EATON — The Common Good of Preble County celebrated its new status as a stand alone non-profit with a Preble County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on Thursday, Sept. 12.
The organization had been a part of Graceworks Lutheran Services since the early 1980s, but as of August is now its own entity.
According to Executive Director Jenny McCarty, The Common Good of Preble County will still be offering the same services and will still be located in the Once Around Shop. However, being its own organization will allow it to expand services to better meet the needs of Preble County.
“I don’t think, initially, anything is going to change. What we are going to start doing is looking at what are the unmet needs in Preble County and how can the Common Good meet those needs. We are still going to have the food pantry, we are still going to do the emergency assistant, clothes give away, and Back to School Fair. Now we are going to look at what else is going on in our community and what needs families have that we can fill,” she said.
“Being part of Graceworks has been a blessing, they have done great things for us. However, they are a very large agency that covers three states. This way we are going to be able to focus purely on Preble County and have a Preble County local board of people who live here, know what is going on, and know what the needs are. We are going to be more nimble and be able to meet the needs in a more efficient way.”
The Common Good of Preble County currently offers program including the Food Pantry, financial assistance, clothing giveaways, and the Back to School Fair.
The Food Pantry is open to all Preble County residents, but focuses on the Eaton Community School District. People can come once a month, but sometimes twice a month if the need is there. The organization provides financial assistance to help prevent evictions and utility disconnections and also helps with budgeting.
The clothing giveaway helps people when they need an outfit for a job interview or a new job or to help families clothe their children. The Back to School Fair is held annually in August. This year, the organization helped 152 students have school supplies for the new year.
According to McCarty, The Common Good of Preble County is based on a theory of how the organization will be run.
“Our focus is on the good of the community, the good of all of Preble County — not just the low income families, but everyone. Families experience emergencies no matter what income bracket they are. We are going to look at all families, looking at all emergencies they may have, to create more stability,” she said.
In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony, Ohio Representative J. Todd Smith presented McCarty with a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH