Executive Director E-News 6.20.16

Summer is in full swing at the WSCC. In addition to our regular volunteers we host many special volunteer groups especially youth groups. This week brought students from Magnificat as part of an “urban immersion” experience. As in previous summers we host a student from the Notre Dame University Summer Service Learning Program. This year it is Michael Kay who hails from Lakewood and will be a sophomore in the fall. These young people always add extra energy to the WSCC during the summer.

Today is the third Friday in the Weekend Food Program. This program was created because school is out and children that receive a backpack full of food every Friday during the school year don’t have that resource during the summer. And it is an important resource. While many efforts are made to provide meals Monday through Friday at various sites, most notably libraries and recreation centers, during the summer there is no backpack program at these centers. Our effort is a drop in the bucket but it is an important one for the children in our neighborhood. We will serve between 100 and 125 children each of 10 weeks this summer.

Every Friday a volunteer group comes to cook and serve a picnic for these children and their families. The first week brought a group from St. Basil the Great and last Friday we had a group from Holy Angels in Bainbridge. Today St. John Neumann will be here. Each week the children receive re-usable bags filled with oatmeal, cereal, milk, soup, peanut butter and jelly, ravioli, macaroni and cheese, pretzels and gummie bears. This is enough for 2 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for the weekend.  Several parents have privately told staff that the food we provide makes a real difference for their children over the weekend. My sincere thanks to Judy Kern, Director of Programs and Jeanette Mazzola, Youth Coordinator for leading these efforts. A special shout-out to Dave’s in Ohio City for providing the food at a very reasonable cost.

Please join us on Thursday, July 7th at 6:00pm in the Breen Center of Saint Ignatius High School for a celebration of this year’s Expressive Arts Project. Clients will present their artwork with some items available for sale. Creative writings will also be shared. It is a very special evening and always ends with refreshments! I invite you to check out the talents of the clients of the WSCC – you will be impressed. 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. Last evening a group went to see Phantom of the Opera with dinner before at Otto Moser’s.

Don’t forget about the 3rd Annual Sips & Swigs on Saturday, August 13th. This is a beer enthusiast’s event meant to educate the public in beer appreciation and beer quality.  Sips & Swigs will be held at St. Ignatius High School’s Kyle Field
from 3-7 PM. Stay tuned for more info on the breweries that will be represented.
This is a festive event put on by the Associate Board of the WSCC. This energetic, enthusiastic group of young professionals has put on two wonderful events and we are looking forward to this year’s event. We look forward to seeing you there.

On a final note, I have attended several meetings over the past few weeks to address the issue of the homeless in Cleveland and the RNC. There have been concerns that homeless folks who are shelter-averse will be displaced from their outdoor living spaces and that adequate services won’t be available to those in need. I am confident through the efforts of many agencies such as the Metanoia Project, NEOCH, St. Herman’s House of Hospitality, St. Paul’s Community Church and WSCC with the assistance of the Cleveland Police Department that those in need in our community will have access to critical services. I expect few, if any homeless will be displaced during the convention. It is good to know that while there may be inconveniences, even the least among us will be accommodated during the week of the RNC.