FOR OUR COMMUNITY: MEET ONE OF COVERMYMEDS' COMMUNITY PARTNERS

A Pillar of Stability in Historic Franklinton for 114 Years

September 12, 2019  |  Lyndsey Maynor

Gladden house hero contained

Giving back is an essential piece of the CoverMyMeds culture, and we work with a variety of organizations in our communities to do so. Here, we spotlight CoverMyMeds collaborator Gladden Community House.

Imagine an organization that provides nutritious meals and food-pantry access to families in need; after-school, summer and preschool learning programs for the community’s children; organized youth sports leagues; and transportation assistance for seniors on fixed incomes. Then, on top of that, an organization that runs community programs to prevent homelessness, provides rent and utility assistance, works to keep families together out of foster systems and promotes overall community engagement.

That organization is in our backyard: Gladden Community House.

A mainstay of Franklinton since its inception in 1905, Gladden has propped up the community through the Great Depression, World War II, the civil unrest of the 1960s, record-breaking floods and countless other struggles.

Today, this non-profit serves Franklinton and the near West side of Columbus, working to build a thriving, equitable neighborhood through its services.

Advocacy is Essential

When we sat down with Joy Chivers, president and CEO of Gladden, she pointed out that supporting the community goes well beyond programming.

The Gladden team enhances the community with strong advocacy efforts, too, by joining conversations like those around social justice issues.

“We are advocates not only for the residents of the community, but also for making the community a better place to live. We do that by getting involved in different organizations,” explained Joy, who serves as a Franklinton area commissioner. “There, I can have a voice for the community when big decisions are being made.”

“Our voice represents the residents in the community, helping it to be a better place to live,” Joy said.

Keeping Franklinton Special

“Franklinton is very unique,” Joy said. “We’re small, geographically. But we’ve been very good at putting an infrastructure in place.”

That infrastructure includes organizations Gladden regularly collaborates with, like the Franklinton Board of Trade — which works to attract new business development and residents to the neighborhood while assessing opportunities to give back to those already here — and FUEL Franklinton, a community development corporation that creates affordable homeownership opportunities.

This community collaboration, Joy noted, ensures residents have a voice in what happens in their community.

Gladden is a cornerstone of the hardworking organizations that strive to ensure Franklinton grows into a thriving, accessible and enjoyable community for all. Much of the organization’s success is thanks to its longstanding history and deep network of volunteers, including local professionals like myself.

Serving Here Is A Privilege

I’ve served as a Gladden board member since 2016, the same year I moved to the Franklinton neighborhood. Above all, Gladden has given me the opportunity to get to know my neighbors and elevate my community through service.

I love how Gladden touches people at every stage of their lives — from preschool programming to senior assistance and all stages in between.

As a professional, I can’t overstate the value of corporate involvement in organizations like Gladden. I appreciate that the CoverMyMeds’ core values — like “Be Yourself,” “Be Selfless” and “Embrace Challenges” — align with the work Gladden does.

Working at CoverMyMeds and serving an organization like Gladden gives me the opportunity to show up as my authentic self and perform challenging, rewarding work that benefits others.

Applying the resources and energy of CoverMyMeds to Gladden’s ongoing work — by coordinating employee volunteer days, pitching in on various programs as a team and getting involved with other Gladden initiatives throughout the year — is personally fulfilling, but it also makes a lasting impact on my neighborhood.

Gladden is a small but determined organization that helps people and corporations be good neighbors. It’s a privilege to serve it.

I encourage you to join me in supporting the Gladden Community House and the Franklinton area by getting involved through volunteering.

As summer winds down, we’ll still be taking on neighborhood beautification projects, arranging homework help and tutors for the new school year, running community programs and more. Reach out to Gladden today.

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