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Giving Back to Those in Our Community and Beyond

Three Local Organizations Making a Big Impact to Those All Over The World

Mission of Love 

We've all heard of leaders of charity organizations who take millions in compensation packages or charities whose expenses are so high that for every dollar donated, only a small percentage goes to the actual cause.  Statistics like this can have us become cynical and resistant to helping mankind.

But what if there was a charity organization that could turn every dollar donated into $1.22 of goods and services? There is; and it's called Mission of Love. 

Mission of Love started with one Ohioan who heard our Lord's call of "Who shall I send?" and answered, "Here I am Lord, send me." For the past three decades, Kathleen Price, of Austintown, Ohio, has been the founder, volunteer and spirit behind Mission of Love.

Mission of Love has helped people of all colors, ages and nationalities. Through this organization, homes have been built or rebuilt after natural disasters, clinics and schools have been constructed to service villages, donated Ohio grain has been delivered to the hungry, doctors have been brought to places in the world where health care was scarce or non-existent and much more.

The Place and their team members have been part of Mission of Love for the past twenty years. They pick up medical equipment from local doctors closing their practices, children's desks from schools before they are torn down or whatever Kathy Price calls upon them to help. They have even shared their experience with others in Medina County, resulting in dozens of local people joining the cause by donating their time, skills and resources; knowing that their donations go directly to the people in need because there is no payroll, no CEO compensation package and no building overhead. People give out of love and that love is multiplied by the
volunteers and then paid forward.

If you would like to learn more and be part of something real, grassroots, local with a national and international reach, visit MissionOfLove.org or Facebook.com/ourmissionoflove.

Insiders Insight

As our parents and loved ones age, it can be difficult to navigate their transition into long term care. This is something that Medina resident and nursing home administrator, Stepanie Chambers, knows all too well. That's why, after over 30 years of working in the long term care industry, she started her not-for-profit blog, Insiders Insight, to provide free educational resources about long term care to senior citizens, families and providers. 

The idea for the blog developed when Stephanie was faced with the task of moving her mother into a nursing home. She explains, "Even after all my years in the industry, I honestly could not figure out what to do when my own precious mom got sick. I started to think of how to manage all of it….the calls, the facilities, the decisions, not to mention figuring out the payment. How did this all fit together? It was so overwhelming! If I was struggling, how could people without insider experience navigate long term care? The answer soon became clear. I could figure it out but needed better insight. And I needed to help others with my inside knowledge."

To craft the blogs, she partners with local organizations and "insiders." Some of the topics that the various blogs cover are the importance of having a resident participate in their own care, how to manage behavioral issues while meeting care needs, steps to create a high-quality senior living community and so much more. New blogs are posted at least once a month. 

Recently, Stephanie even partnered with Summit County to create a video series as part of their Long Term Care Quality Initiative. (At the time that this article was written, the video series was being edited and Stephanie was hopeful that it would be released by Dec. 2021.) 

For more information about Insiders Insight and to read Stephanie's blogs, visit InsidersInsight.org

Trees for Troops

This program offers the perfect opportunity to spread holiday cheer to our nation's military bases. In 2005, the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation began as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to advance the spirit of Christmas year-round for kids, families and the environment. Plans were soon developed for a national Trees for Troops program, with FedEx providing the shipping and logistics for the real Christmas trees to be delivered to military bases across the U.S. Through this program, Christmas tree growers, retailers and consumers from across the country generously donate fresh-cut Christmas trees to military families. One grower, in particular, is right here in Medina – the family-owned and operated Medina Christmas Tree Farm. 

Medina Christmas Tree Farm is a northeast Ohio icon, with thousands of Christmas trees that are either pre-cut or you-cut! They grow a variety of trees including Scotch Pine, White Pine, Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Concolor Fir, Canaan Fir and Fraser Fir that range from tabletop size to over 15 feet tall. They are the only designated Trees for Troops site in Northern Ohio, and they've been participating in the annual program since its inception. 

"I truly respect those who serve in the military and protect us," says Medina Christmas Tree Farm owner, Charles Reichheld. "I know that they and their family are making sacrifices for us and this is a way to let them know they are appreciated."

Charles explains that patrons of the farm are given the opportunity to participate in the program when they come to get their tree for the year and members of the wider community can fill out a donation form on their website to donate a tree. What's more is that if they don’t have enough donors, Charles personally guarantees that 100 trees will be shipped no matter what. 

Through partners like Medina Christmas Tree Farm, the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation has delivered over 260,000 trees to members of the military and their families and FedEx has logged over 800,000 miles, or almost 32 trips around the globe since the program began in 2005. In 2020, over 16,000 trees were delivered to 79 military bases. 

The best way to become involved with Trees for Troops is to purchase a tree at Medina Christmas Tree Farm's Butler Farm location (3235 Hamilton Road) from Dec. 3-5. They will even begin taking donations on Nov. 1 and will continue collecting until Dec. 25. Later donations will be used for trees that are shipped the following year. When you buy a tree, you have the option to write a personal message on a special tag, attach it to the tree and add that tree to the FedEx trailer on-site. Your tree will then be picked up and routed to its designated military base. (The destination of the Christmas tree is chosen by the military, not the individual or group that donates it.) 

For more information about Trees for Troops and for other ways to donate, ChristmasSpiritFoundation.org. For more information about Medina Christmas Tree Farm and to fill out a tree donation form, visit MedinaTrees.com.

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