

Ms. Wellborn's daughter, Melanie Swiat, accompanied by her daughter, Ashtyn, discussed activist Angela Yvonne Davis who was a prominent voice in the late 1960's. Like many who have spoken out against injustice, Davis was controversial because of her views. She believed that the struggle of Black women represented the fight for rights by all members of society. Eight-year-old Ashtyn Swiat earlier read a poem, "I'm Glad To Be Me" (author unknown).

Helen Green praised her hero Barbara Jordan as someone who "stood out as a person I would like to be." Among her many achievements, Jordan was the first Southern African American woman elected to the US House of Representatives and a crusader for civil rights. She is quoted as saying, "what the people want is very simple -- they want an America as good as its promise."

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.05.2020

Commitment In Fitness At GiGi's Playhouse

GiGiFIT Adult at GiGi's Playhouse on Detroit Rd here in Lakewood just wrapped its first session and the results are impressive!

Every Monday for the past 12 weeks, a group of adults with Down syndrome have been meeting at the Playhouse for GiGiFIT. GiGiFIT is a FREE program designed to address common issues for people with Down syndrome, including hypotonia (low muscle tone), joint laxity and decreased balance. Each session included an hour-long workout, comprised of planks, squats, weighted ball passes, push ups, hips abductions and more.

TOGETHER, these 8 participants have worked during the last 12 weeks to collectively:

lose 15 pounds

increase grip strength (measured by the dynamometer) by 21.25lbs

increase number of chest passes thrown in 1 minute by 41 throws

increase number of standing marches in 1 minute by 68 reps

improve number of push-ups (using correct form) in 1 minute from 77 total to 142 total (a difference of 65 combined push-ups!)

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 8:04 AM, 01.23.2020

Power Of Moms: 2020

Moms Demand Action will host an event on February 16, 2020 for Greater Clevelanders to engage in the movement to protect people from gun violence. “Power of Moms: Ohio 2020” will feature guest speaker, The Honorable Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton,and will be held at the Rocky River Methodist Church Hall located at 19414 Detroit Ave. starting at 3pm.

Two years ago, over 300 Clevelanders gathered at the same location to take action to reduce gun violence following the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, at which 17 people were killed. In Ohio, an average of 1400 people die by gun every year; firearms are the second leading cause of death among Ohio children and teens. “In a state where 90% of residents have indicated support for background checks on all gun sales, 2020 marks a pivotal opportunity for gun safety reform in Ohio. The ‘Power of Moms’ event will align and elevate the voices of mothers and others who know that gun violence is preventable and want to do something to end the gun violence epidemic,” said Brittany Dalton, a Cleveland Heights resident and a gun violence survivor who was injured in a
2018 drive-by shooting while picking up her 8 yr. old son from school.

Power of Moms: Ohio 2020 will present opportunities for volunteers to learn about a variety of evidence-based strategies to reduce gun deaths, injury and trauma, including legislative advocacy and school safety measures.

Registration is requested, but not required. For more information go to: https://tinyurl.com/PoMCLE

 

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 8:04 AM, 01.23.2020

Lakewood Women’s Club Calling For Nominations For 2020 "Women Honoring Women" Leadership Awards

Lakewood Women’s Club (LWC) is seeking nominations for their annual Women Honoring Women Community and Business Leader Awards to showcase women who exemplify charitable service and economic enrichment within the Lakewood community. The nominees and winners of the Leadership Awards will be presented at the 4th Annual Women Honoring Women Event on Thursday, May 7, 2020, 6:00 PM at Georgetown Vosh.  

The Community Leader Award is presented to a woman who demonstrates excellence in leadership through deep understanding of the community and advancement of solutions to meet challenges within Lakewood. A Community Leader is someone who provides service to a charitable organization or multiple organizations that impact Lakewood. Heidi Murray was recognized as the 2019 Community Leader.   

The Business Leader Award recognizes a woman who reflects quality and dedication in the operation of a small business or who plays a key role in Lakewood’s economic advancement. A Business Leader uses her ideas and creativity to promote change within Lakewood, serves as a role model, and participates in community affairs and activities by contributing time, effort, and resources. Ines Rehner, owner of Sweet Designs Chocolatier, was selected as the 2019 Business Leader.

For more information on LWC’s Community and Business Leader Awards or to submit a nomination, visit https://www.lakewoodwomensclub.org/nominate-a-woman.html. Nominations are due by March 3, 2020.  

 

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 2:29 PM, 01.08.2020

2nd Annual End Hunger In Lakewood Day Raises Over $19,000

On Saturday November 16th, forty-three Lakewood restaurants and food retailers donated 10% of their food sales to Lakewood Community Services Center to aid in the organization’s work to alleviate hunger in Lakewood. The results well exceeded everyone’s expectations by raising $19,504 in one day – up from $11,800 for last year’s inaugural effort! 

