Bravo! Stories of Impact

From September 6, 2021-October 8, 2021 St. Stephen’s Community House is running it’s second Bravo! Virtual Campaign. This year, we wanted to focus on impact. More specifically, stories of impact from around our agency. Over a month period you will hear stories of impact from board members, volunteers, staff, clients, and more. We invite you to make your impact as well during our month long campaign by either  volunteering  or  donating!  Check back here weekly for new stories and follow us on social media for a daily impact stories. 

Have a SSCH impact story to share? We want to hear it! Email us at or share it with us on social media–tag us @SSCH1919 on all platforms and use the hashtag #sschimpact

Preview our Stories of Impact Video below!

Stories of Impact Update

As we wrap up our Stories of Impact campaign, we are excited to announce that raised over $23,000 in individual gifts- this is almost DOUBLE our original goal of $12,500. We cannot thank our supporters enough for making this happen and these vital funds will be used to continue the important work that we do everyday. Please take a few minutes to watch our Stories Of Impact video and we hope you enjoyed following along as we told the stories of the amazing people that make our organization all that it is!

Marilyn Mehaffie 

When Marilyn Mehaffie walked through the doors of St. Stephen’s almost 30 years ago as a group worker, she had no idea that she would one day hold the title of CEO.  

“From my first day until today, my relationship with St. Stephen’s has only grown stronger. I’ve been here for most of my adult life, I can’t imagine St. Stephen’s not being a part of my life.”


During her first role as a group worker, Mehaffie was responsible for working with children in the afterschool program, children in Columbus City Schools, as well as their families. From there, she became the Assistant Director of Youth Services, and later oversaw several programs at SSCH including Senior Services, Youth Services, and Family Services.   

Mehaffie says she still remembers her first day of work and how excited she was to be a part of St. Stephen’s and to have the ability to work directly with the community.  

“I knew from the beginning the agency was going to change many lives, including my own.” 

It was the relationship with the Linden community and partner organizations that allowed St. Stephen’s Community House to continue its mission and never close its doors during the pandemic.  

“We are an anchor in the community. A place where people know they can come and receive help or support if they need it, especially during the pandemic. We knew we had to keep our staff and families safe, but we knew we could never close our doors, we knew with quarantining, the stay-at-home orders, businesses and childcares closing, the needs of our Linden neighbors were only going to grow,” Mehaffie said. 

Marilyn’s wealth of knowledge and experience at SSCH allows her to lead the agency with insight that many would not have. If you spend a day with her, you can see that she keeps St. Stephen’s mission at the forefront of everything she does. As the CEO, she is an advocate for the Linden community and those that St. Stephen’s serves.  

“My favorite thing about my job is watching us change lives for the better. Watching us change our community for the better.”   

From community members, to staff, to Board Members, everyone that interacts with Ms. Mehaffie appreciates her compassion and dedication to her position.  

In a Columbus Monthly interview in 2019, past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Kelley, said Mehaffie’ s commitment to a collaborative culture, with staff, the board, external partners and community members alike is admirable and somewhat rare. 

“I think she is selfless in that respect; that for her the biggest priority is the mission of St. Stephen’s,” Kelley said. 

That selflessness still rings true in 2021. 

While Marilyn pours her heart into this organization, she attributes the successes of St. Stephen’s to the team she has working alongside her.  

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my time here at St. Stephen’s is that it takes a team of dedicated, compassionate, and inspirational people to help the families that we serve.” 

Scott Biggs

At the start of COVID-19, our Food and Nutrition Center did not shut down for even a day. Overnight, we switched to safer drive through model to protect our staff and consumers, but that meant we needed volunteers to help operate it. We sent out information about this volunteer opportunity, hoping to bring in healthy, low-risk volunteers that were looking to make an impact.

This is when we met Scott Biggs. Scott answered our cry for help over a year ago and has been volunteering in the Food and Nutrition Center at least once a week ever since. Often when we talk about impact, we talk about the impact that volunteers are making on the community, but not about the impact they have on our organization.

