Making a difference — a closer look at ‘Scioto Gives’ participants

A look at ‘Scioto Gives’ participants

By Ciara Conley - [email protected]

The region is filled with non-profit organizations that put in countless hours of work year-round to make the area a better place. From assisting homeless people to homeless pets, from education to artistic opportunities and everything between, it is that time of year again for many of these organizations to reap the benefits of matched donations, thanks to the staff at the Scioto Foundation.

The Scioto Foundation offers many opportunities for community development, from scholarships to watching over endowment funds. They will be matching incoming donations to their registered non-profit organization accounts this year with the annual Scioto Gives event, set for Oct. 20.

Thirty nonprofits will be trying to top or tie last year’s fundraising total of $120,802.21

A few of these organizations include the Boy Scouts of America (BSA),the Friends of Scioto Developmental Disabilities, the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, the Scioto Foundation’s UCAN program, the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center (SCOESC), the Portsmouth STEM Academy, and the CAY Endowment Fund.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Scout Oath: “On my honor, I will do my best. To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”

Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

“Funds allow BSA to maintain Camp Oyo for year-round use, in addition to several other camps within the Simon Kenton Council. Along with maintaining the camp, funds also provide a full-time and on-site ranger that runs special events for scouts and other youth. In our current campaign, funds will also be set aside to purchase new mattresses for the camp,” said District Executive, Reese Bentley. “The local Scout Shop in Portsmouth is also a service that is provided by funds. Units, families, and alumni may purchase awards, uniforms, handbooks, and other necessary resources locally. The funds are also allocated for low-income families who wish to participate in the Scouting programs.”

The Friends of Scioto Developmental Disabilities, provides support for individuals within the organization. Focusing on immediate needs that the Board wouldn’t necessarily handle.

“For example, if an individual or a program needs a replacement microwave for instance, then there would be funds available to do that,” explained Board of DD Communications Coordinator, Lori McNelly. “They help us with things that are emergencies for the individuals, we don’t have to worry about it being caught up in a vote. These funds allow us to provide extra support to the individuals.”

The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund works to provide meals for students in need through their Power Pack program. The packs are distributed to students through their school, and ensure that they have food for the weekend. The program is currently implemented in every school in Scioto County, and parts of Adams and Pike counties, serving over 1,000 students each week.

The Scioto Foundation developed and launched its University College Access Network (UCAN), in the fall of 2008. It is a program dedicated to providing financial assistance for Scioto County High School graduates to attend college. UCAN is a network connecting Scioto County school systems, families, community partners, local donors and the Scioto Foundation. The Scioto Foundation’s goals for UCAN are to:

  • Increase the number of students from Scioto County, Ohio attending and completing college
  • Raise the educational attainment levels of our community, and improve the quality of life for the residents of the Scioto County area.

In eight years, UCAN has shown success, all Scioto County Schools established a scholarship endowment fund. The combined assets are in excess of $1.9 million. 365 students received scholarships awards in the amount $285,013. Scioto County schools received 83 separate mini-grants in the amount of $81,840. 141 Scioto County teachers attended the Advanced Placement Summer Institute to become AP credentialed teachers. 2,227 students took 3185 AP tests.

The South Central Ohio Educational Service Center works to equip local schools with throughout Southern Ohio with the resources necessary to provide educational opportunities to students across the region.

“Scioto Gives is a unique program. It is a way to show your support of educational programming because the money is used to support multiple programs for all Scioto County Schools,” said SCOESC Superintendent, Sandy Mers.

The Portsmouth STEM Academy is a private, non-profit K-8 Ohio school that opened in Portsmouth for the 2014-2015 school year. The school offers courses in science, technology, engineering, and math, while still providing a full program in liberal arts, international cultures, and foreign language (Spanish and Mandarin).

“Scioto Gives is a wonderful campaign,” said STEM’s Michael Barnhart. “These funds will help equip local STEM Academy students with science and technology materials to enrich their learning.”

The CAY Endowment Fund was founded to supplement programs for Catholic youth in the area. It was created to memorialize the 92 board members who founded the CAY organization in the 1960s and worked hard to see that there was a place for wholesome activities for youth in Scioto County.

“Our purpose is twofold: communicating with the kids and encouraging them to have a relationship with God and with each other, and developing educational materials for a curriculum for the program,” said Paul Baum, director of one of the youth groups in Scioto County. “We also plan social things for the youth to do together in the community and we are working to create media to make presentations for them that are not only spiritual, but also professional, inviting and engaging.”

Contributions from donors will be received on the SF website, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20. Using the pull-down menu on the website, donors can select their charity and the amount they wish to give, list credit card information and press “donate.”

Donors can also drop checks off at the Foundation office at 303 Chillicothe Street or transfer stocks between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the designated day.

A look at ‘Scioto Gives’ participants

By Ciara Conley

[email protected]

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook, “Ciara Conley – Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.

Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook, “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.