By Chris Alexis
People can change and second chances are important. This is why Alvis is so vital to our community and a fantastic volunteer opportunity.
The organization helps people who have made mistakes discover and stay on a better path. Alvis serves nearly 8,000 men, women, young adults and children in Ohio each year and operates programs in Columbus, Chillicothe, Lima and Toledo. Three populations are primarily served:
1. Individuals and families who have become involved in the criminal justice system
2. Individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities and behavioral support needs. Many have some justice involvement or are at risk of justice-involvement.
3. Individuals who are receiving treatment for substance abuse addiction. In our Amethyst program, we also provide services to the children of women in the residential addictions treatment program.
“Our vision is that communities believe each person’s potential is more important than their past,” said Gloria Iannucci, Alvis’s communications director. “Our mission is to innovate and deliver evidence-based human service programs that empower those we serve to build successful and productive lives.”
Alvis programs have proven effective. Three years after completing the organization’s residential reentry program, 79% of their clients have remained out of the criminal justice system, compared to the national average of about 50%.
You see? People can change for the better. They just need a little guidance.
And these reformed individuals contribute in other ways: They earn about $2.6 million in annual wages, enabling them to add to the economy by paying taxes, child support, and more while they are still in the Alvis residential program. In addition, clients and staff completed more than 38,000 hours of community service/volunteer work last year.
And YOU can get involved to make an impact on this important mission. Volunteer opportunities range from helping at a special event one time a year to being a mentor for a few hours every month. Individuals can choose to work directly with clients or to work in a support position. Alvis officials can work with an individual’s preferences to certify a good fit.
Cash and in-kind donations are also appreciated! Connect with a member of the Alvis Resource Development Team at 614-252-8402 (Arlene, Jamaal, Paige, April, Gloria, Molly or Jessica) for more information, or visit www.alvis180.org.
“The people we all serve are some of the most vulnerable and misunderstood citizens among us,” Iannucci said. “Our clients cannot will away or punish away their addiction or their disability any more than a person can will away heart disease. But with the right tools, they can change the direction of their lives toward a bright future. Alvis is proud to have a range of evidence-informed and data driven programs which address individual, family and community challenges.”
The Alvis Family and Children’s Program is supported entirely by philanthropy and “Evening of Light” is their signature fundraising event to support this program. The 2018 event takes place on Friday, April 6th. Check out www.alvis180.org for more information.
For more information, please contact Iannucci by email at Gloria.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 614-252-8402, ext. 319.