We have been supported by many amazing organizations in the past few months that directly serve our community members and food security issues. Thanks go out to:
*Athens Food Pantry
*Farmers and Hunters Helping the Hungry
*Community Foods Initiative
*Athens Food Rescue
*Good Fellows PIzza & McHappy's Bake Shop for supporting our monthly workdays for members, staff and volunteers!
A big shout out to Scott Winland and Hocking College students and Athens area musicians for once again making The Gathering Place a recepient of their BENEFEST V! We really rely on these community music fundraisers that Scott Winland initiates, and members of our band, "The Gatherers" participated in the line up to raise funds for the GP! Thanks to Kat Trout and Pete Wuscher!
Our other exciting news this month is that we have been chosen as a recepient of a funding opportunity with Ohio
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) for a Wellness Initiative. For FY16, OhioMHAS will grant 6 regional mini-grants to Consumer Operated Services/Business and Clubhouses to provide regional technical assistance, training, and oversight for a wellness initiative. The Wellness Initiative is in an effort to encourage increased resiliency, wellness, and self-management of health and behavioral health among people with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders throughout Ohio for individuals transitioning into community living. We are partnering with Athens Photographic Project for this work scope and also with Appalachian Behavioral Health to reach the goals and represent our region of 22 counties in the catchment area of ABH. This is a project that will require members of GP and staff to work together as we move towards the goal of more consumer-driven operation. We are very excited for the opportunity! Stay tuned as we learn more and for news of upcoming workshops that this grant will enable us to provide for our region.
The Gathering Place has been undergoing many changes since late August thanks to community grants and our
investment funds and we now have a new HVAC system, refinished floors on 1st and 2nd floors and new electric
throughout the house, new ceilings, new paint on 1st floor, and the new attic space is near completion of new drywall, windows,
insulation, paint and refinished floors. We are also purchasing new computers and furniture throughout the house in coming months. We are all excited about our facelift and keeping the GP facility intact for future generations of Athenians.
We have been grateful for a successful gardening season and continue to receive donations from Community Foods Initiatives and the Donation Station, a program where local farmers donate to area nonprofits and food pantries in need.
We want to send a big thank you out to Scott Winland and community music artists who continue to make the GP a benefactor of Athens Community Music Festival. We received $1,000 of proceeds towards our Health and Wellness Programming.
We also received support from Phi Gamma Delta with a small fundraiser and member service to get our downstairs back open for members and staff. Ohio University Music Therapy Association also held a benefit called, "Strike Down the Stigma" and proceeds totalled over $500. We love our student organizations who volunteeer their time and also organize events for our mission and create advocacy in the community for community mental health!
Our summer activity was full with the garden and summer trips. Our garden received help from Professor Art Trese, who teaches plant biology and agriculture at Ohio University and donated his time to build our new garden fences. Member, staff and volunteers were busy helping our garden flourish and the GP received rewards of fresh food.
Summer Trips at Burr Oak and Cincinnati Great American Ball Park