Farm families sought for Acres of Caring

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Northern Area Office of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley is seeking local farm families who would like to participate in Acres of Caring, a charitable opportunity to support CSSMV projects that assist individuals and families in Auglaize, Darke, Miami, Mercer, and Shelby Counties. This is the third year for the Acres of Caring project which was started on a limited basis in Darke County in 2013. CSSMV is encouraging farmers throughout its service area join the effort.

“During the fall harvest season, we reach out to the agricultural community, asking farm families to pledge the proceeds of the sale of one acre of their crop to support the local efforts of Catholic Social Services,” said Elaine Schweller-Snyder, CSSMV development coordinator for the Northern Counties.

Each family contributing to the Acres of Caring project receives a sign for their farm designating their participation. Seeing these signs throughout the area confirms the generosity of farmers who are contributing to the helping services of CSSMV. A new sign is being designed for 2015 contributors.

Catholic Social Services provides early childhood services for at-risk children, mental health and wellness counseling, and senior outreach programs. The majority of funds generated by this project support early learning specialists who assist parents and teachers in local preschools.

“As the project grows to include more farm families, we hope to expand our Early Learning Program to assist children in additional local preschools,” said Kathy Sell, director of the CSSMV Northern Office. “Our counselors use puppets, posters, flashcards, and worksheets to teach basic concepts of good behavior like being a friend, learning to share, sitting quietly and listening, and respecting the space and property of others. The goal is to identify and address problem behaviors at the earliest possible age so that social and emotional barriers to academic success are eliminated.”

For additional information about Catholic Social Services or to participate in the Acres of Caring project, contact Schweller-Snyder at 937-498-4593, ext. 1141 or email [email protected]

Staff report