One Life and One Story at a Time…

Together as a community we are helping each other write new chapters for our lives. Here in their own words just a few of our clients share what partnering with CityLink has meant for them. If you’d like to Join the Movement to take back our city, Consider making a Gift of Hope this holiday season to fuel life-change.
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It’s Christmas Time at CityLink!

Man, we love Christmas. The food, the music, the smiles and the cheer. We love it even more when we get to share in community with our clients and their families. We also know that Christmas isn’t always a time of wonder and excitement and joy. It can be tough, lonely, stressful and even sad depending on how your individual journey has gone. At CityLink we strive to be family to our clients and volunteers one by one so that there is always a place they can go ”where everybody knows your name” and cares about your story.

This December we’ve invited clients and families to join us at “Awaited” the incredible Christmas story reinvented on stage at Crossroads Church. Almost 100,000 tickets were reserved and all the shows are sold out. We are excited that we get to  take some of our clients to two different shows and are providing transportation to share in the performance and fellowship together.

We’re also excited to welcome clients and their families for our annual Holiday Portrait Project that has been expanded this year to include crafts, cookie decorating and Nativity Story telling for whole family. Each family gets a matted print and disc of all their pictures thanks to a passionate and committed crew of photographers that give of their time and talent each Christmas to help create lasting memories for our families.

One such photographer is Tony Arrasmith of Arrasmith and Associates. In his own words he talks about his experiences supporting the Center through both video and portrait projects.

“If you can imagine an elderly lady who has never had a formal portrait taken in her entire life. Then upon receiving the photo she looks up at you  with tears in her eyes and says, “I didn’t know I could look so beautiful”, then she gives you a 20 second hug. You see beauty isn’t just in the photography.  It’s the visual representation of family, a tangible and lasting bolster of confidence in seeing the possibilities within yourself you hadn’t considered before.  The beauty is the hope these photos inspire.”
-Tony Arrasmith

Read his blog post in its entirety and watch the video he, Joe Harrison and Todd Joyce of Optic Lizard produced earlier this year.

We’ve got a lot to be thankful for here in our city. We are overwhelmed with the hearts of people and partners that make up our community here at the Center. A Merry Christmas it is.

Thank You UBS FTB Financial Services!

UBS FTB Financial Services Presents $10,000 Check to CityLink Center
FTB Financial chooses CityLink Center as annual charity for volunteer and funding support

Late last month UBS/FTB Financial Services hosted a Holiday Open House at their new office space in Kenwood. To celebrate the opening of the new space clients were welcomed warmly for a night of conversation, cocktails and a presentation that announced CityLink Center as their charity of the year.

Employees made personal financial donations that were matched by the company, totaling $10,000.  The entire UBS/FTB Team also participated in a volunteer event at CityLink on December 11th by helping run the Center’s Holiday Portrait Project where hundreds of CityLink clients and their children came in for professional holiday pictures, crafts, nativity storytelling, cookie decorating and more.

Corporate Partners like FTB and many others are fueling the life-change our city desperately needs. We are thankful for their commitment to community and to each of their employees for giving selflessly to causes close to their hearts each and every year.

Check out some pics on our facebook page of FTB employee volunteers in action  yesterday and learn more about UBS FTB Financial Services here.

UBS FTB Open House-29Pictured: Daniel Torbeck, CFA Managing Director of FTB Financial Services, Marissa Abernathy, Director of Development and Communication for CityLink Center and Emily Losacker, Client Service Associate for FTB Financial Services and CityLink Volunteer Extraordinaire!

Tis the Season: Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday are Upon Us!

We are in the midst of two days that can accomplish so much more than bargains wrapped in shiny paper under our trees.

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Black Friday 2014 is now a thing of the past and today is Cyber Monday (the Internet-based equivalent of Black Friday) and this year it could overtake the day as the number one retail event. Millions will be online shopping and the internet buzz says Amazon will be setting the trends for low prices, so if you find yourself on Amazon today, PLEASE SHOP AMAZON.SMILE  it’s the same as the Amazon site, except you can designate .5% of your purchase to support charities like CityLink Center! Just sign into your regular account on Amazon and search for your charity and voila…you are shopping for GOOD!

