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Operation Cuyahoga Cares Matches Donors with Children in Need During Pandemic


Media contact:
Kristin Gardner: Kristin.Gardner@jfs.ohio.gov
Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521, MLMadigan@cuyahogacounty.us

– The Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has launched a program to match donors with at-risk families who are struggling to meet basic needs during the coronavirus pandemic. The public is invited to join Cuyahoga County to make an immediate difference to a family in need.

“If you’re a family that was already struggling with financial hardships or other circumstances before the pandemic, COVID-19 has probably made it even harder to provide even some basic needs for your children,” said Cynthia Weiskittel, DCFS Director. “Kids who ordinarily might get breakfast and lunch at school are now home. Families might need extra groceries, learning supplies, cleaning supplies, etc.”

Through Operation Cuyahoga Cares, donors can essentially “adopt a family” and support them by donating gift cards for families to purchase basic needs. Here’s how it works:

  • DCFS staff will match donors with families who are being served by the child welfare system.
  • Donors are given basic information about the family and what they need.
  • The donor can purchase gifts cards and send them to the agency either by mail or electronically.
  • DCFS staff will ensure the gift cards get to the family and staff will notify the donor when the cards are received by the family.
  • Everything is confidential.

For more information and to sign up as a donor for Operation Cuyahoga Cares visit the DCFS website: cfs.cuyahogacounty.us.

The Division of Children and Family Services is currently involved in the lives of more than 5,000 children and teens in Cuyahoga County. More than 3,000 of them are in the custody of the County while over 2,000 depend on the agency’s services to keep their families together and in their own home.

“During these difficult days many people are looking for ways to help and this is one way any of us can help some of our hardest hit families make it through this crisis,” said Weiskittel.