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1st Choice Family Services is asking the community for help in helping others.

The agency, which is dedicated to providing services to developmentally disabled individuals, will be accepting items as part of Mission Giveback through Dec. 12 for City Mission of Findlay, Hope House and the Salvation Army.

“The tough times are due to layoffs, furloughs and business shutting down,” Aonist Coles, CEO of 1st Choice Family Services, said in a news release. “The agencies that help those in need are now reaching out for extra help. There is also an uncertainty going into the winter about how many more people and businesses will be affected.”

Jordan Ferguson, service manager for 1st Choice, said they came up with the idea of holding Mission Giveback to collect items that are most needed by the three agencies. These include nonperishable food, toiletries for children and adults (such as diapers, shampoo and deodorant), cleaning supplies (including toilet paper and paper towels), school supplies, new and gently used coats for both children and adults, and toys.

Donations may be taken to the local 1st Choice office at 1212 N. Main St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Ferguson said 1st Choice has been operating in Findlay for about five years and currently has about 30 clients here.

“We just want to do our part and give back because in any community we are in, we want to be a pillar in that community and a focal point for people who have less than others,” he explained. “That’s just one thing we pride ourselves on is continually helping people who are not able to help themselves.”

Ferguson said the drive is just another example of the work that the direct service professionals do in getting their clients integrated into the community.

“We want to help them give back,” he said.

In May, 1st Choice staff and clients cleaned up litter at Emory Adams Park. They also partnered with Blanchard Valley Center this past summer to hold a car wash. Ferguson said the money raised went for special GPS devices that are designed to help monitor individuals with developmental disabilities, especially children with autism.

Ferguson said there are also several clients and staff members who volunteer every Tuesday at City Mission.

He said the donations will be disinfected and taken to the agencies prior to the holidays.

“We feel that we should be able to give back in the community and really show the community what we’re about,” said Ferguson, adding that they hope to make the drive an annual event.

More information about the agency can be found at www.1stchoicefamilyservices.org.
Wolf: 419-427-8419

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We help people with Developmental Disabilities  connect with expert Direct Support Professionals who help them live their best life.


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