Monday Outreach at the Reeb Center

Monday Outreach at the Reeb Avenue Center

The Reeb Avenue Center, located on 280 Reeb Ave., is a hub of hope for members of the South Side Neighborhood of Columbus. 

Recently, Alvis marketing interns led by Marketing Consultant, Priscila Teixeira, engaged in community outreach at the Reeb Avenue Center for the kickoff of its Summer Food Service Program. The program feeds youth ranging in age from babies and toddlers up to 19 for free each week, Monday-Saturday, for the entire summer. 

Outdoor festivities included a DJ and a balloon artist, who created a wide range of critters, including dogs, rattlesnakes, and monkeys. Staff, volunteers, and Alvis interns served plates of food to families, while indoors, Alvis interns provided “Despicable Me” themed popsicles to children, who especially went bananas for the banana-flavored ones!

According to Mandi Rudnick, last year’s Summer Food Service Program averaged less than 20 meals per day, but at this year’s kickoff, that number more than doubled.

The Reeb Avenue Center offers a multitude of resources to community members on the South Side of Columbus, but according to Executive Director Ally Zahler, Reeb is not merely providing handouts. They offer services, love, and support to individuals and families and they also facilitate opportunities for education and employment. The Reeb Avenue Center clearly identifies the needs of its neighbors, which entail building self-sufficiency through opportunities, and transforming lives through education, job training, and local job growth, including entrepreneurship.

Alvis is one of the Resource Partners at Reeb—located on the main floor, Alvis provides adult education programs and workforce development services. Denise M. Robinson, President and CEO of Alvis, is also a member of the Reeb Avenue Center’s Board of Directors. 

Other organizations, such as the South Side Boys and Girls Club and Godman Guild provide educational resources for youth and adult learners, while organizations like Community Development for All People (CD4AP) focus on delivering community connections and health-related resources. In general, the building itself serves as a center for information and growth, both through formalized classes, as well as weekly events that are topic-centered (such as a Community Meal, morning “Coffee and Conversations,” and yoga).

Owned by the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, the South Side Roots Café, Market, and Kitchen is one of Reeb’s most unique features. An aesthetically-pleasing space to eat, it also offers a reading nook and community-oriented, casual seating. Both the Café and Market offer authentic, farm-to-table food, which is instrumental in providing community members with healthier eating choices that improve both physical and mental health. It provides a much-needed oasis of healthy food, as the nearest grocery store is one mile away for most of Reeb’s neighbors. To eat at the café, a person can either pay the full suggested price for an item; spend a little more and “pay it forward” to cover costs for future customers at the café; or work at the café in exchange for having a hot meal to eat. The market includes nutritious food options, like a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as essentials, like toilet paper, for a grab-and-go availability. 

Alvis interns were inspired by helping out at Reeb for just one day. We were equally inspired by those involved at Reeb, who remain steadfastly committed to helping their neighbors in need on the South Side and the individuals and families who come to Reeb so they are able to positively enhance life for themselves and their children. 

Alvis is a nonprofit human services agency with over 50 years of experience providing highly effective treatment programs in Ohio. Our vision is that communities value a person’s potential more than their past. For more information on how Alvis can help you or to learn more about how you can get involved, contact us here.

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