NEEDS Volunteers Dee Cohen, Susan Bradford and Fern Ketchum organizing donated backpacks for School Supply Drive 2017.

“Our 2017 School Supply Drive was quite the success,” noted Fern Ketchum, Secretary and Pantry Volunteer for the Northeast Emergency Distribution Service (NEEDS). “Not only did we have enough school supplies for our district schools, but NEEDS was able to share the excess with the Findley Street Center in OTR with the help of volunteer Margaret Nelson.”

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. The NEEDS board oversees an active food bank, as well as provides neighbors-in-need with housing and utility payment assistance.  NEEDS serves more than 2,500 people in northeastern Hamilton County, doing so without any government support.

Besides providing food for needy neighbors, each year NEEDS provides an assortment of school supplies to low-income students who reside in the Sycamore, Princeton, Madeira and Deer Park Districts.  Participating churches and organizations of NEEDS generously gather the supplies. Community members also join in on making donations. Then on a single day in August NEEDS volunteers meet at the Kenwood Baptist Church to organize and deliver the items to each school. Last year 16 schools received supplies.

“We are always looking for volunteers for School Supply Day,” expressed Ann Barfels, President of NEEDS. “The time commitment is minimal; the main time being the day of the project,” she added. “The NEEDS School Supply drive is a God-send to so many children and a relief for their parents. I ran this project many times in the past; it’s been an honor to serve NEEDS in this capacity. This year Mary Lou Davis is spearheading the NEEDS School Supply Drive with help from Nancy Jones.”

The School Supply Drive process begins in early summer, with school nurses providing a count of low-income students as well as lists of school supplies. From these lists, community groups and churches are assigned specific items to collect. No child is left without basic school supplies, most of which are donated new.

This year the NEEDS School Supply Drive will be held on Monday, August 13th at the Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Road, 45236, beginning at 8:30 am. Volunteers are needed to help sort and to make deliveries to the schools. If you, your community group, or church is interested in collecting, donating or volunteering, please call Mary Lou Davis at 513-891-6229. Truly, for those who know the pleasure of purchasing school supplies for your own children, please consider helping those who are unable to buy for theirs by volunteering or making a donation (monetary or otherwise) to NEEDS.

Northeast Emergency Distribution Service (NEEDS) provides emergency assistance to the neediest families in Northeast Cincinnati.  Community members, organizations, and business can support NEEDS by collecting and donating canned goods and non-perishables, monetary gifts are also graciously accepted.

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:



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