Festa Hosts Festa-Val to Celebrate Rebrand, Expansion
Innovative local non-profit pivots and grows in pandemic with Social Enterprise that lifts children and families out of suburban poverty. New model mobilizes the community to expand locally, within Ohio and across the nation.
Festa, formerly Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries, invites the community to an outdoor, socially-distanced tailgate event May 21 at Rock City Church 4311 Anson Drive Hilliard, OH 43026. This event will celebrate the expanded mission and share a big announcement how everyone can serve neighbors from the comfort of home.
SON Ministries began in 2007 as a grassroots movement when one Hilliard mom learned that 2,000+ children go hungry when schools close for summer break in her suburban town. She organized a group of neighbors to create Hilliard's first free summer lunch program, which to date has served 145,962 meals to children facing poverty. In addition, after listening to parents desperate for homework help for their children, they launched an unparalleled flagship Three-Generation Family ESL Program and trained 17 communities to replicate these programs.
"We exist to serve children and families in poverty – many are New Americans and many live in suburbs. As COVID-19 hit, neighboring communities asked us to help them serve children and families facing poverty," says Kim Emch, Founder and Executive Director. "We are inspired by the unexpected, so we were thrilled to say 'yes.'"
That "yes" led to big changes for the organization. First, a new model that geographically expands throughout Columbus, into Ohio and across the nation. Second, a rebrand for the organization to represent its broadened mission and reach.
"On March 3, 2021, SON Ministries changed its name to Festa. We're offering the same impactful year-round programming to feed, educate and serve, we're now adding a training department and monetizing our expertise," Emch explains. "This adds a revenue stream while simultaneously expanding our impact, increasing the number of families served, volunteers mobilized, life changing relationships built and communities developed."
"When you go around and look at all the volunteers working and taking their time and energy to make a difference in these people's lives," says Cameron Mitchell of Cameron Mitchell Restaurant Group. "I'm very moved by that and I want to support that, and my family wants to support that in every way we can."
Those interested in learning more about Festa or registering for the May 21 Festa-Val event can visit http://www.wearefesta.org.