Every Friday, the 161 employees of the Cleveland Clerk of Courts office have the option of donating 2 dollars and wearing their own business casual clothes instead of the standard cobalt blue Clerk shirts (white shirts for the administrative staff). Those donations are collected by an employee group called the “We Care” Committee. The group then selects local charities to be recipientsof the donations. “We have some charities that have been regular recipients”, said "We Care" chairman Dwight Lacey, who is also Chief of Security at the Clerk's office, “but we also ask our staff to look for other organizations making positive change, and meeting needs in the community”.
1. Donation recipients, some Clerk staff members and Clerk Turner
2. Two staff members visited the Garden Valley Neighborhood House, where Director Jan Ridgeway showed how the iconic wall mural on East 71st and Kinsman now identifies a new center for neighborhood services, and practical job training.
2. Clerk's Office Chief of Staff Donald Rice, Jan Ridgeway of Garden Valley Neighborhood Center, and "We Care" committee chairman Dwight Lacey
3. Melissa Sirak, Director of Cleveland Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Services talked about how Catholic Charities not only helps people with the most basic needs of food and shelter, but also strives to help move people beyond permanent crisis with job readiness training, mental health counseling and substance abuse support groups.
3. Melissa Sirak, Director of Catholic Charities Emergencies Assistance Services, and "We Care" committee member Delisica Crosby
4. Donna Cantlin, Director of Development at the Rose-Mary Center told the staff about the special needs children and adults served by the center in Euclid. She said those who stay at Rose-Mary Center are able to learn new things, become more self-reliant and realize their full potential because of the care and assistance they receive in a safe environment.
4. Donna Cantlin of Rose-Mary Center and "We Care" committee member Patrick Cook
5. Dana Irribarren, Executive Director of The Hunger Network said that hunger is an ever present issue with thousands of families in Greater Cleveland. And the Hunger Network coordinates 100 pantries and hot meal programs providing nutritious meals to 60,000 people each month and 25,000 of those are children.
5. Dana Irribarren of Hunger Network and "We Care" committee member Shonda Jenkins
6. Victor Ruiz, Executive Director of Esperanza invited everyone to consider volunteering as mentors to help boost the high school graduation rate in Cleveland’s Spanish community. He said it's not necessary to be bi-lingual to volunteer.
6. Victor Ruiz of Esperanza and " We Care" committee chairman Dwight Lacey
7. Bill Sluzewski talked about how Hospice of the Western Reserve serves thousands of families with a loved one nearing the end of their life.
7. Bill Sluzewski from Hospice of the Western Reserve and "We Care" committee member Pat Drippon
8. "We Care" member Delisica Crosby and George Yarbrough of "Lift Every Voice/Mary's fight"
9. Malachi House is another center that provides support to those in the final stages of life. Development Director Julie Johnson explained that the center ministers to those who have limited or no financial resources and are in need of special home care.
9. Julie Johnson of Malachi House and "We Care" committee member Patrick Cook
10. Providence House Development manager Emily Perry told the staff that Providence House fights to end child abuse and neglect by protecting at-risk children, empowering families in crisis and building safe communities for every child.
10. Emily Perry of Providence House and "We Care" committee member Delisica Crosby
11. Kathy Marsh of Merrick House and "We Care" committee member Shonda Jenkins
12. Stephanie Pope, Daniel Nugent, and Susan Roarty of Northeast Cleveland Little League, and "We Care" committee member Pat Drippon
13. Clerk Turner announced that the office is adopting 4 City recreation centers (Estabrook, Turner, Crudell, and Glenville). Basketballs. soccer balls, and volleyballs were donated, and he pledged that Clerk staff members would donate time for projects like the painting of a room.
13. Commissioner Kim Johnson (3rd from left) from Cleveland Recreation Department, Clerk Turner, and members of "We Care" committee
14. Clerk Turner tells employees to remember the people that are helped, when they donate $2 to dress down each Friday
15. Clerk of Courts staff gathers to witness donations