The precautions that we’re taking at The Way Station’s in both Columbiana and East Liverpool overlap and diverge from each other to accommodate the needs and practicalities of each community. Below are the steps we are taking to keep our customers and staff safe.

Columbiana location at 769 Springfield Rd.

  • All staff and workers are prescribed to daily temperature checks
  • All staff, workers, and customers are required to wear a mask
  • High touch surfaces are sanitized every hour
  • Upon entry, customers have hand sanitizer and a bleach water mix to wipe off carts
  • Plexiglass has been put in place at the clothing desk and cash register
  • All donations have a waiting period before they are touched by our workers

East Liverpool at 125 W 5th St.

  • Practicing the same standards as Columbiana location
  • Open earlier for seniors and health compromised shoppers only

The third year, 2019, of the Hope Community Garden brought a new set of gardeners. They came for many reasons but all contributed to a colorful tapestry of growing plants and budding friendships. Where one grower brought gardening skills from his native Pakistan; one brought a life-time of growing tomato transplants from a local farmer; one 25-year-old man brought no garden experience but a determined and eager learning spirit; one gardener joined us mid-season to celebrate her return to the community (garden alumnus Cindy and friends had planted and cared for her space to greet her with crops already in production); one disciplined grower rode in on her bicycle in from home several days a week to give her space—and other ones—great care; and one 94-year-old living in a nearby condo faithfully watered the beds through a summer dry spell.

Our alumnus, Cindy M., continued her productive ways with climbing beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil. She how knows how to create tall vertical trellis structures to provide a skyward foundation for her plants when they stretch upward over her head.  She was in charge of one of eight raised-bed garden areas, each one four feet by four feet for a total of 16 square feet.

By using our version of “square-foot gardening,” each grower starts by selecting crops that interest them and learning how to draw out a planting map that will allow proper space when their crops are mature. Starting on paper requires a little discipline but pays off in a big way. Properly placed plants perform well without crowding our neighboring crops or being disadvantaged by larger crops near-by.

Who wants to garden in 2020? No experience required. We garden together. Gardener Greg provides any help necessary from sketching to pest control to knowing when to pick. If you’re worried about committing to a long growing season, don’t fret Greg’s thought of that too. Sign up for a shorter growing season phase and if you want to stay for the whole season, that would be great too.

Phase 1: Short Season (now through July 4th –about 42 days)
  • Plant and harvest (pick and choose as you wish): Crops from seed- Radishes, Spinach, Cilantro Crops from transplants-Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Basil, Dill
Phase 2: Medium Season (now through Labor Day/Sept. 7th — about 120 days)
  • Plant anything
Phase 3: Full Season (now through Halloween/Oct. 15 –about 150 days)
  • Plant anything. Help with putting garden “to bed.”

 

Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected during these challenging times. Like so many, we have been specifically concerned for the school children who will now be home for weeks. For many of these children, school is where they receive their only regular meal. Although Governor DeWine and many local school districts are currently developing plans to feed the children, we felt it was our responsibility to act immediately. The Way Station is still collecting food and monetary donations to supplement for any family in need. Our goal is to provide one box of kid-friendly food, per week, to each family with children in the home until schools reopen.

At this time our thrift stores are closed until further notice. Our Executive Director and Board Members will continue to closely monitor the situation and follow all protocols set by the Center for Disease Control and the state of Ohio in regards to retail establishments.

We have temporarily suspended all donations with the exception of food, diapers and hygiene products. We were still able to hold our monthly food distribution as scheduled and between Columbiana and East Liverpool we served over 400 families. With the loss of our thrift stores, we need the support of our partners now more than ever to help us during this uncertain time. We truly do value and depend on your gifts and thank you for your loyalty, generosity, and prayers. Gifts can be mailed to PO Box 449, Columbiana, OH 44408 or on our website here.

The Way Station of Columbiana is excited to announce that we are currently accepting applications for an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate position. Ohio’s AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate’s program, ShareCorps, is the largest charitable response to hunger in the state. Through gardening education and increased exposure and knowledge of food grown from the ground, we hope The Way Station VISTA will impact the lives of our community members.

During the duration of the VISTA’s commitment, they will work closely with the Garden Supervisor and Way Station staff to cultivate and facilitate a comprehensive garden plan to help educate children on all stages of gardening and in turn develop a curiosity for the foods grown within it. The VISTA will also take the lead in creating promotional materials and implementing a strategic plan for recruiting garden participants and volunteers. Lastly, VISTA members are tasked with encouraging children to connect with the natural world around them.

