Forever R Children (FRC), is a local non-profit serving Akron Summit County, Ohio communities. FRC is dedicated to meeting the basic physiological, social and human needs of children and their families. Founded in 2019 by Robert P. Ford Jr., a Lead in Akron’s Goodyear Final Finish Department and a recipient of the 2022 Jefferson Award.
Rob saw immediate, observable and undeniable need for basic human necessities among mainstream at risk youth, adults, veterans and children with disabilities and began working to eliminate the disparity he witnessed.
While serving the community, he encountered citizens without homes who simply wanted the ability to take a shower. Consequently, he launched the campaign (in March of 2022) to develop a mobile hygiene unit (SHOWER BUS), which is slated to launch service to Akron-Summit County Ohio in the fall of 2023. To date: the local Metro Regional Transit Authority has agreed to the donation of an out of service transit bus to Forever R Children for the purpose of converting it into a shower bus for the unhoused population in the Greater Akron area. FRC will take possession of said bus in April/May 2023.
Since the inception on November 19, 2019, Forever R Children has made great strides by meeting with local school administrators to establish food pantries in local middle and high schools, which later led to hosting monthly food giveaways in communities that lacked access to quality meat, produce and dairy products. In addition, annual trips for youth with disabilities have been a rewarding segment to our programming, as these students are often left behind and now are exposed to new and enlightening experiences.
The work did not end there: Rob and a host of FRC volunteers worked to expand from just meeting food needs to more basic human needs by implementing the distribution of clothing, shoes, toiletry and household goods necessary to promote traditional household and hygiene practices. FRC has even had the opportunity to help some of our most deserving veterans meet transportation needs by gifting donated cars.
When Rob saw the mentoring need for children in single parent homes, those in foster care and even those being raised by relatives, he was compelled to begin mentoring. He and his team continue to provide coaching, guidance and support to some of Ohio’s most at risk youth. This effort includes but is not limited to special giveaways at Christmas and Thanksgiving, as well as bike giveaways.
Forever R Children partners with the local Project Rise (funded through the Ohio Department of Education), is listed as a provider in the Akron Street Card and the Summit Medina County United Way 211: as an emergency food and hygiene provider.