Tammy's Story: How NNEMAP is Changing Lives
NNEMAP recently became a member of Community Shares because many of the volunteers were involved in organizations that support workplace giving campaigns. As a member of Community Shares, NNEMAP will join workplace giving campaigns throughout central Ohio. This will allow employees at workplace campaign locations to donate directly to NNEMAP from their paychecks.
Community Shares sat down with a NNEMAP client to discuss how it has impacted her life.
Tammy G, a clerk at a local store, has been going to NNEMAP since she had an accident in 2008.
“The volunteers- these people truly care about these people on the streets. It’s not all these big agencies wanting to get all this funding and stuff downtown. It’s churches. It’s places like this.”
Although she has been homeless, she recently obtained an apartment that she will be moving into on Memorial Day.
“When I move in to my apartment, I want to come back here and volunteer my time, even if it’s sweeping or mopping the floor. Because when someone is good to you, you give that back.”
Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program (NNEMAP) is a program providing a little over 18,000 people at or near the poverty line with a three-day supply of food two times a month. They serve the Columbus area, incorporating the 43201, 43211 and 43215 zip codes.
After the construction of Interstate 670 in 1958, home values plummeted and there was a much larger population of Columbus residents requiring assistance than ever before. Fourth Avenue Christian church worked for ten years addressing this need, and in 1969, along with other area churches, became the Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program. NNEMAP now collaborates with 30 churches in Columbus as well as the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
Although their primary focus is supplying food, NNEMAP provides a variety of other items and services for the homeless and disadvantaged. They offer assistance in determining eligibility for food stamps, which clients may apply for if they qualify. For children, kits of school supplies are assembled each summer for varying grade-levels based upon recommendations from Columbus area schools. For the percentage of NNEMAP clients that are homeless, special kits are made with only items that do not require kitchen appliances. Grooming kits are assembled containing necessities such as toothpaste, razors and soap.
In addition, NNEMAP offers a variety of vital medical resources. The Breathing Assocation medical van is offered several times a year, as well as referrals to other agencies when need arises. The Ohio Benefit Bank provides counseling services for individuals going through difficult times and facing economic hardship.
Because the majority of food donations come from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, NNEMAP is able to stretch their dollars to provide significant assistance. A $25 donation will feed a family of four for two entire weeks! NNEMAP also participates in the Kroger Community Rewards Program, through which Kroger donates a portion a customers purchases directly to nonprofits like NNEMAP.
Don't have a workplace giving campaign?