Expansion Enables Project MKC to Serve More Kids

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Project MKC, a nonprofit organization providing diapers, clothing, toys and other necessities to kids and families through their various programs, has expanded to include a 6,000-square-foot warehouse and building that will help the business grow to greater heights, said Co-President Jana Coffin. The company celebrated their expansion on Southern Boulevard with a ribbon cutting Oct. 29.

“We will be offering all of the same things but at a much bigger scale. Now we can order 60,000 or 80,000 diapers rather than just what we need for that month,” said Coffin.

The organization’s diaper distributions have tripled over the past year, with 34,000 handed out this year, Coffin said. They have increased their county reach where they deliver comfort kits to children entering foster care. Comfort kits are black duffel bags filled with brand new age and gender specific toys, books, stuffed animals, school supplies, food, clothing, personal toiletries and a homemade fleece blanket, all for the children to keep. With this continued growth, Coffin knew it was time to expand their facilities to foster their recent success.

“The thing that we’re most excited about it we will be able to take some used baby items as well,” she said, “so when our partner agencies come to pick up the diapers, they can shop for their clients. We didn’t have the space before, but now we can house those other necessity’s here.”

Project MKC donates diapers to families in need, and now they will be able to hold enough diapers to extend their reach to Cuyahoga County, said Coffin.

Expanding their building space will also allow for more volunteers, said Coffin. Prior to the expansion, Project MKC – formerly known as Making Kids Count – could fit between 15 and 20 volunteers in its space. Now, there’s room for 30.

“With this space, we will be able to fit our volunteers more comfortably and our deliveries that we get in,” said program director Colleen Eisenbraum. “It’s already made it so much easier to go about our day and get things done that we need to get done. It’s exciting.”

Coming up this holiday season, the nonprofit will host its Adopt-a-Family program, where guidance counselors from local schools refer families who could use a help with gifts around the holidays, said Coffin.

“We will partner the families with either a business or a family in the area who want to adopt them,” she said. “[Participants] will get a list of all the things the adopted family’s children want or need and they can shop and wrap gifts for that family.”

Making Kids Count also organizes giving trees around the community to acquire items for their comfort kit program. Project MKC will be able to address the issue of children in need in the region at a much broader level with their new space, said Coffin.

Pictured: Project MKC Co-Presidents Shelly Marlowe and Jana Coffin, along with program director Colleen Eisenbraum and founder Jenny Kennedy, cut the ribbon on the nonprofit’s expansion.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.