NAMI Ohio has worked for years to increase the quality of housing for those with severe and persistent mental illness. We started the Ohio Adult Care Facilities Association over 20 years ago to advocate for the approximately 5,000 residents who live in these group homes who before were either homeless or lived in state hospitals. The residents of these homes are often abandoned by everyone. Their only family are the other residents living in their homes. Due to NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) the vast majority of these homes are in distressed areas. The home operators struggle to maintain these homes due to lack of resources.
For 20 years, I have personally gotten to know so many of these residents. When I go into a home, they yell my name and are so appreciative of any attention I give them. For fifteen years, through a grant from a foundation in Chicago, we have been able to hold an annual Christmas party in various locations throughout Ohio. Each year, the 80 residents that attend each get gifts that they so desperately need – shoes, coats, underwear, warm clothing, socks, gloves, etc. They are also given a holiday meal, with Christmas carols and crafts. I cannot adequately describe the one day of happiness that each of these residents have during the holiday party. Unfortunately, these residents do not have many days the rest of the year as joyous as this one.
A new project this year: Each year, I have been concerned that we only provide these items to a small number of those living throughout Ohio in adult care facilities. Today, we are asking for your help. I am asking that each of you reading this correspondence consider donating money and/or purchasing both adult male and female clothing that can be distributed and used by the other 4,900 special people in homes that will not attend our Annual Christmas party.
You can donate in a number of ways:
- Donate online via PayPal by CLICKING HERE or using the link below
- Mail a donation to NAMI Ohio’s “Adult Care Facility Christmas Fund” at 1225 Dublin Road; Suite 125; Columbus, Ohio 43215
- Deliver purchased items to the same address
Any donations are tax-deductible.
During the holidays, we are all inundated with holiday requests. I guarantee that no donation you make during the holidays would have a greater impact than helping this very unique and forgotten population. I will never forget the hug I received from Susie as she said, “God bless you. You’ve made my Christmas so special.”
Terry L. Russell