​​Our Donors

Thanks to our generous donors who give financially and in-kind to support our work with some of the most overlooked people in our community. Our donors are a vital part of our work, helping change lives and serving as advocates for change. Below are brief "spotlights" on some of our donors; if you would like to be  listed here, please email Ginny Hizer at ghizer@FranciscanMinistriesInc.org.


Just click on the link below to view the spotlight: 

Jo Koch
Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation
Sandra Faith Hall of Faith Financial Advisors
Lisa Gear of Lunatic Fringe




Donor Spotlight - Jo Koch, Associate and Employee

When did you get involved with Franciscan Ministries?
I first became familiar with Franciscan Ministries about 5 years ago, when I was hired as a part-time Administrative Assistant for the organization.  Up until that point in time, I had no knowledge of their existence, let along their outreach ministries and care for the marginalized and underserved within the Cincinnati area.  My work at Franciscan Ministries gave me the opportunity get an in-depth perspective and understanding of their mission and “hands-on” effort to help those unable to help themselves.

What attracted you to the cause and to Franciscan Ministries in particular?
I had the unique opportunity to work with the FM staff.  In doing so, I got to witness their commitment and unwavering dedication to the vulnerable and marginalized persons they served.  I saw each one of them go above and beyond the call of duty to make someone else’s life better, including each other’s. To me, this was and continues to be highly inspiring.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does and how does our work fit with your personal values?
Of all the services that Franciscan Ministries provides Tamar’s Center and Haircuts from the Heart are very special to me.  Their direct support to the homeless by meeting immediate needs and offering connections to social and healthcare services is invaluable.  I happen to have a loved one who has experienced homelessness due to mental illness and know that without the kind of services Tamar’s Center offers, the homeless live in very dire and dangerous conditions on the street. 

What motivates you to stay involved and how have you benefited from being a donor?
What drives me to stay involved is the desire to be of service to the common good.  As St. Teresa of Calcutta stated, “We can’t forget that we belong to each other.” To me belonging to each other means actively caring for one another.  Due to full-time employment and family commitments, I am unable to be a front line, hands-on volunteer, however, my financial support enables FM employees and others to give the loving support I personally cannot.  It’s very rewarding to know that my contribution, along with everyone else’s, provides the FM staff with what they need to be a healing presence to those who need it most.

What would you like others to know about donating?

Franciscan Ministries is definitely a no “frills” non-profit.  They take very seriously their responsibility to make every dollar count to ensure that all donations as well as grant money is optimized for direct service to those in need.  They are dependent upon and truly appreciative of each and every donation received.  I like that my commitment to FM as a “sustaining” donor is as easy as a monthly charge to my credit card.  It’s just automatic.  Most importantly, I know my contribution is life changing and life sustaining for others.                                                                                                      
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Donor Spotlight - Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation

The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation recently made a $10,000 gift to Franciscan

Ministries, in support of the organization’s Haircuts from the Heart program. The gift is the

most recent of ongoing support the Foundation has made tothe non-profit, dating back to

2006.

“We are so very thankful for this gift, as it enables us to continue providing haircuts for

people who are homeless or who are unable to afford or access basic hair care,” states

Franciscan Ministries Executive Director Elaine Ward. “Having access to free haircare truly

makes a difference, boosting the self-esteem and dignity of participants and allowing children to better ‘fit in’ at school.”

Haircuts from the Heart services are offered through a mini-salon and a mobile program delivered onsite at partner agencies. In 2019, more than 3,450 haircuts were provided.

This past year, Franciscan Ministries launched a pilot voucher program for students, which included partnering with Catholic Inner-city Schools Education Fund (CISE) along with local social services agencies. Students were given a voucher to be used at a participating salon; because the salon is reimbursed by Franciscan Ministries, there is no cost to the student or family.

The Andrew Gomez Foundation was founded to honor a successful Paul Mitchell School graduate whose struggle against mental illness ended tragically in suicide. The foundation helps cosmetology students, graduates, their families, and cosmetology-related enterprises. Funds have provided educational opportunities, hurricane relief, and support in the fights against breast cancer, domestic violence, and other destroyers of self-esteem.

Since 2006, the Andrew Gomez Foundation has contributed $320,000 to the Haircuts from the Heart program, including this most recent gift.                                                                                                                                                              
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Donor Spotlight - Sandra Faith Hall of Faith Financial Advisors


When did you get involved with this organization?
Two years ago, Franciscan Ministries' executive director, Elaine Ward, spoke at the Rotary Club
of

Northeast Cincinnati of which I am a member.  Prior to this I had never heard of or been aware of

the organization.

What attracted you to the cause and to Franciscan Ministries in particular?
What truly spoke to me was when Elaine spoke about Tamar’s Center and the women who have

been exploited through human sex trafficking.  When people hear these stories, I think they believe that this happens to “other people”.  After Elaine’s presentation I shared with her privately that when I was in my early 20’s I almost became a victim of sex trafficking.  I thank God that even though I was unable to see what was happening, others around me did and were able to intervene.  Many individuals are not so lucky.  As I listened to the stories, I knew that it could have been me they were talking about.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does and how does our work fit with your personal values?
I really love all the work they do – as I started financially supporting the ministry, I learned about the other services they provide through the newsletter.  I believe we are called to serve, especially those in need.  I believe we are blessed to bless others.  I believe FM does just that.

What motivates you to stay involved and how have you benefited from being a donor?
I get to see the funds I donate put to such great work.

What would you like others to know about donating?
Today more than ever is a time for us to be generous with one another.  Money is not something to hold onto – Giving is something we “get to” do!                                                     
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Donor Spotlight - Lisa Gear of Lunatic Fringe

Lisa has been a donor since 2015, supporting our Haircuts from the Heart program.

                                         When did you get involved with this organization?
                                         I first got involved while attending the Paul Mitchell Cosmetology school back in 2008.

                                         The school would send student volunteers, and I fell in love with the idea.

                                         What attracted you to the cause and to Franciscan Ministries in particular?
                                         FM is one of the 2 main organizations we work with.  The other is with a local women's shelter

                                         helping domestic abuse & human trafficking survivors.  Both organizations help the underserved 

                                         feel better about themselves and lead to a better life.


In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does and how does our work fit with your personal values?
Haircuts From the Heart is such an important service for the community.  Any time we can lift someone up in the hair industry, we should do it.


What motivates you to stay involved and how have you benefited from being a donor?

What would you like others to know about donating?
From my volunteering days I experienced the value that FM adds to people's lives.  I also know as a salon owner the expenses involved in keeping equipment in proper working order as well as maintaining sanitation and styling products.  From the day we opened at Lunatic Fringe, we knew we would continue to support FM.                                               
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