LIMA — Amid concerns with poverty levels in Lima, First Federal Bank, in collaboration with the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, announced a series of donations totaling $18,500 to 13 community agencies serving the Lima area.
With each agency receiving a minimum of $1,000, with West Central Ohio Action Partnership receiving $5,000, the goal was to direct the funds in such a way as to have the greatest impact, according to First Federal Bank Community Development Officer Shannon Tyler.
“Being born and raised in the Lima community, I was seeing organizations that had that need for assistance,” she said. “We had several organizations that we had to choose from, but we sat down and figured out who had the most need.”
According to Myia Batie, coordinator of policy and programs for OCCH, helping to develop housing for low- to moderate-income families is a key element of the mission of OCCH, and it was with those families in mind that these donations were made.
“Our focus is really on housing,” she said. “That was the general direction we took when working with First Federal Bank to apply these grants.”
Along with giving these donations, representatives from both First Federal Bank and OCCH toured Bradfield Community Center, WOCAP and Samaritan House, each of whom were among the group of recipient companies.
“What I noticed today was the passion on the part of those running these agencies,” First Federal Bank Market Area President Amy Hackenberg said. “When you see that passion, you want to get behind those projects even more because you know those dollars will be used wisely.”
For Brandi Schroeder, executive director of Samaritan House, the donation is not only helpful for the physical needs of the building, but also to help continue the mission of meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of the homeless women and children who stay at the shelter. Having representatives from those organizations tour her facility also spoke a great deal to her.
“We can only stay open from receiving monetary and in-kind donations and volunteer support,” she said. “To have the desire to come through, as a professional, that’s a lot of to ask of them. But you get a better understanding for the people you’re helping and praying for.”