Ten Hours With Starfire

This post is a copy of a letter originally sent to Cincinnati Enquirer journalist, Krista Ramsey, in response to her “Best view of Cincinnati – it’s heart” article. In this article, Ramsey describes her work as a journalist the chance to see into the hearts and minds of Cincinnatians.  In gratitude to all her readers, and the kindness of Cincinnatians, Ramsey ends the article with this call to action:

Are you a registered non-profit that could use 10 hours of work from a willing but not widely skilled journalist? Could I come and spend a day with you, and be of some service?

Send me your thoughts at kramsey@enquirer.com. In early August, I’ll choose a place to “pay it forward.”

Dear Krista,

I am writing in response to your column on July 19, about the great view you have as a reporter from the 19th floor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, into the hearts and minds of Cincinnatians.

We at Starfire would like to cordially invite you to spend your 10 hours of service with us, and see the great view of Cincinnati we have here, from our own “19th floor panorama.”

Although Starfire is a smaller non-profit, residing in a one-story building, we see a large part of the city from where we work every day.

Take a look:

Vonceil and Tonya are both nearby Walnut Hills residents.  Every Friday they meet up at the Julie Hanser garden to water the vegetables, turn the compost, and pull out the weeds.

Vonceil and Tonya planting potatoes

Chris and Tammy are Anderson Township natives who love animals, and together they organized a dog parade to benefit the SPCA at their local park.

Dog walk attendees – in total the parade raised nearly $150 for the SPCA cruelty to animals fund

Joseph and Dugan are passionate about alternative transportation, so they organized a Streetfilms Festival featuring local films about urban cycling to an audience of over 150 people, hosted downtown at the Emery Theater.

Cyclists and Supporters of Streetfilms Festival gathered in front of Fountain Square during the weekly Northside Slowride

Jamie, Ty, and Hollywood are fashionistas who organized a runway event, “Urban Glam,” and all the proceeds went to local charity, Kenzie’s Closet.

Model on the Runway for Urban Glam by Jamie – Fashion Show benefiting Kenzie’s Closet

You see, from this vantage point, every act of service is a potential for making a personal contribution.  Gardeners, musicians, cyclists, animal rights advocates, laughter yoga instructors, fashionistas, journalists, and basketball coaches, no matter who you are and what you do, you can find a way to volunteer your time with Starfire in the most impactful way possible.

It can be itty-bitty-scale, small-scale, medium-scale, or grand-scale.  Whatever service work might lead to deepening relationships in our community, we support it.

Surprising your neighbor with a bouquet of flowers at her doorstep, lasagna dinners cooked up for the local police department, inspirational note cards handed off to passersby downtown, all are random acts of kindness we encourage at Starfire. Just in the last year, we’ve given over 4,500 hours of service to our communities.

We are constantly thinking of ways to give back to our friends, our families, our neighbors, our local businesses, and hope to build better connections that way.  Service is one of the ways we try to “dig deep.”

Lastly, you mentioned being a “willing but not widely skilled journalist.” We would definitely beg to differ.  We’d love to hear all about your hobbies.  What is one thing you did last month that you could not live without?  What do your friends and family say about your strengths?  We’d love to hear about that one thing people always call on you for, whether it’s a certain dish you’re asked to bring every Christmas, or a keen eye for the best place to bargain shop.

Whatever it is, it will certainly come in handy!  Have coffee with us, and by the end I’m sure we could have a whole list of ways you could give back to Cincinnati, and would have a group of supporters cheering you on and helping you make it happen the whole way.

 At Starfire we open doors for people to contribute and share in the most inclusive, person-centered way possible. We’d love it if you’d come and see for yourself!



Katie Bachmeyer   | Researcher Storyteller |  Starfire: 513 281 2100 (ext. 112) https://www.facebook.com/starfirecincy

katie bachmeyer