The Caring Place

Volunteers are the Heart of The Caring Place

If the measure of a society is how it cares for those most in need, The Caring Place is one way Kennedy Heights achieves a high standard. And at the heart of our community ministry are the dedicated volunteers who find joy in their service.

Jo Ann Ruff, a member of Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church, has volunteered there for over 25 years. She is the intake person who greets guests and assesses their needs. Jo Ann began by volunteering as a tribute to her friend who died and has stayed for all these years. “It’s a good way to get to know people and form personal friendships. People share their health and family problems. I find joy in listening and in the thank yous from the clients.” Stop in and visit 9–2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Jo Ann will be happy to see you.

Because supplies are limited, clients can only come once a month. Since some items can’t be purchased with food stamps, there is an ongoing need for personal care items (soap, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste, toilet paper), household cleaning products (dish liquid, laundry detergent, multipurpose cleaner, bleach) and grocery bags. Can you find donors or businesses that will contribute these items to supplement your donation?

For all who know and love Ceal Bellman, her surgery was successful and she is moving much more easily. She thanks everyone for their prayers.

Meet the director of the Caring Place

Sharifah Tafari

Sharifah Tafari, a resident of Kennedy Heights, is active in the neighborhood. She is a board member of the Community Council and District A, a member of the Local School Decision Making Committee at Schroder High School and Woodford Paideia Academy, the coordinator of our community garden, and advisor of the KH Youth Council. She, with her grandmother, mother and children, Issachar and Nijah, have donated and volunteered at The Caring Place over many years, so she is very familiar with the mission.

Sharifah says, “As I begin my service I hope that we continue to serve our community members in need with dignity and love by providing monthly assistance with food, clothing, personal care, household products, and needed services. I want us to sustain and expand our donor support through individual, church, school, and other partners enabling us to meet more needs. I want to increase our team of volunteers by connecting with our young folks at local schools and universities. It is important to me that we build the beloved community by valuing each person that comes to our door and encourage them to be actively involved in our diverse, inclusive community. The Caring Place is a beacon of light in the beloved community of Kennedy Heights.”

Sharifah is a member of Holy Trinity Eritrean Orthodox Church in Hartwell, of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, and a member of the Citywide Kwanzaa Committee. She owns a local small business called Sharifah's Vegan Cuisine which provides catering, cooking classes, and is a personal chef. She loves to read, listen to music and dance, walk her dog, Charley Brown, and of course cook. She loves that our neighborhood is a walkable community! Starting in January The Caring Place will need a volunteer (preferably with a large vehicle) to help pick up weekly food donations from Busken Bakery and Fresh Market on Monday mornings. If you are available, please call The Caring Place at 513–841–1499.

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