A volunteer’s pathway to Faces without Places (FwP) comes from many directions, whether it is on a friend’s recommendation, through an employer, or hearing about FwP on the radio. Anita Minturn came to us through her membership with The Cincinnati Woman’s Club, whose focus is on philanthropy and education. Anita was selected this year to participate in the Philanthropy Group. The panel selects ten non-profit organizations to learn more about, engage with, and sponsor at the annual meeting that will select a winner of a $10,000 donation. Anita selected Faces without Places because she is very passionate about children and her desire to serve disadvantaged youth. Anita attended FwP’s Yellow Bus Summer Camp and came away with a better understanding of the programming, as well as the positive impact on the children. “It was very heartwarming and educational for me to attend the camp. I was impressed with how the volunteers and staff go out of their way to help the children,” stated Anita.
In July Anita invited several of her friends to attend the Summer Celebration at the Contemporary Arts Center on July 31st. After seeing all the artwork from Summer Camp, listening to the program, and watching the videos, Anita just fell in love with FwP.
With her first-hand experience, Anita was hooked and wanted to do more so she volunteered to host a “Birthday Club” at one of the shelters. Anita brought her son Zac and her friends Sharon Gill, Margery Ward, and Carol Thoman. Anita and her group arrived at the InterFaith Hospitality Network shelter armed with party supplies, a pumpkin craft project, a piñata, snacks, and amazing cupcakes baked by Margery. The shelter had seven families with sixteen children, ages ranging from infant to fourteen. The team got right to work setting the right party atmosphere. With the aid of one of the 4 year old boys, Zac blew up the balloons, the tables were set, and the children were ready to celebrate. There was a rousing game of duck, duck, goose. The piñata was a huge success and the cupcakes were devoured. One of the mothers stated “Those cupcakes are homemade!” You could just hear the appreciation in her voice. When families are homeless, the opportunity to celebrate a birthday is often non-existent. Anita, with her son and friends, were able to provide a moment in their lives that otherwise would have been looked over. Anita stated, “We came away with full hearts and grateful that all the children enjoyed it!”
Thank you Anita for hosting the Birthday Club and bringing your awesome friends and your son. You all did a fantastic job, and we are extremely grateful for all your support!