Buy candy, not drugs: How a motivated group of kids are spending their summer

Local News

A West Dayton family is trying to convince their neighborhood to stop buying drugs and instead buy some candy. 

The candy stand is typically located on the corner of Salem and Harvard. 

Their sign reads, “Save the community. Buy candy, not Drugs!”

The kids who range from age 9-16 started raising money for school supplies, but it quickly became more about an ambitious summer routine and finding ways to motivate the community. 

“Save the community! Buy candy not drugs. We are also having a program..929-430 KIDS. If kids are out there and they need anything like school supplies, toys or food. Anything. It means we will be there,” said Elijah Essick.

Young entrepreneurs turned community activists. 

Their mother, Ayisha Essick says her kids ambition will soon turn into a non-profit. 

“To see the fire inside of them, being so proud to see how much they have made. Being so proud of being able to get up in the morning. I don’t have to push them,” said Ayisha Essick. 

Henry Essick says summer should be about growing life skills. He thinks his kids are doing just that.

“If you look at this and don’t see something positive, by all means we will shut it down,” said Henry Essick. 

The kids have been sending their message and collecting money for several weeks. The phone number  (929-430-KIDS) to help kids in Dayton is now active. 

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