Did you know that every coin dropped into a parking meter and every paid parking ticket at Easton helps fund local charities? Each year over the past 20 years, Easton Town Center and the Easton Community Foundation have selected six youth and family-focused organizations to partner with as part of its annual Change for Charity Meter Program. The program, which uses proceeds from parking meters and parking tickets at Easton to support local charities, has raised more than $1.4 million since its establishment in 1999.
As part of this important annual tradition, we’re pleased to announce Easton’s 2020 Change for Charity recipients:
- A Kid Again (January / February)
- Besa (March / April)
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (May / June)
- The King Arts Complex (July / August)
- Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio (September / October)
- LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence (November / December)
Each partner will be featured on the property over a two-month period, in which they will receive donations through Easton’s parking meter proceeds, along with in-kind marketing and publicity opportunities that reach more than 28 million visitors annually. Visitors can also use the QR codes located on the second level of the Easton Station building, making it easier than ever to donate and learn more about Easton’s Change for Charity partners.
It’s our goal at Easton to support and recognize organizations that are making a significant impact in our community, and central Ohio as a whole. We are fortunate enough to be able to do so not only through providing financial support but also by helping to raise awareness through unique opportunities that educate community members on what important work these organizations do. Our guests truly appreciate learning about these partners. Whether it’s giving hope and happiness to children and families with life-long illnesses with A Kids Again, or being inspired to express yourself with The King Arts Complex, we are truly honored to be able to connect our guests with these incredible organizations.
While Change for Charity provides a unique opportunity for six select organizations, we are dedicated to working with the community and creating accessible opportunities to benefit the many incredible organizations Columbus has to offer all year round. To us, these organizations are more than just community members, they help serve the people who visit, shop and dine here at Easton.
Want to learn more about Easton’s 2020 Change for Charity partners? Here are some details about each organization:
A Kid Again (January / February):
A Kid Again hosts year-round fun-filled adventures that allow children with life-threatening illnesses to feel like A Kid Again. A Kid Again works to create a communal and interactive environment. The program establishes ongoing, nurturing experiences that complement but do not overtake their day-to-day living. A Kid Again’s mission is to provide HOPE, HAPPINESS, and HEALING to families raising kids with life-threatening illnesses. A Kid Again makes life for families caring for a child with a life-threatening illness “normal” again by helping them gain back moments of positive, family-shared experiences and memories.
Besa (March / April):
Besa—an Albanian term that means “to keep a promise”—is dedicated to supporting those who need it most by connecting people and businesses to community service opportunities. It offers an online portal where anyone can easily find and register for volunteer projects citywide. It hosts critical need supply drives for nonprofits. And it helps corporate partners amplify their philanthropic impact. In seven years, Besa has organized 5,000 volunteer projects, rallied 30,000 volunteers to serve their community, provided $2 million in community impact, and $6 million has been invested in the community through its social enterprise Besa Promise. Learn more at givebesa.org.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (May / June):
For more nearly four decades the Ronald McDonald House has operated on the same mission to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio provides a home for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. In 2018, the Columbus Ronald McDonald House provided this service to over 4,500 families providing over 82,000 nights. The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio is located adjacent to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and is the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world, complete with 137 guestrooms.
The King Arts Complex (July / August):
The King Arts Complex (KAC) is a multidisciplinary arts organization whose mission is Connecting Community through the Arts. The KAC presents and produces educational programming as well as visual, performing, and literary/media arts programs. The museum-quality institution is an important resource for the community, an oasis for cultural and educational activities, and a facility for special events. It is often described as a sophisticated arts institution who the community has come to rely on to provide high-caliber arts programming at little-to-no charge. Many of the individuals and families served are from economically disadvantaged homes, but without The King Arts Complex, they may never be exposed to the arts. In 2019, The King Arts Complex served nearly fifty thousand patrons. For more information, please visit www.Kingartscomplex.com.
Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio (September / October):
Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio has spent over three decades bringing the dream of homeownership to families in need. Habitat MidOhio’s partners, donors, and volunteers have played a significant role in rekindling hope for more than 500 families living in central Ohio through new home construction, rehabs, home repairs, and the operation of three ReStores in the MidOhio service area.
LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence (November / December):
LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence is the only domestic violence safe haven shelter in Franklin County and offers 120 beds, a 24-hour crisis and information hotline, counseling services, support groups and legal and community advocates for those impacted by domestic violence. The shelter also assists with caring for the pets of those impacted. CHOICES staff and trained volunteers also conduct domestic violence awareness and prevention outreach throughout our community. In FY19, 916 unduplicated people, more than half of them children, stayed at the CHOICES shelter and the hotline answered 4,464 calls.
Since its debut, the Easton Community Foundation has provided over $7.5 million in financial support to hundreds of organizations that strengthen the central Ohio community through services and programming in the areas of education, health and social services. Its primary community-focused initiatives – in addition to the Change for Charity program – include cornerstone event fundraisers for some of central Ohio’s most respected charities, the Easton Community Foundation Scholarships for area high school students at schools including Mifflin High School, Northland High School, Fort Hayes High School, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Linden-McKinley High School, and Columbus Africentric and events and partnerships benefiting the community, and local organizations.
Easton has also served as a site for Canine Companion service dog training, a Pelotonia pop- up store, Salvation Army bellringing, and job and volunteer fairs. While Change for Charity provides a unique opportunity for six select organizations, Easton is dedicated to working with the community and creating accessible opportunities to benefit the many incredible organizations Columbus has to offer all year round.