Bridging the Gap for Cancer Patients

Bridging the Gap for Cancer Patients

Ashland County Cancer Association was facing a significant revenue shortfall amid the COVID-19 crisis as a result of cancelled fundraisers and a decline in memorial donations. Meanwhile, clients’ needs for financial, nutritional and emotional support increased during the pandemic.

A COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Grant from Ashland County Community Foundation and United Way of Ashland County helped bridge the gap for Ashland County residents with cancer.

Delivering meals amid the pandemic

Delivering Meals Amid the Pandemic

Every day, Ashland County Council on Aging delivers more than 430 meals to elderly residents of Ashland County.

Recognizing this meal delivery program was more important than ever during a pandemic, Ashland County Community Foundation and United Way of Ashland County were pleased to be able to support it with a COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Grant.

Preventing ‘the summer slide’

Preventing ‘The Summer Slide’

Jarrod Vance’s language arts students at Ashland Middle School created the “Book Brigade” project to encourage Edison and Reagan elementary school students and their families to continue reading over the summer.

One of ACCF’s IMPACT Youth Grants helped Vance’s class fulfill their mission to promote literacy and prevent the “summer slide.”

Reviving Safety Town in Ashland

Reviving Safety Town in Ashland

With support from an IMPACT Youth Grant, Kiwanis Club of Ashland was able to revive the Safety Town program for local five and six-year-olds in 2019.

Grant funding helped the club purchase a street scene tarp and bicycle helmets, pay facility rental fees and transport equipment from storage.

Giving kids the joy of camp

Giving Kids the Joy of Camp

A grant from our IMPACT Youth Council allowed Ashland County children with serious illnesses to enjoy a safe and fun camp experience at Flying Horse Farms.

The camp has specially trained and certified staff and provides adaptations in each area— swimming, boating, high ropes, archery and more— to ensure every camper can participate.

Investing in the next generation of leaders

Investing in the Next Generation of Leaders

Young people in Ashland crave connection and purpose, and the area needs the vision and energy of the next generation in order to move forward.

That’s why Ashland County Community Foundation provided seed money for the start-up of Ashland Young Professionals, a networking organization for young Ashland County career-minded individuals.

More than 100 young people attended the organization’s kickoff event in February 2018. Several people remarked they had never seen so many young people in one place in Ashland. Attendees said they found the gathering refreshing and exciting.

Since then, AYP has hosted several mixers, educational events and volunteer opportunities in the community.

Harnessing the power of play

Harnessing the Power of Play

The year 2019 seemed to be “the year of the playground,” as four different local groups set out to create new playgrounds in Ashland County.

The community foundation used unrestricted dollars to provide grants to help fund each project. Each project received a $5,000 grant, for a total investment of $20,000.

Projects included DK’s Play Zone, the Ashland Middle School seventh graders’ project to build a playground at Ringler Field; Leadership Ashland’s “Play. Connect. Grow.” campaign to build a playground at Ashland County Job and Family Services; Tri-County Educational Service Center’s project to build an inclusive community playground at Mapleton Elementary School Preschool; and Park Street Preschool’s efforts to build a playground to replace an existing playground that would be torn down as part of Park Street Brethren Church’s construction project.

Empowering women to break barriers

Empowering Women to Break Barriers

By identifying the negative thought patterns and damaging beliefs that hold them back, the approximately 60 women who attended the Breaking My Boundaries Conference in 2019 began to break those barriers and transform their lives.

Participants described the day’s activities and speakers as “amazing” and “uplifting.”

One woman said she learned how to be her own encourager. Another said the conference helped her shed negativity from her past. A third said she found camaraderie among the other women in the room and discovered she was not alone.

Lori Au, a counselor at Ashland County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said ACCADA could not have brought the conference to Ashland without the grant from the Women’s Fund of Ashland County Community Foundation and support from other local entities.

Bringing books to public spaces

Bringing Books to Public Spaces

At first glance, they might look a bit like colorful birdhouses. But come closer to one of the wooden boxes that have been mounted on posts in several of Ashland’s public spaces, and you’ll see an array of books behind a glass door. A small plaque prompts, “Take a book. Return a book.”

The boxes are Little Free Libraries, designed to allow readers of all ages to share their favorite books, discover something new or maybe even develop a love of reading.

Through a grant from the Ashland County Community Foundation’s Youth Impact Council, Friends of Ashland Public Library purchased kits to create the bookcases. Jim Thomas from the library’s maintenance staff assembled the boxes, and kids from the community helped paint them as part of the library’s summer reading program in 2017.

Two are located at Brookside Park (one by the pool and playground and the other by the miniature golf course), and a third is at Brookside West. Another box is downtown at Kinnaman Park (on Center Street just south of Main Street). One box is a Cahn Grove Park, and the last is at Freer Field.

Setting a vision for Ashland’s future

Setting a vision for Ashland’s future

The City of Ashland’s 2019 Targeted Action Plan provides a blueprint for creating positive, transformational change in the city.

Through a grant from Ashland County Community Foundation, the city convened a steering committee of local leaders and hired professional planners to identify and plan a few key projects designed to move the city forward. These priority projects will serve as catalysts, paving the way for further investments in Ashland’s future.

ACCF President/CEO Jim Cutright helped facilitate the hiring of the professional planning firm and provided visionary leadership on the Targeted Action Plan steering committee.

The plan focuses on the U.S. 250 corridor as an attractive “front door” to the community and on the downtown area as an inviting place to gather and to enjoy both public amenities and private businesses. The plan also includes a vision for Center Run Trail as a vibrant green space connecting the U.S. 250 corridor with the downtown area. Each element of the plan was created to be attainable within 10 years.

Designed to be specific and realistic, this is not one of those strategic plans that sits on a shelf. City leaders keep the plan close at hand as a guide for creating real action in a targeted way.