December News and Events from the Near West Family Network!

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December 2015
The holidays are upon us and the cold weather is setting in - but don't hibernate! There are tons of fun things to do around our neighborhoods this month and throughout the winter. See our current list below in the Upcoming Events section, or visit our website's Upcoming Events page for more details on each.

If you began to think over the Thanksgiving Holiday, "how can I give back to my fellow citizen?" We have a few ideas that came across our desk....
  • Saturday, December 5: “Boxes of Love” Gift Wrapping Party
    Help wrap gifts for families with children in long-term hospital stays. St. Paul’s Community Church 2-5pm. Help for a bit or stay the whole time! Email Beth Mancuso if you plan to come. (
    (more info on our calendar)
  • Through December 15: St. Augustine Food Drive:
    Drop off non-perishable items at the Tremont West Development Corporation Offices to support this local food drive. (2406 Professor Ave.)
    Starting in January: EITC Tax Preparation - Tax Sites Will Open, Volunteers Needed 

    Starting this January: Cuyahoga EITC Tax sites Open Again, 
    At the Gordon Square Arcade (6516 Detroit Avenue) and at the Lin-Omni Center (3167 Fulton Rd, Cleveland, OH 44109). 
    The Cuyahoga EITC Coalition provides these free tax preparation services to over 10,000 community members each year. The Coalition is looking for volunteers to help greet clients and prepare taxes at over 25 Cuyahoga County locations, including the Gordon Square and Lin Omni sites. Anyone can sign up to become a volunteer. There is no experience necessary, just attend a Coalition led training to become an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer. Sign up for training sessions today!
    For information on free tax preparation services, contact Austin Boxler at 216-961-4242 ex 243. To volunteer, sign up today by visiting or contact Keely Andrews for more information 
 if you have Give Back ideas - be sure to Tweet them at us, share your ideas on Facebook, or email
Near West Recreation is offering Basketball this Winter and Registration is OPEN NOW!
The Near West Recreation Basketball League is open to youth ages 7 to 12.
Participants must be 7 prior to April 1, 2016 and must be no older than 12 on April 1, 2016.
There will be three different coed age groups:
U8 (ages 7-8),   U10 (ages 9-10),    U12 (ages 11-12)
Like our baseball and soccer leagues, basketball teams will practice once a week and play games on Saturday. Season starts the week of January 18th and will end on Saturday, March 12th.  
You can sign your child up
online here or by calling Keri Palma at 216-781-3222 x 108.  The registration deadline is Thursday, December 17th.  

Tentative schedule is as follow:
  • Thursday, December 17th - Registration Deadline
  • Tuesday, January 12 or Wednesday, January 13 (TBD) - Parent's Meeting at Urban Community School
  • Week of January 18th - Practices Start
  • Saturday, February 6 - First day of games
  • Saturday, March 12th - Last day of games and end of season celebration
Coaches are still needed for all age groups.
If you are interes
ted, please fill out the coach's form here.  I want emphasize how important volunteer coaches are to Near West Recreation.  This league would NOT exist without dedicated volunteer coaches.  If you know of any other individual that would be a great coach, please encourage them to sign up.  
What do you want to know about schools?
We are still working on organizing some school tours. If you are interested in any elementary schools Please take a minute to fill out our survey to let us know which you are interested in and what your general availability is for visiting them.  If you have other education-related ideas that The Network can help organize or plan, please email Amy (
The Network isn't anything without its members and volunteers...
  • Thank you Ann Garland for organizing a super fun Clothing Swap last month! We all cleared a bit of room from our closets, found a few "new" things to take home, and still managed to have a fair amount of clothing left at the end of the night which Kathleen Knittel bagged up donated to May Dugan Center. Of course, thanks for the super cute flyer, Ashley Taseff! and thanks to Sarah Ryzner for her help with marketing and setup!

If you are interested in helping us make more happen in your neighborhood or if you have an idea for something specific,  please let us know!
Visit the  Upcoming Events page on our Website 
to read our full list of events including details and links.  
There is plenty to do in December!
Festivities aplenty! More details on each of these event are on our website calendar!
  • Ohio City Holiday Hop: Thursday, December 3
  • May Dugan Center Tree Lighting Ceremony & After Party: Thursday, December 3
  • Detroit Shoreway Neighbors' Holiday Party: Saturday, December 5
  • Miracle on 47th St.:  Saturday, December 5
  • Tremont BrewHaHa: Friday - Sunday, December 11-13
  • Holiday Shopping in Gordon Square: Saturday, December 12
  • Winter Crafts at Carnegie West: Tuesday and Thursday, December 15 & 17 
We also have a few education-oriented events to let you know about:
  • Kindergarten 101!: Tuesday December 8 
    Hosted by Centers for Families and Children and the Near West Intergenerational School, join us at NWIS to learn more about what you need to know as your child enters kindergarten. Stop by the NWFN table to say hi!
  • Parents Tour of Near West Intergenerational School: Thursday, December 17
  • Urban Community School Open House: Saturday, January 24
Watch for announcements via Facebook page and Twitter throughout the month!
If you have an upcoming event you'd like us to include, please email all the pertinent infomraiton (title, date, time, location, description) to
December 2015 
Neighborhood Family Practice can provide to our community in answering questions about health insurance and accessing and obtaining coverage. As a community health center serving Cleveland’s near west side neighborhoods for over 35 years, We want to ensure quality health care access and coverage for all.
NFP has Certified Application Counselors that are available to answer questions and help individuals and families choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them, including: Medicaid, Marketplace, Medicare and our Financial Assistance program. We can even assist in enrolling individuals and families in many of these services and programs. All of these services are free and confidential.

The attached document is a comprehensive list of programs and services available. Appointments for assistance are available at many of NFP’s neighborhood health center locations.  
Please feel free to contact myself or our 
Patient Benefits team at (216) 281-0872 ext. 2020 for questions or more information or to schedule an appointment.

Stay Well,
Megan Meister, MSSA, LSW
Director of Community Engagement
Neighborhood Family Practice
216.281.8945 ext. 291

As always, please forward this newsletter to anyone who is interested. We encourage everyone who shares our commitment to making the near west neighborhoods more family-friendly to become a member. Membership is open to everyone - download a membership form and mail it in, or you can also join online today!
Copyright © 2015 Near West Family Network, All rights reserved.

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