“I cannot begin to thank the restaurateurs and food retailers who participated for the second year and the 12 new participants that chose to join the effort this year. We were thrilled by last year’s result, but to see a 65% increase in donations in just our second year is astounding,” said Matt Fish, owner and founder of Melt Bar and Grilled, who again spearheaded this initiative. “Donating 10% of food sales on a Saturday is no small gesture. This outpouring of support for needy Lakewood residents speaks to the generosity and community-mindedness of my colleagues in the food industry here in town. I am sure that hearing the staggering number of Lakewood residents living below the poverty level moved many to jump on board and join this very worthwhile effort.”

“This amazing donation will allow us to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables everymonth for all of 2020, which will have a huge impact on the wellbeing of our clients who rely on us for food,” according to Trish Rooney, LCSC’s Executive Director. “Our goal has always been to secure more healthy food choices to supplement the shelf-stable groceries we provide, but it is easier said than done. Fresh produce is not inexpensive and not always readily available. This incredible support will open up our options to buy product from a number of vendors in Cleveland who either offer us significantly reduced pricing or who rescue food from local farmers.” 

As was hoped, the event was another win-win. Many participating businesses reported a busier than ever Saturday as well as kudos from their customers for being one of the partnering establishments

 

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Volume 15, Issue 24, Posted 1:34 PM, 12.18.2019

Sunrise Rotary Sends Christmas Boxes To Nicaragua

Recently, the Lakewood Rocky River Rotary Clubs packed 75 boxes of school supplies, clothing and toys, and 10 Layettes to be delivered to Chinandega Nicaragua as part of Northern Ohio Rotary District program called “Children of the Dump.”  It all started over 15 years ago when several Rotarians followed up on an ABC TV program.  

The Rotary delegation noticed that children were going through a large local dump to salvage clothing and other items. A member of the delegation, Jack Young of the Rotary Club of Conneaut, came up with an idea for an International Service Project. Rotary Clubs and Rotary members from this Rotary District would collect items needed by the children and families in this area of Nicaragua and pack them in boxes about the size of a large shoe box. Now it is called the “Shoe Box” project by many clubs. Items are either purchased by Club Members or from fund-raising activities of the Club. They include school supplies, personal items like soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and tooth paste, and even an outfit of clothes, and some toys. Packing of the boxes are a Club social activity with children joining in to get experience with service work.

Several years ago, the purchase and packing of layettes for mothers of newborn children was added to the project. Blankets, towels, and personal items for the babies and mothers are packed in special Layette bags and are now shipped with the “Shoe Boxes,” and distributed to a maternity center near Chinandega. 

Boxes are eventually gathered from several areas of the country and for delivery to a port city. In a recent year there were 11 pallets weighing over 18,000 pounds gathered and shipped. To promote school attendance, only children regularly attending school receive a “Shoe Box.”

 

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Volume 15, Issue 24, Posted 1:34 PM, 12.18.2019

Deck The Halls

The Lakewood Historical Society's annual Christmas Sale on the Grounds has everything you need for holiday decorating, entertaining and gift-giving. Everything to Deck your Halls and support a great community organization.

Spending the first full weekend in December shopping at the Nicholson House, Lakewood’s oldest structure, has become a holiday tradition for many savvy shoppers. If you’ve never been, you must come! Beautifully displayed new and nearly-new gift items, tree trimmings, decorations, wrapping paper and anything you need for holiday entertaining share the space with antiques, collectibles, vintage linens, glassware, silver and delicate heirloom ornaments.

Christmas Sale on the Grounds offers the opportunity to recycle treasures of the past, providing one-of-a-kind gift ideas. Donated by a legion of Historical Society supporters of all ages, the items reflect the treasures of the past 100 years and today. Relive your childhood with games, dolls and toys from days gone by, add to your Christmas village collection or find a treasured collectible. We have ruby red, snow white and patterned china to set the most festive table. Hundreds of ornaments and lights galore. If you're watching your budget, you can't afford not to shop here--don't miss this event! 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019

Lakewood Tool Box Ornament Launched Just In Time For Holiday Season

Give the ever-festive gift of home repair this holiday season.

In celebration of a successful inaugural season of The Lakewood Tool BoxLakewoodAlive announces a limited-time, special membership offer for its tool lending library. Any Lakewood resident who purchases a Tool Box membership ($30) for the 2020 season by December 19th will receive a complimentary holiday ornament depicting a wreath-adorned version of the Lakewood Tool Box. Secure your Lakewood Tool Box membership and holiday ornament now by visiting LakewoodAlive.org/Ornament.  

This same offer also extends to Lakewood residents who opt to become a “Friend of the Tool Box” ($50), whereby they secure Tool Box membership and also make a tax-deductible donation to LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program.

Each ornament is handcrafted out of cardstock paper to replicate the Lakewood Tool Box, which is housed in a shipping container located on the grounds of the Screw Factory in Lakewood’s Historic Birdtown Neighborhood.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019