PACT Newsletter | Q4 2018 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Executive Director

It’s hard to believe that we find ourselves at the end of another year; where has 2018 gone? As we reflect upon this past year and on our many accomplishments, we are appreciative of the opportunity to be in relationship with our Near East Side neighbors and to have the absolute privilege to conduct the work we do in this community.

We are excited to share highlights of some of the things we’ve been doing over the past few months.  In October, we wrapped up our latest round of exterior home repairs. This year-long effort, resulted in improvements to 21 residential units within the PACT geography with particular emphasis on Taylor Ave.  We hope that as you drive the neighborhood you experience the impact of our efforts (watch the video!).

During this past year we also graduated another class of new neighborhood leaders through the 2018 Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy. We are grateful to the United Way of Central Ohio for its financial support, enabling us to bring this program to those with a live, work, worship connection to the Near East Side.

This past quarter also marked the return of the annual PACT film series.  We are excited to host this program once again and to invite both our neighbors and those from outside the community to the historic Lincoln Theater for an afternoon at the movies.

On December 15 we had a ton of fun as we distributed 25+ bikes to Near East Side children.  This event was a wonderful example of what can be accomplished through the spirit of collaboration.

Others in the community were also busy this past quarter contributing to the ongoing transformation of the PACT geography. On November 27, our partners at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of a new outpatient surgery unit and imaging suite at East Hospital (read more).  On October 18, the Columbus Metropolitan Library held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the brand new Martin Luther King branch.  The 18,000 square foot library is a wonderful new addition to the community (read more).

Lastly, don’t miss out on an exciting opportunity to join Mayor Andrew J. Ginther for his latest Book Talk Series. Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing, by Columbus native Wil Haygood will serve as the focus of the next series.  

Happy New Year to all of you and thank you for your continued support as we continue to pursue our collective efforts to transform Columbus’ Near East Side.  We look forward to seeing and working with you in 2019!


Near East Side NLA Produces Latest Round of Newly Trained Neighborhood Leaders

 The 2018 cohort of the Near East Side (NES) Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) recently completed its six-month journey with a November 14 graduation event hosted by The Columbus Foundation. Among the graduates, two project groups emerged: Columbus Eats will focus on establishing a food rescue and distribution network on the Near East Side, and Matters Laced Together is establishing a community wellness club that will hold regular walking and educational events within the community. The two groups will work on implementing their projects during 2019 and beyond. The application for the next year's Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy will be available in early 2019.To learn more about the 2019 class, please feel free to contact David Foust at


PACT spreads holiday cheer with Backpack Giveaway


This December, PACT collaborated with an organization to have early learning materials donated to its community's children.  Backpacks and early learning materials were given to students on the Near East Side. In all, a total of 112 backpacks were distributed to pre-K and kindergarten classes students at Eastgate Elementary School, students at Trevitt Elementary schools and to students attending the Columbus Early  the Early Learning Center on Champion Avenue.  . 

The backpacks were filled with learning materials, including new story books, My First 100 Words in Spanish & English sticker books, Sesame Street workbooks, phonics flash cards, magnetic and lace letters, a spiral notebook, glue sticks, pencils and crayons.  The backpack giveaway represented nearly $10,000 worth of donated materials to children in PACT's geography.

Mayor Ginther’s Book Talk Series: Tigerland


Mayor Andrew J. Ginther invites you to join his second Book Talk Series on Columbus native Wil Haygood’s new book Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing. Mayor Ginther hosted his first Book Talk Series on Matthew Desmond’s Evicted this past summer and is excited to engage our community on the important topics raised in Tigerland.

Haygood, who attended Columbus’s East High School in the heart of the city’s historic African-American neighborhood, tells the story of how a segregated high school community stood together around two all-star athletic teams in the face of adversity between 1968 and 1969. During the tumultuous year of 1968 both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated and African-Americans across the county were continuing the struggle for equal civil rights.

During the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, Tigerland tells how two state championship teams (the Tigers) in both basketball and baseball inspired a community and city. Readers from across our community can relate to this uplifting story and learn how the Tigers overcame immense hardship right here in Columbus. Our community can also learn a lot from this story and use its lessons to tackle the racial and social injustices of our time. If you are interested in being a part of an in-person discussion about this book with Mayor Ginther, please fill out this form by January 11, 2019.

Submitted by:
Office of Mayor Andrew J. Ginther


PACT Quarterbacks Collaborative Effort to Distribute Bicycles to Neighborhood Children

On December 15, PACT representatives, joined by a host of collaborators and partners gathered at the new St. Charles Robotics & Mentoring Center to distribute over 25 bicycles to Near East Side children.  The event served as a wonderful example of what can be accomplished thanks to a healthy spirit of collaboration. (read more) Funding was made available through individual donors and the Columbus Youth Foundation. A $1500 matching gift from the Columbus Youth Foundation was made possible with and through The Columbus Foundation. Additional thanks to The Columbus Foundation for making available their Better Together crowdfunding platform, which provided an easy outlet for our donors. Bikes were made available through Franklinton Cycle Works and Community Properties of Ohio assisted in identifying families and children. Columbus Public Health supplied the helmets, fittings and safety lights.

Nearly 50 people gathered at the new St. Charles facility and enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast prepared by our friends at Creole Kitchen. Following breakfast, the children crafted thank you cards, posed for a few photos, and were reunited with the bicycle they and/or a family member had selected during an earlier shopping visit to Franklinton Cycle Works. After a few minor adjustments, receiving safety lights and a helmet fitting, the kids were excited to take their new bikes for a spin! The rainy conditions outside were no match for the smiles on the faces of the children and their families. PACT extends a big THANK YOU to everyone who made this special day possible. We look forward to a repeat performance in the Spring when we’ll partner with CMHA and Urban Strategies to distribute another 25+ bikes to families living at Legacy Pointe.


Exterior Home Repair Program helps to beautify Taylor Avenue.

In late October 2018, Pact completed its exterior home repair initiative for the year, making a positive impact in the PACT geography. PACT was able to provide exterior home improvements for thirteen single family homes and four doubles, repairing a total of 21 residential units. Due to the exterior home program's targeted focus on Taylor Avenue, a number of other initiatives were introduced. There was a volunteer day that helped us to provide additional landscaping improvements to six homes on Taylor Avenue with an investment of close to $4000.  Additionally, PACT partnered with Columbus State to bring in almost fifty volunteers to do streetscape improvements for the entire Taylor Avenue Corridor between Broad St and Leonard Avenue. Weeds, dirt and trash were all cleared from the Taylor Avenue city sidewalks. As a result of the cleanup initiatives and beautification to the community, there has been a noticeable difference to the visual landscape for those individuals who walk and drive down the Taylor Avenue corridor.

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Columbus Metropolitan Library Opens New Martin Luther King Branch

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Join us for PACT Film Series

Join us for the next PACT film series – for free! Bring the entire family and watch Marshall with your family and friends at the King-Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.)

All doors open at 2:30 | Films begin at 3pm

Marshall Shorts