So we’ve got a day to give thanks, two for shopping and getting great deals so tomorrow…It’s #GivingTuesday  (a day dedicated to giving back). Charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

We need your help to finish 2014 strong and to lay a firm foundation to support our clients and the thousands more in need of jobs, education, help with finances, clinical and peer counseling, transportation, health and wellness, childcare….hope, encouragement and confidence. You can #GiveBig or #GiveSmall because every gift no matter the amount helps fuel this locomotive of city wide love. You can support the CityLink movement today at www.Amazon.smile.com and tomorrow for #GivingTuesday and all month long by going to www.citylinkcenter.org/jointhemovement

 

Fall Feast 2014: A Thanksgiving Day Celebration

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The CityLink team will be feastin’ it up at this year’s Fall Feast!  Come out and share a meal, share a story, or just a smiling face.  If you can’t make it to the festivities, you can still play a part in spreading the word to your friends, family members, and neighbors down the street.   

For event details please visit fallfeast.org

The Apostle Paul says it best in his reflection on thanksgiving in 2 Corinthians 9:11-12:

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”            

                                                                                                                                                                    

Thanks for Mashin’ It Up Cincinnati

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WOW. Cincinnati is an incredible place. Our staff and volunteers were in awe of the energy and excitement of the many folks who came out to help CityLink celebrate and motivate the hard work our clients and partner agencies are taking on each day.

600+ people, 30 generous sponsors and performers  mashed up with one life-changing mission to shine a light on the potential our city has to thrive and grow from community and perseverance. From the cooperative weather,  the Paintball Art, great food and inspiring performances, you helped bring together  and showcase the best of what Cincinnati has to offer. So thanks Cincinnati, we had a blast and raised funds and awareness all at the same time.

If you came to MashUp and didn’t get a chance to fill out the survey about your experience, we’d love to hear from you so we can continue to improve. It’ll only take a couple of minutes and really helps us grow.

A Picture is worth a thousand words….So check out all the pics from the event on our Facebook page and be sure to like us while you’re there so you can stay up to date on news, events and client successes. If you couldn’t join us this year, don’t worry we’ll be back for more fun in  October 2015…or if you don’t want to wait that long, come down and see us next week at our last Volunteer Information event of the year on Tuesday October 28th at 6pm. 

Together we are a community locked arm in arm and it takes volunteers, hard work and resources to do the heavy lifting and we want you to JOIN THE MOVEMENT. If you’d like to support CityLink’s privately funded mission to take back our city from the grips of poverty one life at a time, we truly need your help. No gift is too small or too great to support real people wanting to make an investment in their own lives to change.

Make a donation by clicking here, learn about volunteering and pray like the future of our city is on the line…because it is.

Well done, Cincinnati, well done.

Thanks again to these folks for making MashUp 2014 possible:

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CityLink Celebrates Janet Keith!

“Janet is a gem who invests her entire self in her service, not simply to fill her time or to collect praises, but because she truly believes that her life is inextricably tied to the lives of others.”

 - Jessica Ohmer, CityLink Operations Support Coordinator 

Each year The Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism grants organizations the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals through the ServeOhio Award.  Candidates model volunteerism and service in exceptional ways by making substantial impacts within the organization and the community as a whole. CityLink was proud to nominate Janet Keith for the 2014 ServeOhio Award.  Although we were not selected as a recipient, we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to reflect on our gratitude for Janet and celebrate the love that she shares with clients, volunteers, and staff members each day at the center. She is a constant presence at the Welcome Center and also supports clients through Study Tables. Janet has made measurable impacts here at CityLink, serving 165 days in just one year’s time.  That’s over 530 hours of service!  Even more, with her time and talent comes a woman of wisdom and deep compassion, invaluable qualities that we have all been blessed to receive and learn from.

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serveohio small To learn more about ServeOhio click here

CityLink Icon     Want to meet Janet?  Click here to Join the Volunteer Movement. We’ve got our last Volunteer Orientation of the year coming up on October 28th at 6pm…come join us!

