Office Closing

Our office will be closed New Year’s Day and will reopen Thursday morning. Please have a safe and happy holiday. I am looking forward to 2014 and will detail some of our plans in a blog post later this week. It is going to be a great year!

Happy Holidays

Our offices will close at noon tomorrow and reopen Thursday morning. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

We were very fortunate this year to have much support from the community. Toys for Tots once again donated hundreds of toys to our abused and neglected children. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves does a fantastic job and helps so many people in this community and around the country.

Two churches, the Peoples Church in Clifton and Montgomery Community Church, held holiday parties for our children. It is so nice to be able to give them a sense of normalcy around the holidays and to see smiles on their faces!

Numerous other people donated gifts to our children. I wish I could name them all. The generosity of this community always amazes me.

Thank you and may your holidays be warm and filled with family and friends.

 

 

 

 

I came across this video and thought I would share. It shows, in a powerful way, the danger of leaving your children alone in a hot car, even for a few minutes.

A True Honor

I am extremely humbled and grateful for the recognition I received at last night’s Higher Education Mentoring Initiative’s holiday party. I can think of no greater honor that than to have my name attached to a scholarship that will help a young person achieve their dreams. Education is the foundation cornerstone to health, happiness and economic prosperity – three things, we can all agree, we wish for all of our teenagers, whether they are in foster care or not.

I think back to a few years ago when I read about a partnership in California between local colleges and the agency that serves foster children and how I thought to myself, “I wonder if we could do that here?” Now we know. The answer is, “Absolutely!” With hard work, dreams do become reality and this program is proof.

So many people worked to make HEMI what it is today – I give credit to Commissioner Hartmann, Rayma Waters, Greg Vehr, Annie Schellinger, Chris Bochenek and Tim Maloney from the Haile Foundation, Ron McSwain and many more – they turned my idea into reality. And the mentors and mentees – they are the real heroes behind HEMI’s success.

Just so it isn’t lost in all the hoopla, the program did have its first college graduate this year! Thank you Mariah Maxwell for persevering! You can see Mariah in the video, which was a total surprise to me, as was the $25,000 donation by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation. As I said, I am truly humbled and grateful.

 

 

Medicaid Expansion Launches Monday

Beginning Monday, more low-income Ohioans can apply for Medicaid, with coverage starting on or after January 1.

Now, families can earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level and still be eligible for Medcaid. That is $2,245 (gross) a month for a single mother of two or $2,708 a month for a family of four. We expect an additional 42,000 Hamilton County residents will be eligible. That is on top of our current caseload, which totals more than 175,000 county residents.

That is approximately one out of every four people in this county!

One key message: apply online! This is the fastest and easiest way to apply. I wrote about this subject in our Update Newsletter,  so you can find more detail here: http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2013/December/Letter.htm

While you are there, become a subscriber!