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The Apartment Association Outreach provides rental assistance, food donations; raised $262k in 2021

Following its mission of assisting those in the community who are most in need, The Apartment Association Outreach, Inc. announces that it has contributed $36,500 year-to-date in rent assistance and food donations to more than 24 charitable organizations. 
AAO – the 501©3 not-for-profit charitable organization of the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association (GCNKAA) – has donated $21,500 to its Rent Assistance partners – Freestore Foodbank, CAIN (Churches Active in Northside), Santa Maria Community Services, and Jewish Family Service.

AAO’s Rent Assistance Program is for people who cannot pay their rent due to a personal emergency or conflict beyond their control.

“This contribution helps those in need as individuals continue to navigate challenges with the pandemic and housing payments,” said AAO President Megan Lawhon, the Chief Operating Officer of PLK Communities.

AAO also donated $15,000 to its 20 food pantry partners in region as part of its annual spring contribution.

“We are so fortunate to be able to partner with 20 food pantries throughout the Tristate area and help our community members in need,” Lawhon said.

AAO’s partnership with the Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center has allowed the Center to prevent evictions and utility dislocations while provide food to 183 households totaling 425 individuals.

“In 2021 we were able to provide emergency financial assistance to 164 households,” said Vital Support Center Manager Lainey Dugan.  “We’ve helped single mothers stay in their homes and feed their kids, we’ve assisted isolated seniors who have no other family to care for them. We have a wide reach in the community, helping people of all ages, and we’re there for our clients, often when they have no one else.”

AAO is one of the largest supporters of the Anderson Ferry Church of Christ Food Pantry, said pantry Supervisor Terry Camele, who recalls AAO dropping off carloads of canned goods and non-perishable food when she began volunteering at the pantry.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, AAO began providing the pantry with much-needed funding.

“These donations not only helped to purchase food but also helped with the daily and monthly operations. I feel a lot of people do not realize that free food is not free and it takes monetary donations to operate a food pantry,” Camele said.

Also during the pandemic, AAO assisted the pantry in procuring a new chest freezer and upright refrigerator/freezer. “These two items have been a blessing,” Camele said. “We are truly thankful and grateful for AAO’s ongoing support.”

Each year AAO helps thousands of people across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky each year through emergency assistance, rental assistance, food donations, school supplies, scholarships and senior citizen events.
AAO has also long supported senior citizen events and charities. Due to the COVID pandemic, it has been a few years since any events have been held in person. But on April 20th, AAO members are scheduled to visit Knowlton Place, an Episcopal Retirement Services senior community in Northside.

“What a joy this is, considering the elderly community suffered so much during the height of COVID challenges, as well as, were reduced to drop off items and zero in-person gatherings as a result of the risk of exposure,” Lawhon said. “We are grateful we are able to spend some time with these wonderful individuals and hopefully brighten their day.”

During 2021, the association provided:
• $140,000 in rental assistance. 
• $100,000 to food pantries. 
• $13,500 for backpack and school supplies to deserving children. 
• Emergency assistance of over $3,000. 
• Educational scholarships totaling $2,500. 
• Senior Events $1,000 
• AAO also launched a new partnership with Gateway Community & Technical College in Northern Kentucky by assisting with the opening of a new food pantry on the school’s Edgewood campus. 
In addition to rent assistance, food donations and senior outreach AAO also: 
• Provides backpack supplies in conjunction with Santa Maria Community Services. 
• Awards scholarships to candidates currently employed in the apartment industry for the National Apartment Association Education Institute designation programs. Post-secondary scholarships are awarded to college students.  
• Hosts the annual Jetz Service/Cincinnati Coin Laundry 5K 4 rent run to raise money for AAO charitable activities. This year nearly 300 runners participated.

Apartment Association Outreach 

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