Thanks to the hard work of Gladden Community House, many Franklinton youth will remain engaged in positive activities every day this summer. If you were to stop by the settlement house, you may find kids making art, learning about gardening, practicing in the drama club, conversing in the book club, learning karate, or just enjoying the game room and open gym. Kids in need can also take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a free lunch daily. Among the extensive services provided monthly by Gladden for low-income residents of Franklinton and the near west side are; emergency food assistance to more than 1,000 households, and 2,000 nutritious hot meals for children.
“When kids get involved at an early age in programs like these, they continue to value them into their teens. The positive environment, the positive adults, and their successes keep them from slipping into the streets,” said Dan Moehrman, Recreation and Team Sports director.
Moehrman, who has been working at Gladden for 26 years, has seen generations pass through the settlement house. Funding and running Gladden programs is a challenge, but a crucial service according to Moehrman.
“Our programs give the kids positive memories. They help youth go day-to-day with good feelings. There is a lot of cool stuff going on here. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer and make donations,” said Moehrman.
An interesting collaboration is taking place at the community house with the team from Franklinton Cycle Works (http://franklintoncycleworks.org/), a nonprofit community bike shop, to teach students in grades 5-8 bicycle mechanics and safety. The effort highlights the wide-ranging, creative teamwork that is taking place across Franklinton and changing the neighborhood for the better.
“Around here lots of kids use their shoes for brake pads. This will help them learn safety and how to fix their bikes. It’s awesome to have the Cycle Works crew here. Their teaching gives the kids responsibility and the knowledge to fix their bikes,” Moehrman said.
Gladden Community House provides many more services to the near west side and has been doing so for more than 100 years. Gladden was founded in 1905 by Reverend Washington Gladden and Mrs. Celia Jeffrey as a neighborhood outreach mission of First Congregational Church. Columbus Foundation donors and Supporting Foundations including Limited Brands Foundation, Columbus Youth Foundation, and Siemer Family Foundation are proud to support Gladden Community House.
Information about local nonprofits is available 24/7 through the Foundation’s online resource, PowerPhilanthropy, which is available to everyone who wants to be more informed about the nonprofits they care about. PowerPhilanthropy makes it easy to donate to the causes you care about at columbusfoundation.org/p2/.
“Here we support kids and help them grow, not just skills and abilities, but we teach them how to be a better person,” Moehrman said.