The Week of Hope begins this Friday and a variety of inspiring events are scheduled for locations across the county.

State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, coordinated the Aim Higher Committee as a way to celebrate the positive aspects of the county.

The event was born in 2017 out of a desire to come together as a community after the murder of Kara Zdanczewski, 13, of Ashtabula.

“Out of the tragedy has come a week that reflects our collective best interests,” Patterson said. “As such we celebrate various activities that seek to raise the aspirations of us all.”

The event kicks off Friday at 9 a.m. with Feed the Hope at the Ashtabula Town Square Mall.

Barb Klingensmith, executive director of Country Neighbor, said this year 200,000 meals will be packaged and distributed to 15 local food pantries through the assistance of hundreds of volunteers.

Last year 60,000 meals were made which provided meals to those in need for about six weeks, she said.

This year 100,000 macaroni and cheese meals will be provided to the food pantries and 100,000 cinnamon apple oatmeals, Klingensmith said.

“We have well over 500 volunteers plus an additional 125 students coming,” Klingensmith said.

The public is urged to attend Week of Hope events.

People are also being asked to share a positive experience using the hashtag #WeAreAshCo on social media.

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