Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Some Good News

Friends may help healing

        Friendship, something the Mental Health Association's Warren County Compeer Program uses to address problems caused by mental illnesses, may be a good remedy.

        Kathy Gerend-Meinking, of Maineville, thinks so. She became a volunteer for the Association's Compeer Program and has been matched with a woman suffering from mental illnesses who lives in Lebanon.

        “She had worked seven years as a volunteer,” coordinator Rosalyn Dadas said. “We are glad to have her back. She understands how the program works.”

        The motto of the Compeer program is “Making friends, changing lives,” Mrs. Dadas said.

        Mrs. Gerend-Meinking said she spent last Thursday with her Compeer match. “We had lunch together. We have a lot in common. We plan to have lunch together at least once a month,” she said.

        Mrs. Gerend-Meinking has a master's degree in English and has been hired to teach at Hamilton-Baden High School.

        Mrs. Dadas said the Compeer matches get together for 1 to 2 hours per week or about four hours a month doing things that both enjoy, like dining out, shopping or attending movies.

        “The Compeer volunteer makes a one-year commitment to the program,” Mrs. Dadas said.

        Compeer is an international, award-winning program matching trained community volunteers in friendship relationships with individuals with mental illnesses.

        It is based on the concept that a volunteer's friendship and support can offset the loneliness and isolation that accompany mental illnesses, Mrs. Dadas said.

        To volunteer, call 459-9551 or 1-800-478-3505.

        • • •

        Accountability and Credibility Together Inc. has received a $100,000 grant from the Fifth Third Foundation to renovate a building in Over-the-Rhine.

        The building will expand the organization's existing space of 5,000 square feet to 20,000 and will be used for more classrooms, computer learning centers and development classes.

        The agency is a private non-profit welfare reform organization, offering counseling, education and guidance.

        • • •

        Four local people recently graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

        They are: Air Force Cadets Caroline E. Wellman, Nathan A. Loucks, Allison N. Tedesco and Samuel J. Ensminger.

Cadet Wellman, a graduate of Anderson High School, received a bachelor's in political science; Cadet Loucks, a Lakota High graduate, earned a degree in aeronautical engineering; Cadet Tedesco, a graduate of Ursuline Academy, received a degree in social science, and Cadet Ensminger, a graduate of Walnut Hills High School, received a degree in mechanical engineering.

       Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.


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