Monday, July 5, 2004

Making life better: Memorial Inc.

Memorial Inc. has been serving the needs of the poor in Over-the-Rhine since 1917. The Child Advocacy Center of Ohio has been working with families of children and young adults with disabilities for the past 27 years. A year ago the two organizations combined into one, with the Child Advocacy Center falling under the Memorial Inc. umbrella. With a "two heads are better than one" attitude, Memorial Inc. now not only addresses the needs of poorer communities, it also helps families with special- needs children across Hamilton County. The organization is made up of three divisions: education, neighborhood support and advocacy. Memorial Inc. works in education by managing two child development centers that have toddler and after-school programs for children, as well as GED and family literacy programs for adults. Neighborhood support includes Over-the-Rhine, Corryville and Mount Auburn. "The community and Memorial staff members work together to make the environment a better place to live in," said Dhana Donaldson, the development director of the organization. The third division deals with advocacy and providing special-needs children and families with the attention and care they deserve. The advocacy services seek to inform parents and professionals, help families get appropriate education and services for their children with disabilities, and work to improve educational results for all children.

The organization puts its focus on family and community. Memorial Inc. has administrative offices, but they choose to go out into the community as opposed to waiting for the community to come to them. They run day care and Head Start programs in Over-the-Rhine, and the organization also meets with the families of disabled children within the schools so that both the teacher and the parent can be involved in the child's life.

Memorial Inc. informs its communities with its Web site, www.memorialInc.com. It's currently promoting the organization's "Wine and Rhinestones Gala," which will take place Aug. 27 as a fund-raiser for the organization.

Memorial Inc. has been recognizing and attending to the needs of some of the poorer areas in Cincinnati for more than 80 years. Now, in conjunction with the Child Advocacy Center, the needs of the people themselves, especially when dealing with disabled children, can be better addressed.

This feature appears on Mondays. Is there someone or something you have encountered that makes life better in Greater Cincinnati? Send your suggestions to Ray Cooklis at rcooklis@enquirer.com

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