DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Miami Valley organization–typically focused on helping people with substance abuse and mental health issues–is making sure students are prepared to go back to school.
For more than a decade, the Dayton Fellowship Club, a non-profit helping recovering addicts, has been helping send students back to class.
On Friday, August 13 from 1-5 p.m. the Dayton Fellowship Club will hold a free community picnic and school supply giveaway at McIntosh Park. It’s the 14th year for the event and is even more critical with more schools going back in-person.
“Due to the pandemic, families were at home and out of work, so we want to make sure that all of the kids are supplied with items that they need for their school,” says Shirley Quinn, the Community Action Board Member for the Dayton Fellowship Club.
“It let’s them see that the community is here for them even in these times with COVID,” says Alan Walder, Founding Member and Community Outreach for the Dayton Fellowship Club.
Sponsors and community members donated the supplies.
“It’s such a rewarding feeling and it’s gratifying just to see the expression on their faces,” smiles Quinn. “I do a lot of service work and a lot of volunteer work in the community so that’s my passion is being of service to God and others and I’ve been doing it for years. It’s something I enjoy doing– helping others.”
The free giveaway isn’t just about the supplies.
“There will be a COVID-19 van out there if anybody wants to get vaccinated. Voter registration, not partisan if you want to register to vote. The sheriff, Dayton police will be out there giving away stuff, so we can have better relationships with law enforcement,” lists Walder.
Even more than that, they’re hoping this will serve as a lesson before students even set foot in the classroom.
“We got to teach them not by what we say but by our actions,” says Walder. “Hopefully when they grow up they will give the spirit of service to others.”