Executive Director E-News 9.11.15 - Summer Wrap-up

Summer has officially ended at the West Side Catholic Center. It has been a busy one.

We served over 80 families in the ten week Summer Food program. We provided backpacks filled with school supplies to over 400 children as they headed back to the classroom. The garden is almost finished providing vegetables to the kitchen. Sips & Swigs was a great success raising almost $20,000. Over 300 friends joined us to taste beer from 13 craft breweries and eat burritos. Thank you to the Associate Board and especially Bridie Chambers and Beth Watson who chaired the event.

The 5th Annual Expressive Arts Show was held on July 9th and was another success. Clients presented their artwork and we reached a new record for the amount of art sold. Wonderful creative writings were shared. It was a nice way to learn about the talents of the clients of the WSCC. We are proud of the Expressive Arts Project (supported by the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Council) and the opportunities it provides clients to engage in art, yoga, creative writing, drumming, music performances, theater field trips and gardening.

The Expressive Arts Show is always a little bittersweet as we know that a few weeks after the show ends we will be saying goodbye to the current Jesuit Volunteer. This year, Chau Nguyen came to us all the way from Southern California. She had never been away from home and had never seen snow. Chau
will be the first to admit that her first couple of months were tough. But in the end she really blossomed. Chau was the 7th JV I have been privileged to work with at WSCC. She is also the JV that went through the biggest transformation; going from a quiet, shy college grad to an independent, take charge young woman.  Chau left us and went to California to spend time with family and then headed to the east coast to find a job in New York City.

Two weeks after Chau left we welcomed McLean Cannon as our new JV.
McLean hails from Juneau, Alaska and graduated from the University of Oregon.
Yes, we have mentioned several times that Ohio State beat Oregon for the
National Championship. McLean has settled in to life in Ohio City and at
WSCC. He is working with the Employment Program as well as the Expressive Arts Project. He is huge sports fan and has already been to Progressive Field for an Indians game. I think he will be a Cavs fan. McLean has never attended an NFL
game so I am working to get him a couple of tickets to a Browns game. If anyone
has 2 tickets to spare I know McLean would appreciate it. Also, the cold weather does not bother him! Welcome McLean!

We are in the midst of our fall activities and planning for the holidays! Stay tuned.

As always, thank you for reading,