As a by-product of the AmeriCorps VISTA’s work we hope children engaged in the garden program will go home and teach those they interact with, parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors about gardens, vegetables, and healthy food choices. As gardens are an easy yet sweat intensive answer to that ever-looming statement of, “I can’t eat healthily, it’s too expensive!”

To apply for the AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate position at The Way Station please visit ohiofoodbanks.org/recruitment or send a resume to TheWayStation146@gmail.com.

 The Way Station Inc. has named Chaney Nezbeth its new Executive Director. Nezbeth assumed the position following the retirement of Vicki Ritterspach, who served as executive director since 2010. Vicki will remain involved and will serve on the board of directors. Nezbeth most recently served as a development officer with the Youngstown State University Foundation. She has a strong nonprofit background previously working with Habitat for Humanity in Salem and she is currently serving on the board of directors with Junior Achievement of the Mahoning Valley. The Way Station introduced Chaney at their annual Simply DeVine Gala fundraising dinner held at The Links at Firestone Farms in Columbiana over the weekend.

The organization offers a six-week, 12-session, Jobs Ready-Set-Go program which provides training in résumé writing, online job search, interviews, workplace integrity and communication. Among the biggest advantages to the program are networking and connections. Area business owners and elected officials attend classes and meet with the students to help them identify their characteristics and traits that would be beneficial to a business. The students start to see the value they can bring to a career that they never considered before. Jobs Ready-Set-Go boasts a 68% success with usually eight to 10 students in a class and is held at the Columbiana location or at the county courthouse in Lisbon and the East Liverpool courthouse.

To help break the cycle of generational poverty, The Way Station begun its Pathways to Independence program October of 2018. Pathways to Independence feature a curriculum of classes to help people build their resources to get themselves out of poverty. Participants must commit to a year-long program that includes other incentives as they progress. Applicants are restricted to Columbiana County residents. Candidates must have a child in the home and fall within 150% of the poverty level. The organization will also help connect residents with local and county resources.

In addition to helping people get a fresh start, the DeVine Thrift Store offers reduced price clothing and household items for sale. They also provide emergency assistance kits, diaper distribution and monthly food distributions at both the Columbiana and East Liverpool locations.

The Way Station’s mission for over 30 years has been to reflect the compassion of Jesus to individuals and families who are struggling with poverty or joblessness by helping them to find full-time work and be self-sufficient. Their programming is funded by donations, The DeVine Thrift Stores, the occasional grant and the proceeds from The Simply DeVine Gala & Auction.

The DeVine Thrift Stores are located at 769 Springfield Rd, Columbiana OH, open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Wednesday 9 am – 5 p.m. with half off all items starting at 6 – 8 p.m. and at 125 w 5th St., East Liverpool OH, open Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Both locations are open to the public and accept donations of your good and usable items. To learn more about their programs or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact The Way Station at 330-482-5072.

We’ve been organizing a Community Thanksgiving Feast for so long we’ve lost track of the years. This year the meal takes place Wednesday, November 27th at Saint Jude Church, 180 7th St. Columbiana, with the meal beginning at 1:00 pm. The meal is a time for people to come together, be merry, be thankful, and realize that they are indeed part of a community that cares. The meal begins with prayer and ends with all hands on deck to clean-up. Diners get serenaded by members of The Crown Theater and are served by local “celebrities.” The meal comes together through the generosity of local churches, businesses, and community members. On top of serving those who come and claim a seat, shut-ins can call and have meals delivered to their door in addition to providing people with the option of taking their food to go.

We request that diners please call The Way Station at 330-482-5072 to RSVP for the meal which allows us to plan accordingly.

If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation please call us. We have need for people to cook turkeys, deliver food, pick-up donations, prepare to-go meals, clean-up, and much more!

GLOW – Girls Leading Our World

GLOW, a two site summer program aimed at engaging girls between the ages of 10-15 years old, found success in improving girls self-esteem. Feedback about what girls learned from the GLOW program had directors, leaders, and mentors smiling. Comments read like this: I learned I am enough! I learned that disabilities and disorders don’t define a person. I am different for a reason and we all have a purpose. I learned how to make a good friend. These are the lessons we dreamed the girls were soaking in. Our vision for this program was to see girls discover, accept, and embrace who they are with confidence and the ability to express that in a way that uplifts those around them. This year we walked away from GLOW with a realization that we made an impact and a hope that we would get an opportunity to engage a new set of girls next year.

