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Aspin receives Innovation Award for Childcare Initiative

November 15, 2022

ASHLAND – Kristin Aspin, Chief Program Officer of Ashland County Community Foundation, received the 2022 Philanthropy Innovation Award from Philanthropy Ohio for leading the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative.

Presented annually by the statewide membership association Philanthropy Ohio, the award recognizes a funder who has moved philanthropy forward through an implemented idea or innovation that led to positive change in how the sector operates, thinks or impacts communities. The award was presented on October 25 at Philanthropy Ohio’s Philanthropy Forward ’22 conference.

“We are so pleased to honor Kristin Aspin and the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative for their innovative work to expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare in Ashland County,” said Philanthropy Ohio President & CEO Deborah Aubert Thomas. “Kristin has been the primary driver of the childcare center project, which represents the single largest initiative in the foundation’s 27-year history.”

With Aspin’s visionary leadership, the Women’s Fund Steering Committee of Ashland County Community Foundation has raised more than $3.5 million toward the creation of a new childcare center in Ashland Business Park. The center is expected to open in 2023 with capacity to serve 150 children. The project is designed to help meet local families’ needs for infant and toddler care, childcare during non-traditional work hours and affordability, as well as to help businesses thrive and grow.

“I am honored to receive this recognition for a project that is close to my heart, both as a mother and as a professional in philanthropy,” Aspin said. “Together with the public and private supporters of this project, including more than 250 businesses and individuals, we are innovating to carry out our community foundation’s mission of advancing philanthropy and improving the quality of life in Ashland County.”

Community members who wish to contribute to the initiative can do so online at or by mailing a check made out to Ashland County Community Foundation, with Childcare Initiative in the memo line, to Ashland County Community Foundation, 300 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805.

About Ashland County Community Foundation: Ashland County Community Foundation advances philanthropy and improves the quality of life in Ashland County by connecting people who care with causes that matter. ACCF has awarded over $22 million in scholarships, grants and distributions.

About the Women’s Fund:

The Women’s Fund is a permanently endowed fund held at Ashland County Community Foundation and managed by the Women’s Fund Steering Committee. The fund was established in 2004 to create a permanent legacy that enhances the lives of women in Ashland County. Annual fund distributions are used to make grants and provide scholarships that build community among women, promote women’s advancement and strengthen Ashland County women. In 2019, the committee voted to tackle what we have identified to be one of the top barriers women in Ashland County face—lack of access to high-quality, affordable childcare. Today, the committee continues the fund’s annual, reactive grant cycle while also devoting significant time and energy to the Women’s Fund Childcare Initiative.

About Philanthropy Ohio:

Philanthropy Ohio is an association of foundations, corporate giving programs, individuals, United Ways and other organizations actively involved in philanthropy in Ohio. Its vision is for a just and vibrant Ohio through impactful philanthropy, and its mission is to lead and equip Ohio philanthropy to be effective partners for change in our communities.