February 24′ CEO Blog

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Toni Morrison 

What a joy it is to celebrate our very own hometown hero, Toni Morrison, and how fortunate we are that the State of Ohio recognizes February 18th as Toni Morrison Day. For the past several years we have hosted the Toni Morrison Essay Contest for Young People, posing a question or quote from Ms. Morrison as a prompt. This year we received over 80 submissions from around Lorain County, and we were thrilled to recognize 13 students for their outstanding work. Their insightful reflections truly captured the essence of Ms. Morrison’s profound impact on literature and society, and her unique ability to inspire young people with a love of literature. I hope you will take some time to read these outstanding essays 

Here at the Community Foundation, we are in scholarship season. What an exciting time for our students as they plan the next chapter of their lives. We already have received 582 submissions for scholarships! We know the need is great, and that the post-high school process can be a stressful and overwhelming time. Adding to this are some issues around FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You may have seen recent news about hiccups students have faced when applying for financial aid that led to some colleges extending their admission deadlines. Given these challenges, we are extending our scholarship deadline to April 1st at 11:59 pm 

In addition to scholarship season, we have a lot going on in March, including our Connect to a Cause 2024 kickoff. If you are interested in participating and learning more, join us on March 1st at Avon Lake Library. Non-profits who would like to be a part of this year’s event must register between March 1st and March 31st.  Also, our Youth Summit is coming up on March 17th and we are expecting 200 local students to be a part of this remarkable day.  

Finally, I am proud to share that I am serving as the Honorary Chairperson for this year’s Harvest for Hunger campaign. The Community Foundation of Lorain County has been a supporter of Second Harvest since its earliest days. Thanks to our generous donors, the Community Foundation has granted over $1.6M over the years to Second Harvest and its vital work. Whether its increasing access to healthy food in schools, working with partner charities to provide expansive mobile distribution sites across the region, or delivering boxes of nutritious food to our seniors, Second Harvest and its partners strategically and relentlessly battle hunger.  I am honored to share that the generous supporters of the Community Foundation are donating $125,000 to Second Harvest in support of Harvest for Hunger.  

This year’s goal is to raise enough funds to cover 3.5M meals for our food insecure neighbors across the region. Is this a HUGE and even INTIMIDATING goal? Yes. But is it something we can do? ABSOLUTELY! I know we can. The caring and compassionate people in our community will step up once again in small and large ways to support our neighbors. Donate at the grocery store, do something creative with your friends or coworkers, or write a check. And don’t forget that we can all contribute by volunteering our time. Our team is planning a day to pack boxes at Second Harvest, and I know the need for volunteers is great. Join us! 

Let us work together to make this Harvest for Hunger campaign a success for our community.  

With gratitude,