News & Event
Andy Brunsman was on the path to medical school. That was until he started working at Our Daily Bread as a service learning project as a Mount Saint Joseph University student.
Andy Brunsman was on the path to medical school.
That was until he started working at Our Daily Bread as a service learning project as a Mount Saint Joseph University student.
It changed his life.
“I fell in love with the volunteers and the clients,” Andy said. “The fact that all these different kinds of people put aside everything to fight hunger and help people in need inspired me.”
“I found what I wanted to do forever.”
Today, Andy is the Executive Director of Be Concerned in Covington. It provides food, has a clothing and housewares store, and provides other services. It feeds 200 families a week in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.
His path could have been different. If it hadn’t been for a grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to Our Daily Bread, his position there would not have existed.
The generosity of others not only set Andy on his career path, he said he continues to be inspired daily.
“Besides the clients and volunteers, I’ve met the most generous people in the area,” he said. “The people I’ve met give of their time, talent, and treasure.”
GCF donors have invested $93,000 in Be Concerned since its inception.
Touring Be Concerned with Andy is a treat. The facilities are simple but the care of those working is evident. Produce is unpacked for clients, clothes are sorted, and volunteers show up for meal time.
“It’s one of the most basic acts of human kindness—feeding people,” he said.
His enthusiasm about the difference Be Concerned makes is contagious.
“When you don’t have anything, cheap is too expensive,” he said when explaining the extremely low prices in Be Concerned’s Thrift Store.
The nonprofit accepts furniture donations. Once a homeless family finds housing, they still don’t have any belongings with which to furnish it.
“Four walls do not make a home,” Andy said.
Learn more about Be Concerned at beconcerned.org.
As we entered 2020, racial equity and justice were far from daily topics in the national newsfeed. Today they’re front and center worldwide.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has focused on racial equity for decades. In recent years, we’ve focused more deeply. Our continuing commitment and work have brought national attention.
GCF was recently selected to participate in a two-year program to advance local progress in economic mobility, especially for people of color. Through the Gates funded Economic Mobility Action Network, GCF will join the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Foundation for Louisiana, The Chicago Community Trust, The San Francisco Foundation and Southwest Initiative Foundation of Minnesota to explore key practices in economic mobility, build leadership capacity and identify and implement solutions. The program will be managed and led by CFLeads, a national organization dedicated to advancing the leadership practices of community foundations.
“We are excited to be a part of this cohort,” said GCF President and CEO Ellen M. Katz. “I know that, like us, the other foundations are very focused on racial equity – and that will be a really important connective element to our work.”
GCF is familiar with CFLeads’ cohort process, having recently completed their second Equity Network cohort with a different group of community foundations.
This cohort team will include Katz; Chief Operating Officer Dora Anim; Senior Director, Community Strategies Rickell Howard Smith; Director, Special Initiatives Robert Killins, Jr.; Governing Board Member Ann M. Schwister; and Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio President and CEO Eddie Koen.
“GCF’s focus on African-American women as our target population leverage point is bold and unique,” explained Katz. “Improving their circumstances, including the relationships and circumstances that surround them, produces a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
“We selected Eddie Koen as a community partner in this effort, as Urban League’s mission is focused on building the black middle class, and we want to strengthen their work as well.”
The network’s economic mobility focus also aligns with the work of the Women’s Fund of GCF, Katz noted. Their focus on ensuring women’s economic self-sufficiency will help to inform the actions we effect through this opportunity.
“The timing of this is critical,” she said. “We are all connected, and the economic opportunities of the black and brown people in our community must be the driving force in how we reimagine and build our future as a community.”
As we wrap up 2019, we look back at our very impactful year of moving forward on many fronts! As your community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is grateful for the support of and partnerships with our donors, nonprofit partners and community stakeholders to bring about a more equitable future for everyone in our region.