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The evening of Thursday, December 8th marked the occasion of the 15th annual “Homeless Awareness” Dinner supported by Ohio Valley Goodwill and held at the beautiful Sharonville Convention Center. Sponsored in large part by Spectra Food Services and the Sharonville Convention Center, the now annual event is always a heart-warming celebration that includes a lavish holiday meal, crafts for the kids, a DJ spinning tunes, wonderful volunteers and most importantly, a visit from Santa.
This year’s event welcomed almost 300 guests including almost 60 children under the age of 16 from local community shelters who are currently struggling with the challenge of homelessness. Shelters involved in this year’s celebration included: Salvation Army, Joseph House, Volunteers of America, Parkway Center, YWCA, Shelter House Barron, Bethany House and Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Dormitory. Ohio Valley Goodwill is a partner agency with the Greater Cincinnati Continuum of Care which is an association of more than 22 local organizations that provide a host of services for individuals struggling with homelessness.
Local 12 was on hand to cover the story and to interview Goodwill Case Manager, John Farley, about the Homeless Awareness Dinner as well as his own personal journey. Farley is the recipient of the 2016 “Distinguished Veteran Alumni Award” and was a former recipient of services through Ohio Valley Goodwill. Now, employed as a Case Manager for Goodwill, Farley is committed to helping others struggling with homelessness.
The highlight of the evening as always, was the arrival of Santa who was the star attraction and all of the children rushed to share their wishes for Christmas. Notably, every child when asked, reported that they have been very good this year. Each child then had the chance to sit on Santa’s lap and receive a teddy bear as well as a candy cane.
“Ohio Valley Goodwill is grateful to the Sharonville Convention Center, Spectra Food Services, all of our many partners as well as Local 12 for their support and coverage of the 15th annual Homeless Awareness dinner which really helps to put a spotlight on the issue of homelessness in our community,” said Camille Robinson, Asst. Grants Director for the Special Projects program. “We are especially grateful to all of the volunteers who came to help out with this year’s event. We even had one family who came all the way from Batesville Indiana to be part of this very special holiday event,” added Robinson.
To find out more about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s programs and services for individuals struggling with homelessness, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/services. Our most sincere thanks to the Sharonville Convention Center, Spectra Food Services and Local 12 for their support of the 15th annual Homeless Awareness Dinner event.