As 2017 begins the Northeast Emergency Distribution Service (NEEDS) transitions into new leadership as President Frank Morris retires from his post. In saying goodbye, Mr. Morris shared some of his most touching memories with the NEEDS Board.
“One of my biggest joys with NEEDS has been working with my wife, Marlene, on the NEEDS desk once per month. It’s here that we see NEEDS in action.” From this he went on to describe two memories, which can be best described as Miracles on Montgomery”.
“A year ago a woman with her daughter came in. NEEDS provided her will funds to pay her Duke bill. The woman was grateful but still sad because that day was her daughter’s fifth birthday, and the little girl had asked for a birthday cake, which the woman could not afford. Well, that morning I had seen in the freezer something that I had never seen there before and never since – a frozen ice cream cake! The little girl screamed with joy, and even her mother managed a smile. What a wonderful day!”
Mr. Morris followed this story with a second almost as miraculous moment “just last week an old, tired grandmother came in with her four-year-old granddaughter for food. Our members often surprise the desk managers with special items that they can give out as they see fit. And this morning someone had left a brand-new little pink cap and matching gloves. They fit the little girl perfectly. She smiled with glee as we all held back tears. The money that NEEDS distributes is certainly a blessing for recipients, but it’s times like the above that really make us proud to be part of the NEEDS organization.”
The new president will be Ann Barfels, a long-standing NEEDS board member who often takes the lead charge of the NEEDS annual August School Supply Drive. The NEEDS Board is looking forward to Ann’s presidency as each new president creates changes that enhance the function and reach of NEEDS. Other outgoing officers of NEEDS are as follows: VP, Bev Busemeyer; secretary Ann Barfels and Treasurer, Connie Johnson. Other incoming officers: VP, Bev Busemeyer; secretary, Fern Ketchum and treasurer, Connie Johnson. Cindy Cordell will assist as needed for treasurer and Mary Lou Davis will assist as needed for secretary.
It is the mission of NEEDS to provide emergency assistance to the neediest families in the Northeast Cincinnati community. NEEDS is a community of 25 churches and civic organizations whose mission is to do God’s work through caring for their neighbors by providing basic emergency assistance. NEEDS is an all-volunteer cooperative located in the Kenwood Baptist Church and NEEDS does not receive government support. The NEEDS board oversees an active foodbank, as well as provides neighbors-in-need with housing and utility payment assistance. During the year NEEDS supports local schools through school supply and clothing item drives. NEEDS serves more than 2,500 people in northeastern Hamilton County.
It doesn’t take much to volunteer for NEEDS. There are volunteers who organize canned food drives, volunteers who pack school supplies, volunteers who aide families during holiday seasons, and of course, volunteers who stock, sort, and help serve at the food pantry. The NEEDS volunteer comes from your neighborhood, your office, your children’s schools, your civic club and your place of worship. Any one who wishes to help is welcome, there is a lot to do – all you need to do is offer your best skills or ask how your skills can be put to use. There is no better way to experience a miracle on Montgomery than volunteering with the Northeast Emergency Distribution Service (NEEDS).
The NEEDS food pantry is located at the Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Road, 45236 and is open Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 am – 1 pm. Donations of canned goods and other items are always accepted at the NEEDS food pantry. Monetary gifts can be mailed to: NEEDS, 8341 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236. For pick-up of donated items or to ask questions please call (513) 891-0850 (NEEDS) or checkout NEEDS website: http://www.cincyneeds.org/