Saturday, December 13, 2003

Good Things Happening

Food, toys ready in Mount Healthy

Allen Howard

Mount Healthy Parks Director John Peters is gearing himself for working a 12- to 14-hour shift on Wednesday, dividing, packaging and distributing donations for the holidays that were collected in a food and toy drive by the schools and the city.

The day starts at Mount Healthy School, 2046 Adams Road. Peters, along with community and school helpers, will put the finishing touches on about 400 bags of food, toys and health aides to be distributed to about 140 families.

The collections are part of an annual charitable partnership between the city of Mount Healthy and the school district, called the Sharing Tree.

The drive started in November when Rex Ralph Elementary kicked off its program with a "rockin' for the stockin'" dance.

"This is our 10th year, and it is one of the biggest events out here,'' Peters said.

Distribution is 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Most of the families will pick up their bags. For those who don't have transportation, Peters delivers. It seems his day will end about 10 p.m.

Money raised for kids' play

This is a children's game. And Mike Wesselman, president of the Kiwanis Club of Anderson Hills, is leading the pack to raise $40,000 to build an "All-Children's" playground at Veterans Park in Anderson Township.

The drive stands at $10,000 with $5,000 raised by the Kiwanis and $5,000 coming from Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank.

"Our group will match each donation from businesses, organizations, groups and individuals to a total of $10,000,'' Wesselman said. "Kiwanis is spearheading this fund-raising effort as another way to help fulfill our mission of providing recreational opportunities for all youth."

The group raised the money to build the original All-Children's playground in 1988 at Veterans Park, formerly Forest Road Park, which was designed for physically challenged children.

Wesselman said the concept for the new playground is to be inclusive.

Information: 474-0003, ext. 5080.

All sorts of Santa helpers

A health commission, a bank and a sports league will play Santa Claus to a food pantry and needy children.

Huntington Bank's Rookwood office and Cincinnati Sports Leagues are collecting food for the Oakley Community Pantry and working with the Norwood Health Commission in an adopt-a-child gift drive through Dec. 23. Information: 762-1819 or 533-9386.

Computers fixed up, donated

Each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, members of a volunteer group gather in a warehouse in Woodlawn and spend their evening refurbishing cast-off computers, making them useful for non-profit agencies and individuals.

The volunteers, known as The Full Circle Group, was organized three years ago.

Linda Blair, warehouse manager, said the volunteers know well the struggle of managing a business on a shoestring budget.

"They have managed to stay afloat through the generosity of volunteers and local organizations such as Luxotica, the IRS, General Electric and Xavier University who have donated time and computers," Blair said. "This has enabled this small program to continue relocating these machines to those who need them most."

She said this year, the group has placed nearly 300 machines in more than 30 non-profit agencies throughout the city.

ProTrain, which provides computer training, has joined The Full Circle Group to offer training to its students, Blair said.

"This is sort of like a match made in heaven. Our volunteers offer upgrading of computers, while ProTrain students get viable workforce skills," Blair said.

To volunteer, call 772-5777.

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