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WRTA 2021 Holiday Lights Campaign

This holiday season, WRTA is once again putting the spotlight on 18 organizations that Light Up the Valley all year long with the Holiday Lights Campaign! All through December, signs highlighting these organizations will appear on the back of selected WRTA buses serving Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.

Here are the organizations that have been chosen for the WRTA Holiday Lights Campaign and information about each of them. WRTA encourages all Valley residents to support these organizations and the good work they do in the Valley.

Animal Charity


Animal Charity of Ohio is Mahoning County’s Humane Society. We provide affordable veterinary services to the public through the Jean Kelty Vet Clinic.  Every year millions of pets are abused, neglected, or abandoned. Our affordable prices help support our humane program to fight animal cruelty and to educate the public on responsible pet ownership. You can help save lives by reporting any animal abuse or neglect, utilizing our vet services for your pet, or by adopting one of our rescued animals and giving them the loving home they deserve. Help us to help them!

Buster’s Brigade


Buster’s Brigade is a 501(c)3 organization committed to providing financial and material assistance for the basic and emergency needs of dogs and cats in Mahoning County and surrounding areas. Our goal is to work with our community to help families keep their pets healthy and at home.

  • Our Pet Food Pantry focuses on making sure families who need temporary pet food receive help, through the local approved food pantries.
  • Buster’s Brigade works with families who can no longer keep their pets due to illness, age or financial constraints.
  • We work in conjunction with the YSU Pre Veterinary Society to provide a low-cost vaccine clinic twice a year. These clinics includes free wellness exams, plus low- cost tests and vaccines to the community. Our 2019 clinics serviced 235 pets.
  • Buster’s Brigade continues to help pay vetting bills for pets whose owners cannot afford the treatments necessary to bring their pets back to health. In 2020 we have provided over $12,000 in vetting to area pets.

City Kids Care


For more than 10 years, City Kids Care, Inc. has hosted more than 250 free community events and created programs that help children build self-esteem, experience success, achieve academically and establish personal tools that will serve them throughout their lives.

The goal of City Kids Care, Inc. is to make a profound, positive and lasting difference in the lives of children.

Our Mission Statement — To empower young people to reach their full potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment.

Compass Family and Community Services 


COMPASS helps individuals and families build better lives and a stronger community. Our core values are to:

  1. Treat everyone with Dignity and Respect
  2. Be Ethical, Honest and have Integrity
  3. Be Team-Oriented with a Commitment to Excellence
  4. Be Engaged, Supportive, and Resilient
  5. Be Accountable and Responsible to persons served, COMPASS and Community

COMPASS’ core services consist of a variety of programs with established purposes and goals that tie directly back to the Agency’s mission statement and values. These core services include Behavioral Health Services, Social Services and Workforce Development.

The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley


The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley, a local 501(c)3, nonprofit organization serving eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, is committed to providing individuals with Down syndrome and their families the resources needed to lead successful, productive lives. DSAV provides enriching experiences, programs and grants to members, which foster that personal growth and pride in accomplishment. Membership is free.

Gateways To Better Living


Gateways To Better Living is a leading non-profit provider of programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the Mahoning Valley. It’s been the promise of Gateways since the first day to provide your loved ones with the personalized care and compassionate approach to ensure each individual has a voice, a purpose and a rightful place in society. With our experience, expertise and dedication, we empower everyone to reach their fullest potential.

Help Network


In June of 2017, the former Help Hotline Crisis Center Inc. became known at Help Network of Northeast Ohio. We made this change to better reflect the full scope of services we offer. We continue to provide 24/7 crisis intervention, suicide prevention and intervention, referrals, support services and counseling services to persons experiencing mental health related and/or situation problems.

Help Network of Northeast Ohio also:

  • refers and links persons in need of emergency assistance to community resources that can provide it
  • disseminates information about community human services to individuals and families who need them
  • works with planning organizations and government units to ensure these services are provided

Mercy Health Resource Mothers Program

Resource Mothers program website

The Mercy Health Resource Mothers Program plays a critical role in helping underserved, high-risk pregnant and new mothers to access health care, resources, information and social support needed to have a healthy pregnancy, birth and lifestyle.

New Day Recovery


New Day Recovery is a fully integrated healthcare organization specializing in substance use disorders. New Day provides professional alcohol and drug addiction treatment, including detox, rehab, medication, counseling, as well as recovery housing.

Potential Development


Potential Development is a pre-K through grade 12 school for students with autism. Our mission is to provide children with autism a safe, structured education that empowers them with the skills to reach their fullest potential in life. Our comprehensive program provides individualized instruction by a team of experts to ensure all students have a safe and educational environment to thrive in. We focus on structured teaching, highly visual planning and organization strategies, and predictable environments to help learners on the autism spectrum to become more independent.

