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P.A.K. Hardship

Local tragedies are not only unplanned but strike fast and way too often. This fund provides both emotional support and financial support to community members who have sustained an unforeseen medical or employment event. Everyone has a unique story and this outreach is adaptable to any hardship that may arise.

Think of this as “Go Fund Me” with the donation goal already met. The more money donated into this fund the more money we can donate out. The local community supporting the local community!

***Support may not be available to a hardship that results in an insurance settlement payout and/or the collection of government assistance. 

Breast Cancer Support & Awareness

This unique, post-fundraising donation, came in collaboration from money raised on hole #5 & #15 at the One Step Ahead Ohio golf outing scramble fundraiser held on 9/10/2022. The SJPIII Memorial Fund has decided to donate the money raised from their fundraiser hole #5, “double your money par 3”, back into their local community of Girard, Ohio. The second part of the donation comes from funds raised for breast cancer awareness & support on the “cornhole advancement” at hole #15. 


On behalf of OSAO & SJPIII, a donation of $1500 will be made to Lorraine, a lifelong Northeast Ohio resident, as she begins her fight against breast cancer. This money will go directly towards offsetting travel expenses for unforeseen medical treatment as well as offsetting a small portion of the out-of-pocket medical expenses that her health insurance will not cover.

Help us grow our PAK Hardship Initiative to assist other Northeast Ohioan's in need facing unique circumstances.

Breast Cancer Awareness
Mercer Family

The Mercer Family

" On April 1, 2021, my family's life was forever changed. He was fine that day but that night he complained he didn't feel well. As the day progressed, he looked pale, complained of nausea and dizziness, and was walking as though he would keel over at any moment. 


The doctor pointed to the cyst which is located in the middle of his brain and is therefore "inoperable". He said my husband had a Benign Colloid Cyst, which is a rare brain tumor that occurs in about 3 out of 1,000,000 people. Unfortunately, there is no treatment. 


My husband is learning what he can no longer do, learning to give himself permission to rest, learning to accept he may never work again, and teaching all of us to live life to the fullest every day. He may get better, he may get worse, he may stay the same. Whatever happens, we are in it for the long haul. Life is short. We live it with humor and love. " - Lisa Mercer One Step Ahead Ohio is donating a $700 check to the family.


Help us grow our PAK Hardship Initiative to assist other Northeast Ohioan's in need facing unique circumstances.

Salvatore Ponzio III Memorial Fund

One Step Ahead Ohio, through the 2022 March Forward Raffle ticket sales, was able to donate $3,500 to the Salvatore Ponzio III Memorial Fund!!!   


Click Here to Read Sal's Full Story. 


Help us grow our PAK Hardship Initiative to assist other Northeast Ohioan's in need facing unique circumstances.

Salvatore Ponzio III Memorial Fund

2021 Donations

Tabithas Mom

Tabitha's Mom

Tabitha, the small business owner of “Tabitha ineeda baker”, started a GoFundMe for her step-dad Joe after her mom's battle with breast and bone cancer came to an end in early November 2021. This story was brought to our attention from a friend of Tabitha and a follower of One Step Ahead Ohio, Destiney C. Tabitha’s mom had a life insurance policy through work. Once she was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop working, she ended up losing that life insurance policy. 


“If anyone has tried to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis, while fighting for your life, you know the insurance companies that will give a new policy have a waiting period before they will pay out. Well, my mom took a turn for the worse right before that waiting period was done so they will not pay out the death benefit that was to pay for funeral costs. On top of that, my step dad Joe, is taking off work with no pay to take care of her in her last days. He used all of his paid vacation days to take her to Dr visits, bone scans, ER visits and ICU Stays”. - Tabitha T.   One Step Ahead Ohio is donating $500 to Tabitha’s mom funeral expense to help relieve some of the financial stress.   

Hailey & Zaire

Zaire was born premature resulting in a chronic lung disease. He was intubated for 2 ½ months after birth leaving him with permanent scar tissue in his airway. Suffering from severe sleep apnea as he became older, the doctors recommend recently that Zaire have his tonsils and adenoids removed. The day of the surgery his oxygen levels dropped as low as 68 and upon further x-ray it was discovered that Zaire had pneumonia. It was Hailey’s last option, but they had to intubate and put Zaire on a ventilator. Hailey is a single mother and the only provider for Zaire. Due to Zaire’s current physical condition combined with consistent trips to the hospital, this leaves Hailey unable to work and provide for the two of them.   


“If anyone personally knows Hailey, you would know she doesn’t have it in her to ask for help, regardless of her current circumstances and how much it’s truly needed during this time.” – Marissa L  


Marissa, Hailey’s best friend, brought this hardship to our attention at the right time. We are donating $650 to this Cleveland family.

