Local leaders give back to community

Randalyn Worley and Dee Fitzpatrick at the DP&L Stuart Power Station in Manchester.

Craig Hockenberry and other Leadership Adams participants at Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center.

Jim Samual delivering items to Adams County Shelter for the Homeless.

The graduating class of the 2014/2015 Leadership Adams group has completed two of three projects for Adams County. The group helped add to the beautification of West Union by installing potted flowers around the Courthouse Square over Memorial Day weekend. Flower baskets for the project were generously donated by Raines Farms and Greenhouses of Seaman. The West Union Lion’s Club also placed potted plants around the square just before Mother’s Day. Together, the plantings create a scene of pride in Adams County’s seat of government.

The second project was a collection drive of much-needed personal care items for the Adams County Shelter for the Homeless in West Union. Some of the items needed by the homeless shelter include toothbrushes, toothpaste, diapers, Neosporin, band aids, underwear, baby wipes, diapers, batteries, nail clippers, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, deodorant, soap, shampoo, (save your hotel shampoo and soap and donate them to ACSH). Other items that are wonderful for shelter residents are “boredom-busters” for both adults and children, such as cards, art supplies, and crafts. The Adams County Shelter for the Homeless was founded in 1995 by Imogene Kidder and a group of concerned supporters. The first shelter buildings were located at Blue Creek, on Blue Creek Road, next to the Jefferson School (erected in 1925). In 2010, the shelter relocated to its new location in West Union, next to Tractor Supply Company. The current facility offers accommodations for individuals as well as families, has 20 beds, and serves three meals per day to residents. ACSH supports a range of housing assistance services in our community, including homeless prevention, rapid re-housing, and finding permanent affordable housing with linkages to supportive services, as needed. ACSH is dependent on grants and donations for the day to day operation of the shelter. Financial, volunteer and material donations (clothing, furniture and personal) are always needed.

The third project of this year’s Leadership Adams class is the establishment of a pet food bank for low-income families. Food banks for people exist in several locations throughout Adams County, but the need for dog and cat food for struggling pet owners is often overlooked. The Adams County Pet Food Bank will provide temporary food assistance to low-income pet owners who are currently unable to afford food for their pets and may be forced to give up their pets without food assistance. Providing food to pets in need is important because pets provide stability for their families during trying times and giving up a family pet to make sure it has food and is healthy is a very traumatic experience for both the humans and the animal. A local pet food bank will ensure that families will no longer be required to make the choice to feed themselves or their pets.

The Humane Society of Adams County will accept food donations for the pet food bank program, and will distribute the food to owners in need. Local radio station C103, a major supporter of the Leadership Adams program, has established a pet food donation event called the “Furry Food Fetch” that will take place from 6 a.m. until noon on Friday, June 19, at the radio station. Distributions of donated food will begin once the Shelter officially opens on June 20, and will continue as long as supplies are available. Periodic food drives to replenish the food bank will be conducted by Leadership Adams, local businesses, and the Humane Society.

In addition to the projects listed above, Leadership Adams alumni have collaborated on many smaller enterprises that help improve the quality of life in Adams County. These include the establishment of an Adams County Job Fair for youth and adults, little free libraries placed around West Union, cash mobs to support local businesses, and monetary donations to local food banks.

Leadership Adams is a community service leadership development organization serving rural Adams County in southern Ohio. Founded in 2010, Leadership Adams is a non-profit corporation under the laws of Ohio. For more information about Leadership Adams, please contact Mike Pell at 937-695-0331. For information about Raines Farms and Greenhouses, please visit www.rainesfarms.com or call them at 937-386-2031. For information about the Adams County Shelter for the Homeless, please contact Bob Boldman at 937-544-8164. For information about the Humane Society of Adams County, please visit www.adamscountyanimals.org or call 937-544-8585.