Community rises up to help CW Human Services


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer
The Canal Winchester community opened its hearts and wallets in support of the city’s Human Services Department during a week long fundraising event sponsored by the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Troop 103.

When the pandemic shut down the scouts’ annual Scouting for Food event, where scouts go door-to-door picking up food and monetary donations, organizers sought a different way to help Canal Winchester Human Services.

“Our personal goal was $25,000,” said Aletha Mullins, Canal Winchester Human Services executive director. “With the efforts of the Boy Scouts, local partnerships, donations, and surprise commitments, our final total was $80,000.

The Wood Foundation, in honor of Peggy L. Wood, graciously donated a matching fund of up to $50,000 for Community Week. This was a game changer. As word got out, several local entities and neighboring communities reached out to maximize the power of their donation.”

In addition, South Central Power surprised Canal Winchester, as well as Pickerington, on April 30 by announcing a $10,000 donation, which will help provide personal care products such as shampoo and soaps and food.

Personal care items are not typically donated because they are more expensive, said Mullins.

“Our trustees and employees are always looking for ways to help the communities we serve,” said South Central Power President and CEO Rick Lemonds. “The food banks in Canal Winchester and Pickerington serve large populations and are struggling to meet demand in this unprecedented time of need.”

According to Mullins, donations from Community Week will go towards programs that assist with immediate needs, such as emergency assistance and the Food Pantry.

The emergency assistance program helps with rent, mortgage payments and utilities. Mullins expects area needs to increase as the economic effects of the current pandemic become more prevalent and persistent through the coming months.

“Implementation has changed in the way we serve our clients to make their experience safe and within guidelines set by Governor DeWine,” said Mullins. “We’ve also experienced a rise in new families using our services for the first time.”

Mullins expects to see increases continue and her department is preparing for the situation, both financially and in making adaptations as the crisis unfolds, so they do not have to turn anyone away.

“We are so blessed to be a part of this unique community. I am in awe of all of the people that make this place what it is,” said Mullins. “Whether they are residents, church members, business owners, schoolteachers or community key players, we have so much support that is eagerly and freely given. It takes a lot of time, preparation, and commitment to do what we do, and our community has never failed to step up and make it happen.”


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