Jerry Lee and I went to Wilmington, Ohio to go to a Town Meeting regarding the DHL Corporation closing. Many in attendance seemed interested to find out how Wilmington was going to help those who were affected. I had the chance to talk with an elderly gentleman about the Ohio Benefit Bank and he was very supportive of the idea. I asked him how we could find those who needed the service the most and he replied, "Wilmington folks are proud people, they may not seek out resources like these." It made me wonder how we can take away the stigma of benefits-- especially in these times of transition.
Reuters.com had to say this about the situation in Wilmington:
According to the Economic Task Force for the DHL Hub created by Mayor David Raizk, one in three families in Wilmington had someone employed at DHL. The projected impact of the job losses is expected to exceed $400 million dollars annually. (February 21, 2009)
These circumstances call for a coordinated response and the Mobile Express is designed to do just that. The Benefit Bank is a consistent reminder that help does exist in these difficult times. Now we need to be in the right place, in the right time to provide that support.
Locally, Wilmington has a Benefit Bank location staffed by Alexander Ives (pictured below). People can visit him to check their eligibility and apply for benefits. He has a very warm spirit and will do well in his newly appointed role. On a side note, he shared that his dad was an entertainer and when I inquired further came to find out that his dad is the great folk singer Burl Ives. If you are interested to find out more about his famous dad you can click here.