Summit County is home to tens of thousands of Veterans and senior citizens, many of whom live in disadvantaged circumstances – some temporarily and other more permanently. And, in 2020, the challenges have been even greater in the face of COVID-19 and all the social and medical risks that come along with it.
Thankfully, Cascade Community Development, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Akron, is answering the call, through both ongoing donation drives and educational programs, all designed to help Veterans and seniors improve their quality of life and empower them to become more self-sufficient.
“The Veterans and seniors in our community have done, and continue to do, so much for us,” said Diane Jackson, Director of Cascade Community Development. “And, in the difficult times we’re living in, we need to do everything we can to show our appreciation by giving back whenever we can.”
Since 2012, Cascade has offered a range of services, including free computer classes and health and wellness packages for Veterans and seniors in need. And, earlier this year, when COVID-19 struck, putting these groups at high risk, the organization jumped into action, beginning a collection of personal hygiene kits that include masks, gloves and hand sanitizers, to be distributed to various housing centers across the county.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, I had trouble getting answers from local and state relief organizations,” Diane said. “My thoughts immediately went to how we could help slow the spread of the virus among our less fortunate neighbors, sparking the idea for our hygiene kit collection drive. Even though we had to pause some of our regular activities, I knew this was something we could, and should, do.”
Cascade’s ultimate goal is to put together 570 kits to deliver to multiple locations, including The Valor House and Summit Liberty House (homeless Veterans), East Akron Veteran Apartments (low income Veterans), and Willams Towers, Callis Oval and Wesley Towers (low income senior apartments).
The collection drive began earlier this year, and there’s still an opportunity to donate! Veterans who would like to help Cascade meet its goal can do so in two ways between now and Dec. 31:
Cascade also conducts donation drives for toiletries and personal hygiene items throughout the year and plans to resume these activities in 2021. Call (330) 247-8718 anytime for more details.
Thanks to everyone at Cascade Community Development for making a positive difference in Summit County. As Diane likes to mention, “We’re all in this together!”