Hailey and Zaire
Penguin City Beer

Christa Harrison & PCB

Through our P.A.K program we were able to support Penguin City Beer by donating $100 to their GoFundMe for Christa's wheelchair & ramp. Still waiting for the completion of the wheelchair ramp at her home, Christa’s family will still need to travel frequently to Akron Children’s Hospital, as they have been doing since May. Through our “Heroes for Hardship” initiative, One Step Ahead is donating a $250 Sheetz gift card & $250 Target gift card directly to the family!  


Christa Harrison is 17 years old and is a victim of a shooting that happened back in May of 2021 on the south side of Youngstown, Ohio. She was outside with her friends when she was shot in her neck. The bullet went out through her spine which has left her paralyzed. She has been in the Akron's Children's Hospital since the shooting and has undergone four surgeries.   

The Riggleman Family

Dennis Riggleman (pictured) and his wife is Chalsie Riggleman were married in May of 2021. Dennis had just started riding motorcycles with his brother and dad in 2021. Dennis had a Honda Shadow and was on his way from Girard, OH up the road to Liberty, OH to sell his motorcycle so he could upgrade to the bike of his dreams.   


While traveling on route 11 on the newly paved side of the highway, Dennis tried to avoid something in the road and suddenly lost control of the motorcycle when hitting the unfinished pavement. He hit a guardrail and was ejected. Dennis was wearing a helmet but traveling the speed limit of 65mph left him with brain damage more than any other injury. Chalsie made the decision to keep him on life support for a couple days after the accident so he could donate his heart, liver and both kidneys to four waiting recipients. Dennis Riggleman was pronounced dead on August 20th, 2021. He leaves behind his wife, mother, father, two brothers, sister as well as many nieces and nephews.  


On September 11, 2021 the local Northeast Ohio community put together a celebration of life and funeral service fundraiser with a spaghetti dinner at the Trumbull Athletic Club in Niles Ohio. One Step Ahead Ohio in collaboration with two local restaurants, donated all the trays of spaghetti, meatballs & salad for this local event. Our donation fully eliminated the financial up-front cost and allowed all proceeds raised during the event to go directly towards the Riggleman family’s fundraising efforts.  

Rigg Family
Sandra Rose

Terry, Rose & Sandra

Terry working in technical sales, Rose a nurse’s assistant & Sandra a local high school student (pictured) have lived in the Mahoning Valley since Dec 2013.  The last week of March 2021 Sandra (16) was taken to the emergency room dealing with Diabetic ketoacidosis (related to previously undiagnosed type 1 diabetes), an infection, and testing Covid 19 positive. She went from St. Joe’s to Akron’s Children (PICU), and now the Cleveland Clinic (PICU).  Through the span of about 20 days at the Cleveland Clinic, Sandra not only struggled with being on a ventilator for 5 days, she also experienced several additional complications including septic shock, pneumonia, dialysis, and multi-organ failure.   


“Morning after morning of hearing your daughter referred to as the 16-year-old, Covid positive with GBS, and multi-organ failure. Then being told they want to send her to the Cleveland Clinic as a precautionary measure because her liver numbers are trending so poorly that she may need a liver transplant (she did not require a transplant).  Rose & I seeing her at the hospital connected to a multitude of IV’s attached to her groin, neck, foot, multiple in each arm on top of watching your child on a continuous dialysis machine for days on end it was hard to believe things would eventually be better – but they are now.” -Terry  


 OSAO is donating $1000 to this family through the Heroes for Hardship outreach program to help offset some of the monetary cost that comes with weeks off work and the unforeseen daily travel expenses still occurring.      

Kelly & Sam

Kelly (left) and Sam (right) were your normal Cuyahoga County residents at the start of 2020. They just established a new family with their 2 year old daughter Mary while Sam works as a general contractor and Kelly is a full time homemaker. At the start of 2020, like many of us beginning to deal with the impact of COVID19 restrictions, these 2 would have a completely different experience to the "new normal".  


In April 2020, they received a call that Kelly's extended cousins had been removed from their home and placed immediately into foster care, due to traumatic circumstances. One month later, this family of three overnight grew to a family of six! They doubled in size as the sibling set of three; ages 11, 7 & 4 moved into their home. Their home became completely rearranged for sleeping accommodations and they relied on local community support to help with transportation for the now 4 kids.  


"God convicted our hearts to make room for them. We have witnessed incredible breakthrough in the lives of these children. Great amounts of healing, forgiveness, and now hope of reunification with their birth family are actual realities for them! We have been blown away by God's love, provision and faithfulness in providing resources to keep us thriving as long as we're together. Moments like these from One Step Ahead help us keep our momentum." - Kelly  


Going on a year now, dealing with delayed document processing of foster parent licensing because of COVID19, the family has yet to see any type of monetary government assistance that someone would normally receive under foster care. One Step Ahead, through the Heroes for Hardship fund is donating directly to Kelly, Sam & the 4 kids a check of $1000 to help with any of their monetary needs.  

Sam and Kelly Bayzie
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