Volunteers like Scott are vital to keep our operations running, and when serving over 23,000 households in a year, it’s easy to see why they are so important. We sat down with Scott to discuss his role here at SSCH, and what keeps him coming back. Scott talked about how much he appreciates the staff at St. Stephen’s, especially Ray Rhone, our Food and Nutrition Center Coordinator.

“When we work with other volunteers [Ray] is wonderful. He is patient, especially with new volunteers. This is why volunteers keep coming back, because working with Ray is such a pleasure. I also feel that St. Stephen’s is a family, in addition to a group of volunteers and staff, everyone was so welcoming from the first day and those relationships have only deepened over the last year.”


Pictured Above: Scott volunteering in the Food and Nutrition Center


Not only has Scott been a staple in our Food and Nutrition Center, but he has also taken on more responsibility as a Lead Volunteer for our Christmas Cares, Union’s Share event where we were able to provide Christmas meals for over 3,000 families last year.

Scott’s impact can be seen in the numbers, but also in his words.

“Alone, I am just a single rain drop, but working with the staff and many volunteers here, we become a shower that has an actual effect, that waters our community garden and helps it grow.”


Do you want to make an impact like Scott? Sign up for a  volunteer shift  or  donate  to our Stories of Impact campaign today! 

Quanetta Batts 

Quanetta Batts serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Stephen’s Community House, but her connection with the organization reaches far beyond her adult years. As a child, Quanetta frequented St. Stephen’s for several different programs and remembers just how important it was for her as an adolescent.

“When I reflect back on my time as a child participating in various programs at St. Stephen’s, I can see how important that was for myself and people like me,” Quanetta said. “It was always a very safe space for us, and they always fed us. For some of my friends, this might have been the only meal they had that day.”

Along with providing a meal and safe place to hang out, Quanetta remembers meeting  role models that became mentors  later in her life. “They would ask us where we wanted to be in the next five years and the next ten years, what our interests were, and helped us understand the importance of higher education.”

Watch Behind The Scenes: What St. Stephen’s means to Quanetta

Quanetta is beneficial to the board for many reasons, but her perspective and experience growing up in the Linden community allows her to have a connection that not many have. While St. Stephen’s helped shape her future, she is determined to make sure others have the same opportunities.

“It’s icing on the cake when you can give back to an organization that has poured so much into you.”

You can make an impact, too.  Join us today in contributing to our Bravo! Stories of Impact campaign by clicking here.

Katrina “Ms. Trina” Loomis

If you’ve ever stepped foot in Ms. Trina’s classroom, then you know what love looks like. Her coworkers, her students, and their parents are impacted by her kindness each and everyday. After three years at St. Stephen’s, many have been fortunate enough to cross paths with her and the impact that she has made reaches far beyond the classroom.

“[The] kids and their parents, they’re really like a little family to me.”

Ms. Trina knew that St. Stephen’s was where she wanted to be very soon after starting as a teacher here, but could not have imagined the relationships that she would build over the years.
“I treat these kids like they are my babies or my grandbabies, I get emotional even thinking about them,” Ms. Trina said.
On any given day you can find Ms. Trina with her lap full of  as many kids as she can hold, many of them fighting over who gets to sit the closest to her. There is never a boring day in her classroom, and she always ensures that there are fun and stimulating activities to occupy her students time.
“The babies I teach,” said Ms. Trina, “they’re young and you have to know that everything you’re doing for them and around them, it’s affecting them.”
Ms. Trina lives out the mission of St. Stephen’s Community House everyday, strengthening families and empowering our community through her amazing care for our youngest neighbors.
 “It’s just a joy to be mindful daily of the impact I’m having on the children.”


You can make an impact, too.  Join us today in contributing to our Bravo! Stories of Impact campaign by clicking here.


Nicole Hatcher

As someone that had never used a childcare center before, Nicole admits she was nervous the first day she arrived at Christ Child Early Learning Center. She quickly realized that her daughter was in good hands with Ms. Trina, or “Ms. T,” as many call her. Fast forward seven years, and she now has a second daughter going through Christ Child Early Learning Center (ELC) at St. Stephen’s Community House and her relationship with Ms. Trina is stronger than ever. 