At the same time, our school exposes the student to the Common Core Academic Standards for language arts, math, science and social studies. Report cards are issued quarterly to reflect student progress in each subject area. In addition to academic instruction, we help students develop social, communication, adaptive and life skills, and we offer physical, occupational and speech therapy for students who qualify.

The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County


The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, incorporated as the Reuben McMillan Free Library Association, serves all citizens of Mahoning County, Ohio. We connect people and communities to reliable resources that inspire learning and foster enrichment.

We operate 15 branches in Mahoning County as well as Special Delivery for homebound residents.

The Library’s Vision

  • Provide excellence in customer service
  • Be the best source for knowledge, exploration of ideas, and leisure learning in Mahoning County
  • Provide reliable information and answers for those that seek them
  • Be adaptable, dynamic, and innovative by being responsive to both the community and the changing library industry
  • Assure equitable access to library services and materials throughout Mahoning County
  • Create welcoming environments and spaces that enrich the communities they service
  • Connect people to the community and world they live in

Project MKC


Project MKC believes that all children deserve to feel special, regardless of their circumstances. Our mission is to make the lives of children and their families brighter by focusing on their individual needs with the help of volunteers. Our programs include: our Project MKC Diaper Bank, Comfort Kits for children being removed from their homes and placed in foster care, Hope Totes for children undergoing chemotherapy, our Best Foot Forward winter boot program, Summer Food program, Holiday Adopt-A-Family program, and so much more! We are so grateful to the community for their continued love and support.

Rich Center for Autism


The Rich Center for Autism was established in 1995 through the collaborative efforts of the Kosar, Rich (Ricchiuti), and Rubino families who have a shared interest in autism. In collaboration with Youngstown State University, The Rich Center for Autism’s mission is to improve education experiences and outcomes for individuals with autism and their families through teaching, research and community engagement.

Second Harvest Food Bank


Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, a member of Feeding America, provides food to those in need in the tri-county area through 160 programs provided by hunger-relief organizations, which include church pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, shelters for battered women, and after-school programs.

In 2019, the Food Bank distributed more than 11.5 million pounds of food, including 3.4 million pounds of produce.

Sight for All United


Sight for All United (SFAU) was established in August 2016 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that is driven to help all people achieve their best vision. Founded by two caring and concerned citizens, Karen Segesto and Sergul Erzurum, Sight for All United seeks to increase access by decreasing financial barriers and helping individuals navigate through the complex medical system.

The SFAU mission statement is to HEAL: Help every person reach his/her visual potential; Educate the community on impact of poor eyesight; Awareness of eye health and vision issues; and Lift barriers for access to care​.

SFAU is also active in patient and community outreach through Sight for All United’s Doctors for Sight, a network of over 43 local ophthalmologists and optometrists; Women for Sight, our community fundraising group; and two partner student organizations at the Northeast Ohio Medical University and at the Youngstown State University.

Sight for All United to date has had 222 patients who completed applications that were assisted in receiving vision/surgical services.

SMARTS (Students Motivated by the Arts)


SMARTS, Students Motivated by the Arts, is a community art school that provides classes in visual arts, music, dance, theater, and creative writing for our region’s PK-12 youth with a focus on underserved populations. SMARTS hires and prepares community teaching artists with professional training and oversight so that they can provide quality arts-focused teaching and learning with lesson plans that follow state standards. Since 1997, SMARTS classes have been free and open to the public and all students are accepted through a simple application process.

In addition to providing opportunities to PK-12 students, SMARTS has created a professional development model for teachers with an emphasis on arts integration. Our goal with arts integration is to bring learning to life, to connect core content to the arts, and to provide a new approach with strategies to reach students who are disengaged.

SMARTS Mission to provide access and equity in arts education reaches across all socio-economic levels while providing access and early training in the arts.

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry


The Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry has been serving men, women, and children in the Mahoning Valley living with and affected by HIV/AIDS for nearly 30 years. Our services for those living with HIV/AIDS include medical care, housing, food, children’s programming, and a monthly support group.

The HIV/AIDS Ministry is a program of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, which has been meeting the spiritual, emotional, educational, and health needs of the community since 1874.

Youngstown Community Food Center/Gleaners Food Bank


Youngstown Community Food Center and Gleaners Food Bank, located near downtown Youngstown, feeds families each Tuesday morning, 52 weeks a year. We are a non-profit, no-fee organization that has been in existence since 1986 — supplying food and non-food items to the less fortunate at no cost to them.

We distribute goods weekly to individual families and currently on a monthly basis supply 110+ church food pantries, women’s crisis shelters, veterans centers, schools, minority organizations, elderly housing complexes, those on a fixed income — in short, the less-fortunate families here in our several-county sphere of operation. We are currently providing for over 7,590 families a month with food and non-food items, and that number continues to grow. We provide all of our goods without any fees or cost.