What We Do
The Youth Program
Youth from kindergarten through high school experiencing disadvantages associated with growing up in an environment of high rates of poverty, substance abuse, illiteracy and crime are eligible for this program. Every week, thirty students are encouraged to complete homework and learn good study habits. They participate in the Learning for Life Program, which teaches money and household management, cooking, laundering, and other practical life-long skills to help them become independent, contributing adults.
The Academic Incentive Program helps to encourage youth to maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or above by rewarding them with an annual party. A savings account is established for each older student, which can be used for expenses related to any post-secondary education or enrollment in the military.
People can come in once a week to choose clean, useable clothing – at no charge. The Clothing Bank is kept well supplied through the generous donations of individuals, churches, businesses and various community groups. Small household items, books, and toys are also gladly accepted and distributed.
Volunteers sort, fold and hang clothes as they come in by the bag or truckload. They also assist clients in finding specific items and sizes.
ECM’s Choice Food Pantry provides groceries for three meals per day, for three days, for each member of a household. The pantry allows each household representative to choose the foods that appeal to members of his/her household. Every effort is made to provide a good selection of food from which to choose, depending on available funds. Clients may visit the pantry one time each month.
Eastside is a member of the Muskingum County Hunger Network, which is comprised of fifteen food pantries. Clients are assigned to the most convenient pantry for them. Our staff contribute many hours of service to Operation Feed, a concerted effort to collect food throughout the area for distribution to Network member pantries.
Eastside is sometimes the last hope for people in need who don’t meet guidelines to receive help from other sources. Limited financial aid is available to help with utility bills, rent, etc. A number of local churches, organizations and individuals entrust ECM with funds for emergency relief. ECM staff screens each client to verify his/her need as legitimate in an effort to use these funds wisely and to help as many people as possible. Clients for this type of assistance can apply one time a year.
ECM works with many other community organizations on special projects:
Tools for School – Some 800 area students can begin the school year with the necessary tools. Backpacks are filled with supplies tailored to each child’s school, grade and teacher requirements. Supplies are distributed in August, with applications available in July.
Lace Up for Kids – Some 1000 students start the new school year with brand new shoes. With the help of information on the application form with regard to ages and sizes, volunteer shoppers make sure every student has a choice of styles when they come in to be fitted in August.
Produce Market – With fresh produce from the Mid Ohio Food Bank and with the help of many volunteers, ECM’s parking lot is filled with the season’s fruits and vegetables for community residents to enjoy.
emPOWER Hour for Women – a group of women who meet to lift each other up-inspire-learn-teach-laugh-cry-enjoy lunch-and give back! Meet every Friday at 11am. In collaboration with Muskingum Behavioral Health.
Family and Friends Support Group –Addiction affects everyone! Do you have a loved one in your life that is addicted to drugs? Do you need support and knowledge on how to relate to this person? You are not alone. Open to anyone in the community, group topics will include: What is addiction? Am I co-dependent? How can I help? When do I stop helping? Every Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Sponsored by Muskingum Behavioral Health.
Thanksgiving Baskets – Eastside assist 100 families each year with a Thanksgiving basket, that otherwise would not be able to provide a Thanksgiving dinner.
A Blanket Drive – Sponsored by the Good Samaritan Nurses Alumni collected 116 blankets and $1,770 from their most recent blanket drive.
beYOUtiful – We offer a variety of activities that promote and encourage self-worth for teen girls ages 12 to 17. Some of the topics include, but are not limited to: Pursuing your Passion, Positive Decision Making, Values, Using your Voice, Team Building, Uniting against Bullying, Girl Talk, Crafts, Healthy Habits, Role Models, and Being YOUnique. beYOUtiful Sleepovers are held twice a year and the group meets monthly. Call Lynsay for more details.