Ohio Association of Public School Employees

Stronger Together.

OAPSE Making a Difference

No child should go hungry. But OAPSE members know that thousands of Ohio children don’t get enough to eat. We wanted to help – so we started OAPSE Making a Difference, Inc. (OMAD) to help feed hungry public school students across our state.

OMAD is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, established by the OAPSE/AFSCME State Executive Board after members participated in a community service project at the AFSCME Women’s Conference in Denver. Our executive board members felt so good about that experience, they wanted to establish a charitable organization that focuses on reducing hunger among the students we serve. We know that hungry children are not at their best and cannot learn to their full potential. Yet many of our students come to school hungry every day. We wanted to help as many of “our kids” as we could with volunteer hours and donations – and OMAD is the result.

Since the spring of 2014, OMAD has raised $55,629 from union leaders, members, staff, OAPSE and our vendors. Past OMAD projects include establishing a permanent food bank at Fairland Local Schools in southern Ohio – among the poorest school districts in the state – and providing take-home meals and tote bags to 2,000 students at select elementary schools in Columbus City Schools, another poor district. We also worked with a vendor to provide books to each elementary student. The OAPSE staff also used OMAD to provide holiday gifts to the child of an OAPSE bus driver killed while saving one of her students from a moving bus.

In May 2016, we targeted East Cleveland City Schools, where OAPSE Local 181 members provide services to children from the most impoverished families in the state.

We stuffed and delivered tote bags filled with non-perishable food items to 1,500 elementary and middle school students in five schools throughout the district. More than 100 participants in the 2016 OAPSE Conference visited Chambers Elementary School to meet students and deliver the totes.

We also donated gift cards to 900 high school students at Shaw High School so they could purchase two foot-long subs. The owner of the Subway near the high school worked with us to give us a reduced rate on the cards. His donation was more than $2,700. So Shaw students have a healthy option for meals and can access the Subway shop without a car. Total donations for the East Cleveland OMAD project were $27,078.

In the spring of 2017, our OMAD project will be in Lima City Schools, and you can help make it a success. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to OMAD. You can make the donation as an individual. And your local union and district can also donate.

Thanks for helping feed hungry children across Ohio!

For more information about how you can help, call the state office at 1-800-786-2773.