Jerome Celebrates One Year on the Job!

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Jerome got the nickname “The Mayor” of CityLink some time ago due to his constant presence and encouraging nature. He was one of our earlier clients and was always around sharing his enthusiasm, spirit and sense of humor while also working on some of his goals. When Jerome first came to CityLink in early 2013 he was looking to learn more about getting his GED but also began working with Cincinnati Works because he needed a steady job.  He went through the Job Readiness workshop and took several computer literacy classes as he worked with his Job Coach to find employment. Well Jerome stopped in today to celebrate an important milestone…one year on the job at Club Chef where Cincinnati Works helped him get hired! CityLink and Cincinnati Works hosted a Job Readiness Workshop this week and the students who are just getting started on their journey were able to hear and hopefully be encouraged by “The Mayor’s” words. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“These people are good people. You can feel the spirit. It’s in this room, here there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. When I came in here I was feeling bad. down, jobless, homeless even. When I got here I got here by guidance, not by someone else, but by the Lord almighty. Searching for jobs to doors that would not open and that’s when God directed me here. This place here is God given, Take advantage of it because you can learn a lot more here at this Center than you can imagine. And I don’t know if any of you have acknowledged it, or experienced it for yourself, but there is something about this place. The spirit is just warm and welcoming. I couldn’t stop coming back.

Take advantage of the computer classes, I learned so much about computers it’s not even funny! I wouldn’t say I was completely computer illiterate, but I learned how to operate a lot better by being here than I was before…I ‘d still be punching those one or two keys! It really helped me with my job search, all that is on the computer now.

And the staff, you can’t help but love them, because they show you love. You know, other job search places, I’ve gotten a lot of attitude, but you won’t find that here. And you just never know what you can do, here I am today. I feel like I can start towards my next goal and that’s getting my GED.I started off coming down here wanting to get my GED but getting and an income was more important, but I’m ready to take it on. I like working with my hands and already have a maintenance certificate and I’d like to start working in plumbing but I need my GED to get started. So you’ll be seeing me a lot more again soon because I know I can do it.”

We love when our clients come to share their triumphs and trials with us. Jerome’s story is still being written and we are thankful to be a part of his journey. Congrats to Jerome and Cincinnati Works for providing the tools and encouragement to “take on mountains” as Jerome would say.

CityLink Partner Church Featured in the Wall Street Journal

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An inspiring story was featured this week in the Wall Street Journal about Peoples Church here in Cincinnati. Peoples Church is striving to be a “church like heaven”. In heaven there will be no racial, socio-economic or other divides, so it seems only logical to model this here on earth and certainly in our churches. This compelling story explores the still segregated nature of Sunday mornings across the nation and the steps Peoples Church and others are taking to permanently blur the lines.

“To be one church family pleases the heart of the Lord.”
Pastor Chris Beard

Watch the online video story here and please share it:
http://www.wsj.com/video/multiracial-churches-united-under-god/5831B502-528E-4F5B-9D6C-E2813DFDE555.html

Read the online story here:
http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-church-of-many-colors-the-most-segregated-hour-in-america-gets-less-so-1413253801

 

 

Now accepting applications!

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CityLink Center is seeking AmeriCorps*VISTA members to join our team beginning  November 2014 to make a year-long/full-time commitment to impact lives in Cincinnati.

Use your knowledge and skills while gaining professional development experience and money towards college.

CityLink Center is a city-wide initiative leveraging the strengths of various social service agencies in Cincinnati.  One place, one team made up of many of the city’s best services with staff, volunteers, and AmeriCorps*VISTAs supporting local programs.  Volunteers IService TAmerica (VISTA) build capacity working with CityLink staff and partners to assist in eradicating poverty in our local community.

CityLink is currently seeking applications NOW through SEPTEMBER 22, 2014. 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT by clicking here.

Look for “Join AmeriCorps!” on the right side of the home page.

Select OHIO under the “Choose Where to Serve” drop down.

 Search for CityLink Center.

Follow this link to hear from AmeriCorps members currently serving at CityLink.

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