Giving All Year Long: Rocky River Assistance Program

It’s that time of year when the Rocky River Assistance Program is busier than ever as its volunteers work to brighten the holidays for the over 200 individuals, disabled veterans, elderly residents and over 60 families residing in Rocky River.  For the holidays, RRAP provides a Thanksgiving dinner, holiday dinner items in December, and gifts from a wish list for each household. Recently RRAP established a “free” store offering clothes and household goods to its clients.

The RRAP was established by the Rocky River Women’s Club in 1984 to assist residents in need by providing seven days of food twice each month along with needed personal care and household items. Staffed by dedicated members of the Rocky River Women’s Club, RRAP is the only organization of its kind in the area to be operated completely by volunteers.

The RRAP pantry, located at the Beach Education Center, is kept stocked thanks to the generosity of Rocky River residents, businesses and organizations throughout the year. Non-perishable food can be dropped off at the center between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. Food drives held throughout the fall at local schools and churches benefit RRAP. And Lake Road Market (20267 Lake Road in Rocky River) is a permanent collection point for non-perishable donations. Donating is easy: simply place your donation in the designated bin inside the entrance of the store during normal business hours.

All regular food staples are needed, including canned fruit, vegetables, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, pancake mix, pasta and spaghetti sauce. (No glass jars please.) Cleaning and toiletry items are also accepted.

Make the Holidays Happy for RRAP Children

Children hold a special place in the hearts of RRAP’s volunteers. This year over 55 school-aged children in the program will receive school supplies and seasonal clothing, as well as items from their holiday wish list. These lists are part of the Adopt-a-Family Program in which Rocky River Women’s Club members and the community are encouraged to purchase gifts for RRAP clients. RRAP also provides holiday appropriate groceries and a gift for each household during the holiday season. Gifts are provided for all of the children in the program. If you’re inspired to donate a gift, give us call and we’ll make arrangements with Santa. RRAP children are also eligible to receive community scholarships to participate in qualifying Rocky River Rec Center programs.

"The RRAP is an integral part of the Rocky River Women's Club,” said Rocky River Women’s Club President Amy McDougal. “RRAP is staffed by a small and mighty group of RRWC members who dedicate an enormous amount of time to ensure that the program's clients receive food, school supplies, coats, holiday presents, and have access to a free store stocked with clothes and household goods.”

Beyond numerous women that have chaired and held committee positions throughout the past quarter of a century, there are hundreds of friends, neighbors, children, families, churches, and businesses that have helped to ensure the success of RRAP. “I would like to thank everyone in our community that has answered the call for donations, given time packing groceries, and offered financial support,” said McDougal. “Both the RRWC and our RRAP clients are very fortunate to have the support of the entire Rocky River community. Since the 1980s, the Rocky River City Schools has allowed us space to run both our food pantry, and more recently, our free store. I would be remiss if I failed to mention our appreciation of this continued support of RRAP and the clients we serve."  

RRAP is a 501(c)(3) organization and monetary contributions are tax deductible. For further information, please contact The Rocky River Assistance Program, P.O. Box 16724, Rocky River, OH 44116. Voice mail is available at 216-556-5887. Visit the web site at

Beth Van Horn

Beth Van Horn is a freelance marketing and communications manager and writer. She resides in Rocky River.

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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 4:35 PM, 11.30.2013