We were happy to be able to report to our program funders, Columbiana County Job and Family Services, 19 out of 23 girls reported an improved sense of self-esteem. As a result we are excited to announce that GLOW will be offered next summer, so look out for sign-ups!

The Way Station is proud to partner with Project MKC, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization located in Youngstown, dedicated to serving the vulnerable children in Northeast Ohio. Their mission is to make the lives of children and their families a little brighter by focusing on their individual needs with the help of volunteers. Their programs provide daily essentials and positive emotional experiences to children and their families by boosting confidence and lifting spirits. Through our partnership, we receive diapers and wipes to distribute to our clients on a monthly basis. Project MKC is funded exclusively by donations, and 100% of donations go directly to their programming. To find out more about Project MKC or to make a donation, visit their website at http://www.projectmkc.org or like them on Facebook @Project MKC!

In partnership with Project MKC we’re excited to be collecting diaper and wipes donations throughout the month of October to support their mission and our community families.

Executive Director

The Way Station, Inc. (TWS) seeks an Executive Director to oversee and implement the mission of the organization: To reflect the compassion and love of Jesus in practical ways to individuals and families.

This position consists of four key tasks: 

Face: The Executive Director is the faceof TWS, representing the organization to a diverse group of constituents, individuals, and partner organizations within the community, including local churches, non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies, as well the individual struggling with drug addiction, the working single parent, the business owner, and the staff member.

Funds:The Executive Director develops, implements, and oversees a strategic plan to raise funds vital to the operation of TWS. This includes communication with current and potential donors, grant writing, organization and oversight of fundraisers, managing current revenue sources (Thrift stores, donors, funds from Jobs and Family Services, etc.), as well as developing new sources of income.

Future:The Executive Director sets the vision for the organization, developing and implementing a strategic plan to help realize that vision. This requires an understanding and recognition of dated or ineffective methods/programs as well as vision for new approaches.

Function: The Executive Director oversees the administrative responsibilities of the organization. This includes supervising employees and volunteers, creating an annual budget, and submitting reports to the board of directors.

To Apply:Please send a cover letter describing your interest in the Executive Director Position, resume, and three professional references to: thewaystation146@gmail.com

Change is hard

At times we all struggle with who we are, but this struggle is particularly acute when faced with a new opportunity. It is all too easy to stay in the known, no matter how miserable the known is. Women sometimes stay in abusive relationships. People struggle with unhealthy habits. Many stick with the status quo.

Relationally it is sometimes easier to just be alone than think of what might happen if we choose vulnerability and let others in our space. Is it worth leaving our comfortable misery? Can I live without my shield of bitterness? How can I forgive? Is it safe to trust anyone?

It takes a lot of effort to become someone new, and sometimes the effort is worth it. It is worth letting go of the bricks that are weigh you down and choose a new path.

Change is easier among friends

To move forward on your path also means the choice of community in a world where many choose to be alone. Some people are alone because they think they don’t have a choice. Others might say they aren’t a people person.  Some people feel alone in a crowd. If we can grasp that we do need other people and that we rely on them whether we realize it or not then we can find the balance we need to actually be a healthy functioning person.

Other people create the clothes we wear, the food we often eat, that tv we watch. The very screen you are reading this off of right now was put into place by someone else and came across a multitude of hands to be able to get into yours. If you can recognize the need for beneficial interactions with others is allow yourself the opportunity to open doors, pursue opportunities, accept constructive criticism and reevaluate who you are, you can transform into who you want to be.

I am a part of the change

Whether hoping to not be alone anymore or just discovering they didn’t have to be alone, all the participants of Pathways have made friends. When you realize you don’t have to be alone and that there are people who will not only help you shed your bricks to build your path but also be there to help reestablish what is left of yourself…..that is called hope. So the answer to the question, is it possible to let go of all you’ve been and become someone new?

Yes…if you have hope.

And that is why I gave to the Pathways program. It is my opportunity to give hope for others to discover the strength and build pathways. Together we can help unfold the future for generations to come as we give hope and create new pathways.

Give hope? Yes please, I’ll take it!