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Author: Spire Advertising

An Evergreen Mission: Our Year-Round Commitment to Ashland County

After Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his groundhog hole every February 2nd to look for his shadow, his work for the year is done.

To the casual observer, the Associated Charities of Ashland County might appear to work similarly. We function in full force at Thanksgiving and Christmas—and then what? Do we disappear for the next ten months?

Alas, there are no underachieving groundhogs in our ranks.

No, our work may be most visible during the holidays, but our mission is evergreen. It continues year-round, thanks to the passion of our people, who are dedicated to serving the residents of Ashland County all year long.

So what do we do besides lending a helping hand during the holidays?

A lot, actually—and we’ve been doing it since we opened our doors in 1910. Let us count the ways.

The Ashland County Food Bank

First, our mission is a year-round one because there are always people in Ashland County who lack food. Through the Ashland County Food Bank, we offer short-term assistance to relieve the hunger in our region.

When times are tough, people need food on their tables more than ever. Over 40 churches, businesses, organizations, and individuals in the region donate to supply us with the food we offer our visitors. It is our privilege to fill their bellies and give them hope.

And yes, you read that right—we offer more than food. Our compassionate volunteers also offer visitors listening ears and information about other resources that might benefit them.

Clothing Our People

When the holidays roll in, so does the relentless chill of winter—and it lingers months after we celebrate the arrival of the New Year.

We collect clothing and coats to combat the cold and ensure that those in need in our county are comfortable when nature is at its most unforgiving.

Sheltering Our People

When jobs falter and savings accounts dry up, those who call our county home struggle to pay for rent and utilities.

As residents receive eviction or disconnection notices, they ask us for help—and we are honored to meet them in their need. We offer rent and utilities assistance to prevent them from losing their homes and to help them keep the lights on.

Keeping Our People Healthy

Of course, offering relief in the form of food, clothing, and shelter is not sufficient for those living in our county who rely on costly medications to manage illnesses.

These people need their prescriptions to stay comfortable—perhaps even to stay alive—and we are here to offer medication assistance.

If You Need Help/If You Want to Help

If you’re wondering if you or someone you know qualifies for any of these forms of assistance, please visit our site and read about eligibility. We do everything possible to ensure a fair and transparent assistance process for all who come to us for help.

If you’re in a position to help us assist the residents of Ashland County throughout the year, donating is as easy as clicking a button here.

While we receive 56% of our resources from United Way funds, we rely on generous people like you to meet the rest of our operating needs. We thank you in advance for your help—and Ashland County thanks you, too!

Whether you read this as someone living with great need or as one who longs to offer great generosity, we invite you to reach out to us today. Together, we can continue to build a stronger, more resilient community—and not just during the holidays, but all year round.

Associated Charities Giving Guide: A Year-Round Donation Calendar

The generosity of our community makes it possible for Associated Charities to support those in need in Ashland County all year round. We often receive questions about the specific needs in our community beyond monetary gifts, including what types of items we accept and when is the best time to give. 

We are fortunate to have ample warehouse space to accommodate donations year round, but there are some seasons when there are more particular needs. Here’s a list to help guide your giving to help those less fortunate in Ashland County:

School Backpack with stationery on background

School Supplies, Shoes, and Clothing: April-September

As the school year approaches, we focus on providing essential items to set children up for success. During the months of April to September, consider donating:

  • School supplies, such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks, markers, and pens
  • New children’s clothing and shoes to help youngsters feel confident and ready for the academic year

Christmas Gifts: August-December

The holiday season is a time of joy and giving, and we strive to make it special for every child in our community. From August to December, we welcome donations of:

  • New toys and gift items suitable for children aged 0-18
  • Gift cards for teenagers who often get overlooked in charitable initiatives

brown cardboard box filled with soft toys, school supplies on white background, concept of charity and help to needy children

Adopt-A-Family: July-December

For those who wish to make a more personal impact, we encourage adopting a family or child for Christmas. 

