|The Ohio Benefit Bank Newsletter
Gear Up Now for the Census 2010
The U.S. Postal Service will deliver
census questionnaires to every resident by March 2010.
While the return deadline of April
1, 2010 may seem like a long way off, now is the time to begin raising awareness about the importance
of the Census with your agency board, staff and people you serve.
Census data is used to:
Federal, state and local funds. Based on the 2000 Census, Ohio received an estimated $13 billion in 2007;
state and federal legislative districts;
the success of programs or identify populations in need of services;
businesses determine where to locate; and
planners determine mass transit needs
Remember, your community will benefit from a complete count, just as it will
suffer from an incomplete count. The Ohio Association of Second Harvest
Foodbanks, as part of the YouCanCountonMe Coalition, will be contacting you
soon to determine your Census information needs, and to offer ways your agency
can participate in this important count of the population.
Let's all work together for the highest possible count! Click here to learn how you can help Ohio bring in its fair share of federal dollars.
Keeping a Good Thing Going
The Pickaway County Community
Action Organization (PICCA) is consistently a top-performer in the Ohio Benefit
Bank network. Also a VITA site, PICCA applied for multiple grants in 2007
to support their tax clinic. In their first year, PICCA exceeded their
goal of completing 100 returns, rounding out the year with more than 300
returns completed. During the 2008 tax season PICCA completed 398 returns
and assisted another 25 people with amended returns. While staff members
of the community action organization did a good amount of this work, PICCA also
called upon a dedicated group of volunteers. These volunteers completed
returns at PICCA and at local community partner sites, including Kingston
National Bank in South Bloomfield, a small town north of Circleville. The
PICCA model is one that utilizes different tools available in the community to
serve the unique and diverse needs of the people.
2009, Teresa Cramer joined the PICCA staff as the Ohio Benefit Bank
Coordinator. She is working in communities throughout the county to
spread the word about OBB services. She is also working closely with the
OBB Mobile Express to bring tax and benefit assistance to remote locations and
large community events, most recently the Circleville Pumpkin Show.
Teresa will also be supervising a member of the Ohio Association of Second
Harvest Foodbanks' AmeriCorps State team, Lacey Elliot. Lacey and Teresa
will work together with PICCA's staff and faithful volunteers to spread the
word about OBB throughout Pickaway County and to complete at least 400 tax
returns. The Ohio Benefit Bank is fortunate to work with PICCA and
welcomes the energy and dedication of Teresa Cramer and Lacey Elliot.
If you have questions about PICCA's work with the Ohio Benefit Bank please
contact Teresa Cramer at (740) 477-1655, extension 316.
OBB AmeriCorps*VISTA Members in Northwest Ohio
past couple months, the VISTAs in Northwestern Ohio have been working inward
and reaching outward for the Ohio Benefit Bank.
With many of them just beginning their year of service, they are working
inward to build a foundation of knowledge and skills needed for the year. Several of them are community trainers,
striving to learn their jobs quickly so they can get started working with local
agencies. Other VISTAs are also getting
settled into their placements, such as Andrea Migliozzi, who quickly learned a
vast number of community resources available in Toledo, for her work with
Toledo Area Ministries.
All of this
learning has made them eager to reach outward and serve their communities with
the Ohio Benefit Bank. September began with the Hancock County Fair, where Shelby Edwards organized several
VISTAs and OBB counselors to work at a booth.
Also in September, Sarah Grace Harpster worked with her organization,
Lutheran Social Services, to offer quick checks during an orientation that
brought many people through their doors.
Appointments were then made for these clients to complete their OBB
applications at LSS. They have all been
busy with events, trainings, and developing new OBB sites, including one of the
first sites in Wyandot County! They are
looking ahead at more opportunities to work inward and reach outward to do the
most good during our VISTA year.
|Site Administrators: Complete the Site Renewal
year all sites are required to renew their Organization Agreement and update information
collected on the Site Profile. This process ensures what is publicized on the Site
Locator is accurate and the contacts and counselors listed are still active.
have gone to all Site Administrators containing a link to a summary of
previously collected information on your organization and its administrators, counselors,
and report recipients. Edits can be made directly into the summary page.
When the update is complete, click "submit site profile" to send the information
to OBB Support Staff for review.
you have questions or have not received your update link, please write to Suzanna Witte at
|Client Spotlight: A Helper Finds Help
Charles Stough, OBB
counselor, City Heart, Dayton
Marianne was among the most active church members of a
Dayton congregation. A single woman with a full-time job, she always
volunteered to participate in Sunday services and was active in club events,
the annual weeklong fundraising lunch and flea market, and when the custodian
was on vacation she took over the duties of maintenance and cleaning in the
huge church, day care center, kitchen and dining room, meeting rooms and
That work wasn't easy, as the downtown church is an active
walk-in aid site and the church has a busy roster of activities and classes
seven days a week. It also shares one floor with another congregation on
weekends. Marianne was one of the church's most reliable helpers.
Then Marianne's employer went out of business suddenly and she was jobless.
Because she had already used The Benefit Bank at the church for tax preparation
services, she knew where to get help when she needed it. In short order she and
an OBB counselor put together an emergency food aid application and filed it
electronically. Typical of her personality, she arrived with all her records
and identification documents in good order and the application sailed through.
Marianne's job search continues, but in the meantime she is
using her time to help others. And in return, the Ohio Benefit Bank made it
possible her to help her in return.
Please send OBB client stories to Charles Stough at email@example.com
|OBB at the Hancock County Fair
This year the Ohio Benefit Bank teamed up with Hancock County
2-1-1 Referral Service to hold an informational booth at the Hancock County
Fair from September 2nd through the 7th. The booth was staffed throughout the
week by 3 OBB volunteer counselors, two United Way of Hancock County staff
members and three AmeriCorps*VISTA members.
The goal was to get information about the services the OBB provides
to the residents in Hancock county. Over 350 brochures, 215 fans, and 150
flyers were distributed. The biggest day was Senior Day, hundreds of Hancock
County seniors were able to learn about the public benefits and tax credits available
Pictured Above: Michael Blinn, OBB Counselor and Emily Rump, Hancock Co. 2-1-1