Beacon employees Todd Gardner and Bill Derivan ring the bell for Salvation Army.
By John Schaffner
When many readers of this newspaper think of eastern Ottawa County, they think of beautiful homes and great wealth. However, there is another side of Port Clinton that many don’t really like to think about, except maybe at Christmas time.
Without the help of all of us, there are over 1,900 children in Ottawa County who won’t be able to enjoy waking up Christmas morning to lights, a tree and presents. Recently, the Emergency Food and Shelter Board allocation to Ottawa County was cut by 80%, leaving food pantries and the Salvation Army without a major part of their funding. According to Port Clinton Schools, 44.5% of the student population is on free or reduced lunch. Many of these children are from families with single parents receiving little or no child support assistance from their estranged spouses. They live in rented housing. They work in restaurants and retail facilities where their hours get cut and their incomes become microscopic this time of year and throughout the long cold winter. They don’t have the means to go to Florida. Many will have to make choices this winter. Those will be the tough choices...food on the table, heat, rent or clothing. Being laid off and trying to support a family is no easy task in Ottawa County.