Celebrating Easton’s 25th year of giving, the Easton Community Foundation will partner with six community organizations in 2024 to help elevate the great work happening in our local community. The Easton Community Foundation selects six area nonprofits to receive a portion of the on-street parking and ticket revenue to support their community efforts and be highlighted throughout the property so that Easton’s 30 million annual visitors are aware of each organization’s mission, community impact, and also how to access their services. With dozens of applications submitted for consideration, the following six non-profits have been selected and will be featured throughout Easton over a two-month period
- Zora’s House (January / February)
- New Directions Career Center (March / April)
- Seeds of Caring (May / June)
- Student Success Stores (July / August)
- I Know I Can (September / October)
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio (November / December)
Since its debut, the Easton Community Foundation has provided $9.1 million in financial support to more than 200 organizations that strengthen the central Ohio community through services and programming in the areas of education, health and social services. Ninety-one youth, family-focused, health and educational organizations have been supported through the Foundation’s Change for Charity program. This program has provided $2.1 million to non-profits in Central Ohio. Primary community-focused initiatives of the Foundation include Cornerstone Charitable Event fundraisers for some of central Ohio’s most respected charities, which have raised exponentially more funds for organizations such as The James Cancer Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, Dress for Success Columbus, Alvis, The Center for Family Safety and Healing, CelebrateOne and more. The Easton Community Foundation Scholarships for area high schools has provided 151, 2-year, renewable scholarships to students. Other initiatives supported or hosted by Easton include youth mentorship and community programming, fundraisers, and events.
In 2023, utilizing spaces around property like the Community Room or Booth, Town Square, parking lots, and retail or restaurant space, many local non-profits like Mid-Ohio Furniture Bank, The Salvation Army, The James, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, CCAD, COSI, Versiti and Fashion Week Columbus hosted events, activations, and fundraisers at Easton.
“We are proud that the Easton Community Foundation is an active part of our community, from our partnership program to hosting non-profit events here at the Town Center,” said Emily Garvey, Easton’s Director of Marketing. “Our focus this coming year is supporting organizations that impact local community members as they build their careers and future plans as well as organizations that specifically assist young people in our area.”
Each partner receives a substantial donation through Easton’s parking proceeds along with in-kind marketing and publicity opportunities that reach more than 30 million visitors annually.
Zora’s House (January / February)
As Ohio’s first and only leadership incubator and community space built by and for women+ of color (WoC), Zora’s House is making big space for WoC in Columbus. Established in 2018, Zora’s House is a place to gather. To connect. To make progress. To feel safe. And most of all, to thrive. The mission of Zora’s House is to create safe spaces for women+ of color to establish meaningful, supportive relationships with other women in their community; develop a deeper practice of self-care, resiliency, and emotional intelligence; and successfully incubate their creativity, scholarship, entrepreneurship, activism, service, and leadership.
New Directions Career Center (March / April)
New Directions Career Center is in its 44th year of providing high-quality career counseling, education, and supportive services to help thousands of women achieve affirming and satisfying career paths. We believe in uplifting and empowering women to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency by offering a holistic suite of career development programs, workshops, and individualized services, including career counseling, employment readiness and placement, mediation, and support services. New Directions has a strong network of employers and partnerships with community resources, empowering clients to not only find employment but thrive in their careers.
Seeds of Caring (May / June)
Seeds of Caring believes in the power of kindness and the capacity for kids to change the world. As a parent, Brandy Jemczura sought opportunities to teach her kids about the needs in her community and build this confidence in their ability to make a difference. With few options for young kids to give back, she got her big idea: an organization created specifically to engage and empower children as a catalyst for change in their community. And that’s when Seeds of Caring was born. Seeds of Caring engages young children in service, social action and community-building. From racism to homelessness, we don’t shy away from the tough stuff. Instilling kindness and empathy from the earliest age, we help kids see and understand the needs in their community, then develop the social-emotional skills and confidence to make a difference.
Student Success Stores (July / August)
Student Success Stores (SSS) exists to meet the basic needs of students in grades 6-12 from economically disadvantaged communities and to remove barriers to learning that can be created when life necessities are unavailable. Our work is designed with a deliberate focus on providing a foundation for the students we serve that leads to successful outcomes in life. We partner with school counselors, administrators, teachers, and non-profits to open our stores in schools serving students living in poverty. Our stores are filled with no-cost hygiene products, easy-to-eat food items, snacks and mobile meals, school-code clothing, and school supplies. Schools provide the space to house the store and identify school personnel to shop with students. SSS supplies products and volunteers, as well as creating a space where students can “shop” with dignity and privacy.
I Know I Can (September / October)
Founded in 1998, I Know I Can is the only college access program in Columbus and one of the largest and most successful in the nation. I Know I Can works with more than 30,000 students in Columbus City Schools, Reynoldsburg City Schools, South-Western City Schools, and Whitehall City Schools and empowers them to achieve college and career success. I Know I Can’s support focuses on inspiring and exposing students to post-high school pathways, advising students through admission processes and financial aid opportunities, and helping students reach their postsecondary goals. Additionally, I Know I Can awards more than $1.9 million in grants and scholarships every year to deserving students who dream big and work hard.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio (November / December)
For over 75 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio has been providing young people the support, guidance, and tools they need to succeed in life. We offer comprehensive, affordable after school and summer programming for youth in grades K – 12 in 12 Clubhouses and 3 counties across Central Ohio. A typical day at the Club includes future-readiness programming, nutritious meals, recreation, friendship and mentorship, and a place to call home and belong. It is a place where great futures are started each and every day.
Applications for the partnership program are accepted through August 1st of the year preceding disbursement. Groups interested in applying for 2025 consideration should submit through the online application. Applications will be available in early 2024.