By Chris Alexis
Everyone needs a little help sometimes. For those living in Franklinton and the near west-side neighborhoods of Columbus, a lot can come from Gladden Community House.
“The Gladden House is a neighborhood-based, multi-service agency with a mission to strengthen the well-being of Franklinton’s children, families and community and build a thriving equitable neighborhood. They maintain a 50-50 split in their budget and services between youth and adult programs,” said Joy Chivers, President & CEO of the organization.
Their youth programs focus on children’s educational needs through:
- Preschool for 3-5 year olds (Step Up to Quality five star award recipient)
- After School Youth programs for school-aged children, including Youth Social Adjustment Groups, Teen Quest, Recreation & Team Sports (1000+ 6-18 year olds annually)
- Daily Food Service program (1000 children year-round)
- Summer Day Camps (50 children every summer)
The adult programs primarily focus on the emergency needs of individuals and families by providing:
- Emergency Financial Assistance (for rent, utilities, and other basic needs)
- Gladden Food Pantry for food assistance (12,000 individuals a year)
- Stable Families program (working to prevent homelessness with families)
- Family-to-Family program (working with FCCS to keep children in their homes)
- Seniors Outreach Program for seniors and homebound residents.
But there’s more than that.
Those who work within Gladden also invest vast amounts of time and energy in community-organizing and neighborhood development efforts to build up strengths and resources. There are more than 40-part time and full-time staff members – and hundreds of volunteers. And they need you!
“Franklinton has the lowest median household income ($23,316) and the highest poverty rate in Franklin County, with 37% of households below poverty level, and over 77% of households below self-sufficiency (approximately 200% of poverty). Gladden Community House strives to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, plays and worships in the Franklinton and near west side community. We are a hub services that offers a wide range of programs to meet the greatest unmet needs in our community,” said Chivers.
If you’re a young professional looking to find the right place to give back there are many volunteer opportunities at Gladden Community House at their food pantry, after-school or youth-team sports programs, as well as other events and activities throughout the year.
“By volunteering, you will become involved with an organization that consistently makes a positive impact on thousands of lives, and you will be working with a talented and dedicated group of people,” Chivers said.
Buckeye fans will be certainly interested to know about Gladden’s annual fundraiser event: Marching For More. It’s held every year at Ohio Stadium in partnership with The Ohio State University Marching Band. “This unique fundraiser is an opportunity to enjoy a premier performance by TBDBITL as they perform a private half-time show in Ohio Stadium,” Chivers said.
To volunteer at Gladden Community House please call (614) 227-1600 or visit www.gladdenhouse.org.