  • You can sign up online through our website or simply call the office. 
  • You will be provided with a detailed list of that child’s (or family’s) needs and Christmas wishes.

Coats: August-February

As colder weather sets in, we want to ensure that no one goes without warm clothes and protection from the elements. From August to February, please consider donating:

  • New coats for both children and adults

Food & Household Items: Year-Round

No matter what time of year it is, we are always in need of basic items and food. We accept:

  • Non-perishable and non-expired food items to support families facing food insecurity
  • Household items such as deodorant, bath soap, shampoo, razors, dish and laundry soap, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and toilet paper

If you would like to give a monetary donation, you can give one time or set up a recurring gift here». No gift is too small!

Your generosity means the world to struggling individuals and families in our community! We are so grateful for your ongoing support; without you, Ashland simply would not be the warm and caring place it is today.

Serving Beyond the Buzzer: Ashland Eagles Soar High in Community Service with Associated Charities

The roar of the crowd fades, the final buzzer sounds, and victory resonates for the Ashland University Women’s Basketball team. For these Division II, number one ranked players, triumph extends far beyond the polished hardwood.

Rooted in their community, they lace up with a different kind of purpose, partnering with Associated Charities – a local beacon of hope for over 100 years – to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.

A Legacy of Serving Ashland County

Since 1910, Associated Charities has embodied the spirit of its name, fostering resilience and hope for individuals and families struggling with poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

From their humble beginnings offering emergency assistance, they’ve grown into a multi-faceted organization, providing:

  • Essential needs assistance: Food pantry, utility assistance, and emergency financial aid offer a lifeline to those facing hardship.
  • Shelter and financial assistance that provides a path towards stability.
  • Advocacy and support: Empowering individuals through connection, event, classes and referrals to other partner agencies.
  • Community outreach: Collaborating with local partners to address systemic issues and build a stronger community fabric.

A Winning Partnership Takes the Court

AU Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach Jenna Kotas understands that victories come in many forms. The coaching staff realizes that it’s about building well-rounded individuals who understand the importance of giving back.

This philosophy seamlessly aligns with Associated Charities’ mission, forging a partnership that goes beyond cheers and applause.

The Eagles’ impact is woven into the tapestry of Associated Charities’ services:

  • Players help pack meals, ensuring Ashland families don’t go hungry.
  • They donate Santa hats and shop for Christmas gifts, bringing joy to children who might otherwise miss out.
  • They spearhead a toy drive, offering free admission to spectators if they donate a toy.

These impressive women extend their volunteerism in other ways as well:

  • They mentor children in and out of the Ashland community, instilling valuable life lessons.
  • Visits to nursing homes brighten the days of residents offering companionship and heartfelt connections.

Impact Beyond the Scoreboard

These experiences resonate deeply with the players.

Senior player Erin Daniels was moved by the experience of being able to watch a family open Christmas gifts that the team donated. “Seeing the kids light up because all of our attention is on them and they absolutely love that 17 girls and their coaches just get to watch them and hang out with them. Those moments with them have been really, really special and honestly some of my favorite memories throughout my time at Ashland.”

Senior player Macy Spielman was in St. Joseph’s, Missouri last year with the team for the Elite 8 conference and was able to share a meal with local middle school age girls and play volleyball and basketball with them. She said that’s part of the Final Four experience. It’s not just about basketball, it’s about meeting people and making a positive impact. Macy hopes that when those girls think of Ashland, Ohio that they share the lasting memories she has.

The lessons learned transcend the court, shaping empathetic leaders and responsible citizens.

Soaring Beyond the Horizon

The Ashland University Women’s Basketball team and Associated Charities represent a winning combination – athletic prowess coupled with genuine community spirit. Their partnership serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, leaving a lasting impact on individuals, families, and the entire Ashland community.

So, the next time you hear the Eagles soar on the court, remember their silent victories, echoing in the hearts and lives they touch beyond the final buzzer.

If you’d like to know how you can support Associated Charities, reach out today!