CHOW is involved with a couple of organizations to which CHOW donates supplies. These organizations are Grahn School Community Center and Beatitude House.
Grahn School Community Center
CHOW works closely with Grahn School Community Center in rural Appalachia. The relationship began May, 2002. The area became depressed several years ago when a brick factory closed. As a result many area residents lost their jobs. Like dominoes, the local grocery store, restaurant, and even elementary school closed. The children are split between two other area schools. When the Grahn Elementary School closed, in an effort to bring the community together, a group of residents formed a board and purchased the building. After much renovation, the community center opened with a food pantry and thrift shop.
The community center food pantry provides food to area families with children. CHOW collects donated canned goods and also purchases food at a grocery store in nearby Grayson, Kentucky. Community center volunteers are always grateful for the donations of food which are used to feed local residents.
The thrift shop sells clothing and household items at nominal prices to make them affordable to area residents. The money earned pays utility bills for the community center building. CHOW collects like-new clothing, household goods, sports equipment, toys and furniture to be sold at the thrift shop.
The main focus of the community center is literacy. The goal is to encourage parents to read and model good reading habits for their children. The staff of the community center provides a Summer Reading Program. CHOW volunteers have taken several boxes of donated books to be given to the children as rewards during the program.
Bookshelves donated by Bazetta Christian Church daycare are being used for an ongoing used book sale. People come in regularly to buy books which helps the community center earn money to pay their utilities and insurance. People also sit and relax at a table or on a couch to read books.
Another of the community center’s programs is a Christmas giveaway. Parents choose one toy and one article of clothing for each of their children. The center receives many donations for younger children, but not much for teens. To provide gifts for the older children, CHOW collects new and gently used backpacks and fills them with school supplies, a new shirt, and a gently used book. The teens have been very excited to receive these backpacks each year.
In 2010 the Grahn and Olive Hill area experienced severe flooding which resulted in the loss of over 100 homes and numerous businesses. CHOW volunteers collected furniture and household goods from the generous people in the Trumbull County area and trucked them to Grahn for distribution to the displaced families.
CHOW volunteers travel to Grahn twice a year generally in October and June to deliver the donations to the community center but are always accepting donations for this outreach.
BEATITUDE HOUSE – POTTER’S WHEEL
CHOW works with Beatitude House an organization that provides support for disadvantaged women in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties. Potter’s Wheel, the education branch of Beatitude House, has an ongoing need for beginner education kits. Since September, 2001, CHOW has provided 133 kits each of which includes a canvas bag, binders, highlighters, pens, pencils, paper, folders, and notebooks. These kits are important tools needed to begin the educational process that empowers and prepares the women for successful futures.