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Heartwarming Holidays at the Center

The Thea Bowman Center was a bustling and joyful place in the weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday. Many volunteers decorated the Center with several Christmas trees, wreaths and twinkling lights. Several churches and organizations planned children’s activities, caroling, decorating and meals, along with many donated gifts. Between 200 and 300 meals were served each Saturday in December and nearly 500 grocery bags and 300 turkeys were distributed on December 20th. The Christmas spirit was felt all around the Center.

TBC Receives Grant Supporting Free Tax Service

Free tax assistance through The Ohio Benefit Bank will once again be available at Thea Bowman Center (TBC) located at 11901 Oakfield Avenue with the driveway located off East 120th and Union Avenue. Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, home of the Ohio Benefit Bank, TBC will be able to expand tax filing service for the 2013 tax season. This service is only available to individuals with a maximum income level of $65,000 and families with a maximum income level of $90,000.

“As an Ohio Benefit Bank counselor and a member of the Mt. Pleasant / Union Miles community, I know that our area will benefit from having the free tax preparation available to us. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so learning to best use our free resources, right in our own neighborhood, allows us to keep our vital financial and time resources for other needs i.e. bill paying, transportation and/or saving and investing. And that truly is a benefit.” – Delena Warr.

The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBBTM) is an innovative online service that connects Ohioans with more than 20 work support programs and tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, child tax credits, and education credits and federal financial aid (FAFSA). Ohioans can visits sites like www.TheaBowmanCenter.org and check out our calendar and contact info for the location of where to file their federal and state taxes for free with a trained counselor, or they can file on their own at www.ohiobenefits.org. The Thea Bowman Center offers food support through the Hot Meals and Food Pantry program; adult education including adult literacy and GED classes; children’s programs for after school and Saturdays for grades K-8 along with summer youth camp; and TBC also provides emergency help through Works of Mercy by appointment and while resources are available.

Residents interested in making an appointment to have their taxes filed or complete other benefit applications through the OBB can call (216) 491-0699. Appointments are available Monday evenings from 3:30 -5p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (which ends at 2:30 pm) and evenings from 3:30 – 5 p.m. (which ends at 6:30p.m.; or at one of the Saturday Tax Clinics from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m). On Friday we will also schedule self-serve tax time as the community needs.

Community members interested in volunteering as OBB counselors are welcome to call Delena Warr at (216) 491-0699 or leave a message with their name and contact number on the voicemail.

November 16, 2013: Celebrate the Center!

“Celebrate Good Times, Come On!” are lyrics from the popular 1980 song, Celebration, by Kool & the Gang. They could easily describe the night we have planned to celebrate the Thea Bowman Center’s rich history of service to the Mt. Pleasant community of Cleveland. Thanks to the tremendous commitment of so many, the Center continues to be a place of hope and opportunity, engagement and community, relationships and partnerships. Our future is bright. Let’s celebrate with joy!

The event will be held on Saturday evening, November 16, 2013, at St. Noel’s Banquet Center. Eleanor Hayes, former television and freelance reporter and currently the Director of Communications at the Cleveland Clinic, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. We will offer a variety of delectable food at stations, music and dancing, exciting silent auction items, and lots of fun. To recognize their leadership in advancing our mission, St. Dominic’s Parish Community will receive the Shining Light Award of the Thea Bowman Center.

If you are interested in becoming a dinner underwriter or donating a silent auction item, or if you wish to volunteer, please call the Thea Bowman Center at 216-491-0699 or visit our website. Invitations will be mailed in late September. Thanks for your support!

North East Ohio Doll Club

The North East Ohio Doll Club adopted the Thea Bowman Center as an outreach project to the community.  In partnership with the Doll Club, Thea Bowman has established a special doll and learning center room for neighborhood children where girls and boys ages 5-8 can play and learn about the doll collection. On July 18th, Doll Club members hosted a reception for the children at the Center to introduce them to a variety of dolls.

Thea Bowman Center Upgrade Projects

St. Dominic Church:

The Bowman Center is receiving a new look thanks to St. Dominic’s Church. Early this year they painted and installed new tile and carpet in the Education Center. The next phase of the plan is to relocate the food pantry to better accommodate the participants and space utilization. This phase is expected to be completed by November just in time for the Holiday festivities.

 

Bruening Foundation Grant:

The Bruening Foundation provided the Center with the opportunity to upgrade computers to accommodate our adult education, food support, resource services, and youth programs. The grant also includes telephone and security upgrades.