LETTER TO THE EDITOR: LoveLight and Wayside Furniture partner for After Thanksgiving Giving Event

LoveLight is working in partnership with Wayside Furniture who will match donations up to $100 per person. Donations go toward benefiting disadvantaged people move toward reaching their potential and to promote positive, healthful lifestyles. Donations are accepted in the form of check and money order and should be made out to LoveLight Inc. Donations can be dropped off at the Akron Wayside Furniture located at 1367 Canton Rd. between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29.

LoveLight is working in partnership with Wayside Furniture who will match donations up to $100 per person. Donations go toward benefiting disadvantaged people move toward reaching their potential and to promote positive, healthful lifestyles. Donations are accepted in the form of check and money order and should be made out to LoveLight Inc. Donations can be dropped off at the Akron Wayside Furniture located at 1367 Canton Rd. between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29.

Lisbeth Justice

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, there is a unique opportunity for those who would like to support LoveLight’s mission to help people, especially those considered economically or otherwise disadvantaged, to move toward reaching their potential and to promote positive, healthful lifestyles.

Wayside Furniture will match checks and money orders up to $100 per person. These should be written to LoveLight, Inc. and brought to their store at  on the days following Thanksgiving, or until Wayside’s $100,000 match is reached. Name, address, and phone number must be on the checks and money orders, and they can be dropped off at the following times.

  • Friday Nov. 26 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sat Nov. 27 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sun Nov. 28 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Monday Nov. 29 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, please contact me at [email protected].

More on LoveLight

In November of 1995, a small group of people with a big vision created LoveLight, Inc. to help people, especially those considered economically or otherwise disadvantaged, to move toward reaching their potential and to promote positive, healthful lifestyles.

One of these incorporators was E. Timothy Moore, who had been a student at Kent and later went on to become assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies (now the Department of Africana Studies). When the organization was formed, Tim was appointed the first board chair, and he donated its logo which he had designed previously.

I, another of the founders, received three degrees from Kent State and currently teach classes for the Department of Psychological Sciences as well as workshops for the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Over its 26 years of its existence, LoveLight has enjoyed an ongoing, although informal, relationship with the university, involving hundreds of students from various disciplines such as education, nursing, non-profit management, business, family & consumer studies and exercise and leisure sports in its mission and providing valuable experiential learning to complement these students’ academic endeavors.

Non-profit status was granted to LoveLight in 1996 and the organization began providing free summer lunches and activities for children in lower-income neighborhoods in Kent and other local communities. Because of COVID, the federal government extended the summer program last year.

Between October 2020 and mid-August of 2021, a total of 35,722 suppers and 31,588 snacks for children in Kent, Brimfield and Windham were provided by LoveLight in partnership with the Brimfield Community Cupboard and Renaissance Family Center. Also, 4,153 breakfasts were distributed for Kent children, bringing the total number of nutritious meals to 124,522 in addition to snacks since the summer of 1996.

Over the past 26 years, LoveLight has carried out a variety of programs in serving the community, including the following:

  • Building Community, Building Futures initiative which, with help from a City of Kent social services grant, provides activities for low-income children in their neighborhoods as well as linking them to community resources. During this semester we were able to provide five scholarships to Kent State’s art enrichment program for children. Before the pandemic, LoveLight partnered with Prentice and Dunbar Halls to bring children to campus for a swim & pizza party, Halloween event and movie night. In conjunction with the meal distribution last October and November, the students prepared Halloween and self-care themed bags for the children.
  • In conjunction with Kent City Schools and community partners including Kent State University and PEAKS mentoring program for lower-income eighth-grade “at-promise” youth
  • Rhythmic Movement Training held at Kent State University and presented by Swedish psychiatrist Dr. Harald Blomberg. Blomberg Rhythmic Movement Training exercises, which mimic natural baby movement patterns, have been found to improve attention, cognitive, emotional and motor functioning, vision, reading, speech, and handwriting.
  • Educational programs, including tutoring, STARCHILD licensed after school program, Study Buddies and LoveLight Learning Center.
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Academy which over three school years, provided professional development for teams of P-12 educators (270 individuals) in order to create Professional Learning Communities in their schools to increase student learning and teacher retention as well as improving school climate. The academies were held at Kent State and participants had the option to receive workshop credit from Kent State if they engaged in further work under my direction. 

Besides LoveLight’s vision of creating a model, intergenerational child development and lifelong learning center, our goals include launch of a young entrepreneur project, initiation of free distribution of new goods for needy families, sponsoring of a youth development project in partnership with the Kent State’s Department of Africana Studies and provision of stress reduction/prevention sessions to benefit teachers and students. 

Wishing you a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving and a successful wrap-up of the semester!

Lisbeth (Betsy) Justice, Ph.D. (class of 1970, 1983, 2008)

Lisbeth Justice is a professor at for the Department of Psychological Studies at Kent State, and co-founder of LoveLight. Contact her at [email protected]