“One of the reasons we came here is because I got a full-time job and I needed somewhere that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I was able to get enrolled in the amazing Project Starfish program, and I just love it,” said Nicole. 

Thanks to the  Christ Child Society  scholarship program, Project Starfish, Nicole was able to receive childcare at a reduced cost by volunteering at the ELC for a set number of hours each month. Participants in this program might help with cleaning or organizing, as well as story time and crafts. This program reduces the financial burden of childcare while also giving parents the opportunity to interact in their children’s classroom.

Learn More: To learn more about Project Starfish, click here. 

But it isn’t just the affordability that Nicole loves about St. Stephen’s, it’s the people. For her, Ms. Trina has become an extension of her family.

“I didn’t know that Ms. Trina and I were allowed to hang out outside of the Early Learning Center,” Nicole laughs, “but once I figured out we could, I knew our relationship would stretch much farther than St. Stephen’s.”

Over the last eight years, Ms. Trina has attended house warming parties, birthdays, and weddings for the families that she has taught, and Nicole made it clear that her daughters second birthday party will not be complete this year if Ms. Trina is not there.

Along with the childcare she receives Nicole also spoke on the importance of all of the programs here at St. Stephen’s.

“If I could describe my St. Stephen’s chapter in one word, it would be ‘community service,’ because they are providing multiple services for the community. For so many things, you can just come to this one spot,” said Nicole.

As we describe the impact that St. Stephen’s has had on Hatcher family, it is equally important to highlight the impact that families like Nicole’s have on SSCH. On Wednesday, we will hear from Ms. Trina as she shares why their relationship is significant to her and the work she does here.

You can make an impact, too.  Join us today in contributing to our Bravo! Stories of Impact campaign by clicking here.

Raymond “Ray”  Rhone IV

When the pandemic started to impact the families we serve at St. Stephen’s Community House, in March of 2020, Ray had been working in the Food and Nutrition Center for just shy of 8 months.

“On my first day of coming to work, something just clicked in me and I knew this is where I was supposed to be. My customers [in the Food and Nutrition Center] have kept me here ever since. Seeing, physically seeing the impact that giving someone a food box has on them and getting to know them personally, getting to know about their lives, situations, good or bad has been a blessing to me.”

SSCH Food and Nutrition Center Assistant Coordinator, Ray helps build boxes during the first days of the pandemic

Ray has had substantial impact on those that visit our Food and Nutrition Center, but also on our volunteers.

Scott Biggs, a volunteer who started working in the Food and Nutrition Center during the height of the pandemic, says because of Ray’s relationship with the consumers and the way he continues to care for people made an impact on him.

Listen: Jeni Britton Bauer + St. Stephen’s Community House (Ray & Madison) 2021 Virtual Business for Good Summit

“Ray is always a pleasure to work for and with. As a person, Ray is relaxed even under stressful circumstances, always cheerful, and cares about me and the other volunteers. And he would not be able to do any of that if he did not care about the people St. Stephen’s serves.”

From March 2020-December 2020, the Food and Nutrition Center served 23,055 families from all over Franklin County.  Which in comparison to 2019, the St. Stephen’s Community House Food and Nutrition Center saw a 179% increase in new households.



“During the height of the pandemic, it really was an all hands on deck situation,”  Marketing and Development Director Natalie Atkins, said.

“There was a moment, in April of 2020, when I think all of us were starting to feel the weight and pressure of the pandemic. I was walking back to the FNC, and I stopped to listen to Ray as he was talking to a single mom, ‘How else can we help you?’ ‘No problem, we can get you some diapers.’ ‘Remember, you can come back next week, too.’ ‘No worries, we got you.’ I knew he was tired, there was a line wrapped around our parking lot. But he took the time, she was the most important person to him in that moment.”

“Ray sincerely cares about the wellbeing of others and wants the best for people,” Neighborhood Services Director Amy Kerns said.

Ray said it best during an interview on the Business for Good Summit podcast in March 2021, “No matter how stressful or how unpredictable our days are, it’s all worth it.”

You can make an impact, too.  Join us today in contributing to our Bravo! Stories of Impact campaign by clicking here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *