Thursday, December 9, 2010

Again, C-J students show the spirit of the season

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men . . .

Maybe more than any other time of year, the Christmas Season is a time for family and friends; of drawing closer together and sharing love and good times together. But not everyone is able to enjoy those things that many of us take for granted. There are so many adults and children who, living in nursing homes, hospitals or retirement communities watch from a distance while others trade gifts and hugs and laughter. All the time, they can only remember times when they, too, were part of those things.

A couple of weeks ago, the first group of Chaminade-Julienne Honor students came in to help us put together gift boxes for our family Christmas Party that takes place this Saturday. This past weekend, the second wave visited us to wrap the gifts and to make cheerful holiday cards that we will take out to shut-ins at local nursing homes, hospitals and retirement communities.

The young people threw themselves into their work with fervor – and as much good cheer as we’ve seen here in quite a while. There was laughter and good-natured joking, but most of all, you could hear statements about how they felt about what they were doing. They all felt that the simple act of folding a piece of paper, sketching out a little picture and writing a few words on it could bring a little light, a little happiness into lives that otherwise are empty.

The group last year made cards as well, but they were intended only for the gift boxes for our families. After we had wrapped the last gift, we found that we had quite a few cards left over, many of them very artistic and creative. It seemed a shame to just throw out the hard work of these young people, so we came up with the idea of visiting nursing homes and asking to visit those who normally did not get many visitors. During our visit, we would mention to the person that the card we were giving them came from a high school student at C-J. Without exception, this fact brought a smile to the faces of the people we were so privileged to meet.

So, this year, we decided to make it part of the overall project, and it appears that the students enjoyed it just as much as we do.

Perhaps the truest mark of the character of these students is that, on both weekends, when it came time to leave, they thanked us for letting them come in and spend their Saturday morning here, instead of sleeping or hanging out with their friends.

It’s the time of year for blessings to be counted. This year, because of these students, we’ll be able to add many more to our list.

Thanks, C-J! You are the best!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One more reason to be thankful this year

Every once in a while, something happens that gives a renewal of belief.

Anyone who works in the non-profit, charitable sector understands that there are many hurdles and many disappointments to be dealt with and sometimes it can get pretty discouraging. When it comes to asking people to volunteer their time and talents, it can be particularly challenging. After all, everyone is so busy these days and with money as tight as it is with most people, we’re all working harder than we really want to, anyway.

Then, consider teenagers.

Any parent knows how hard it is to get a teen to do anything around the house and pitch in to get things done.

So, when 19 teenagers get up early enough to get to DXC by 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to spend half a day doing good work for people they have never met, it’s really something very special.

That’s what happened last Saturday (Nov. 20) when the Honor Society students from Chaminade-Julienne donated their time and work to help us prepare the gift boxes that go out to our families at Christmas.

Each year, we put together gift boxes from donated articles so that our families are sure to have something for the holiday. Each box, given to the kids by Santa, who makes a special visit just for them, contains clothing, a toy or game or two, and, for the older kids, school supplies. Parents get gift bags with household items and some little luxuries thrown as much as we can. All of these items come from our generous donors from all over the country, and we are always very grateful for that generosity. And, even though the economic climate has, as with everywhere, resulted in fewer donations coming in this year, the C-J students did their best to make sure every child will have a good Christmas.

While some of the students put together the boxes – sorting through our cramped Christmas Room where we keep the clothing items, picking out just the right items for kids (“OH! Look at this! Isn’t it cute!”?) and getting them all to fit into a box – others put their creative talents to good use in making beautiful personalized Christmas cards to go in each box. About midway through the day, they two groups switched jobs so that everyone had a hand in the whole process.

Throughout the day, every single one of them was polite and they never stopped working, showing a maturity that really was admirable in people so young.

And, when the day was over, each and every one of them thanked us for letting them come and volunteer!

If that’s not enough to give you the Holiday Spirit, there’s more: we will be blessed again on Dec. 5 when a second group of C-J Honor Students come in to wrap the gifts and help us get them ready for the party on Dec. 11.

Sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner this week, one of the blessings we can be thankful for are these wonderful young people who make it all worth it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Where would we be without you?

Once again we have the happy task of reporting on some pretty great people who spent their free time here at DXC helping us help others. This time, the good news is doubled, though, since we had two groups in over two consecutive days.

Last Friday (October 22), we had three wonderful ladies from GE Capital come in to spend time with our students during the United Way’s Stay and Play Day. Diana Ayala-Thornhill, Stephanie Henderson, and Deannia Northcutt came in on their own time to spend a morning in our classrooms. The played with the students, helped the teachers and took part if crafts and games, all to the excitement of the kids and staff, alike.

The Stay and Play Day is a project of the Join Hands Miami Valley program at United Way. Volunteers come into child care sites, such as DXC, and take part in the classroom activities.

(For more information on the Join Hands Miami Valley program, go to -- it’s a great way to get involved!)

The next day, eight students from the University of Dayton’s Center for Social Concern gave up their Saturday to come here and get dirty. These young people were among the hardest working and most cheerful volunteers we have had and pitched right in with even the toughest job. They sorted and put away donations, organized the Christmas, Supply, and Resource rooms, cleared everything out of the storage shed and put it back so we can actually move around in there now, gave the front doors a new coat of paint, along with repainting a wall in the Sesame Street Room, and even wiped down Mr. Thompson’s classroom chairs and tables. Dan Juozitis, Anna Kornowski, Kathe Saffire, Kelly Hanlon, Kathie Ma, Tom Marx, Brendan Lacey, and Michael McNamara prove that young people today are, indeed, involved and anxious to put their efforts to work making a better world.

In these times of hard economy, volunteering is more difficult for people who want to give their time to worthy causes. Many people have had to take second, and even third, jobs. Even those who have one job are working harder and are trying to stretch their paychecks farther than every before. That makes it harder to find time – and money – to drive back and forth to a site, and to find the energy to put into a volunteer activity.

At the same time, and for the same reason, having volunteers is not just important for non-profit organizations, it’s crucial. There’s not so much money available for NPOs now, no matter what the source, and things that normally might have had purchased services now rely on dedicated volunteers for completion. Things like janitorial jobs, filing, ground keeping, and a whole lot more, don’t stop needing attention because of a recession.

That’s why, when we have caring, concerned people who take time out of their weeks and spend their leisure time helping us out, we really want to make sure they know how much we appreciate it.

Saying “Thanks” is a simple thing to do, but meaning it – really meaning it – can make it more valuable. We wish we could give every one of our volunteers and donors wonderful gifts, but, in lieu of that, we want you all to know we are very grateful for everything you do.

And, yes, we really mean it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where have all the flowers gone?

It was a little late in the year, but we decided to go ahead and make use of the $200 grant from Montgomery County to improve the looks of our offices on Riverview Ave. Betsy had worked very hard to get that grant for us before she left, and we all felt that we could all do with a few flowers around the place. So Phil took the paperwork over to the North Dayton Garden Center where the people there enthusiastically helped him pick out just the right varieties to give our home a cheery, comfortable look. North Dayton Garden Center, located on Brandt Pike here in Dayton, by the way, is a family owned business and has been for 47 years. Anyway, Phil pulled into the driveway with the van loaded with plants. There were something like 60 pansies and 20 sedum plants and two mums. The dads stayed at the Garden center

The next day, Phil set to work preparing the area we had set aside for the garden. This involved stripping the grass from part of the area and then loosening the soil so it could be worked. He was sweaty and smelly afterward and no one really wanted to be around him for very long.

It took a couple more days before the weather allowed him to actually begin the actual planting, and, once started, it took almost a full day. This time Phil turned out sweaty, smelly and dirty and no one wanted to be around him then, either.

Everything was coming up roses – or rather, pansies – when disaster struck!

In all of the 89 years DXC has been a part of the Dayton Community, never was such a heinous crime committed! Over night – over night, mind you – DXC was viciously vandalized!

While we can’t be entirely sure, we strongly suspect the notorious and dreaded Varmint Gang – led by their ruthless Boss, Stoney “Smokes” Raccoon. An image captured on our closed circuit security camera (see below) would seem to back that up, although the faces are hidden. But it appears that not only Smokes, but his lieutenant, Bunny Hopp, and gang enforcer “Big Harry” Deal were the culprits.

This group of career criminals – well known for their sneak attacks on defenseless vegetation – swooped down on the freshly planted

As you can see, nearly every single blossom in the garden was cruelly ripped off and . . . well, heaven knows what horrible thing befell them.

All that was left were the eight plants that decorate our sign out front and the sedum. The Police suppose the street light out front deterred the vandals from completing their nefarious deed.

The police, of course, interviewed the gang member – shown below – and, as expected, they denied all knowledge of the crime.

“Youse ain’t got nuttin’ on me, coppers,” Raccoon said between puffs.

Hopp chimed in as well:

“Dis is a bum rap. I don’t even like no pansies!”

Deals refused to say anything without his lawyer being present.

We have uncovered mug shots of the gang (below) and if you see them in your neighborhood, please shoo them away immediately.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We say goodbye to some old friends and hello to some new ones

It’s been a while since we posted anything here and, first of all, we’re sorry. There have been a few changes and we’ve been doing some reorganizing.

First of all, Betsy, our Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, has moved on to a new position with Hospice of Dayton where she’s very involved in working with the volunteers there and, from what we hear, doing a great job of it.

Drew, who was instrumental in forging new partnerships and connections with other groups, has also moved on. Drew is working with CityFolk through his association with the Fitz Center for Leadership in the Community and did great work on this year’s CityFolk Festival.

While we were sorry to say farewell to these family members, we’re happy to see them moving up and still doing great work.

At present, Sarah has been working with volunteers while Phil has been learning program management. He’s been given the responsibility of managing our new project associated with the GetUP Montgomery County program. Part of that county program is the 5-2-1-N/A health and fitness program. It promotes eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, getting less than two hours of inactive leisure time and one hour of physical activity every day, and cutting down to no, or almost no sugary drinks such as soda pop and drink mixes.

We’ve integrated the idea into every meal we serve here at DXC and are encouraging our staff and families to do the same at home. As part of this, Phil has developed a weekly newsletter that gives tips on how to make exercise fun and easy and how to eat well without spending a lot of money. There’s also a kids page that makes learning healthy habits fun. Phil is currently in the process of learning how to convert the newsletter into an email edition so we can get it out to more people. Anyone who would like to subscribe to it can get in touch with him at He’d be more than glad to put you on the list.

As we say goodbye to some of our family, we say hello to new member. Floyd Thompson comes to us with more than 15 years experience in education. He’s worked as a teacher in the Head Start Program, life skills, high school, adult education and Business College. He’s also had supervisory experience as a Head Start Administrator, and as a 504 Coordinator.

Floyd is the father of two children; Jamie and Antwan and attended both Wilberforce University and Wright State, majoring in Communications and Psychology. He is the proud recipient of the AmeriCorps National Service Award and we are very glad to have him join our family.

Floyd’s arrival is in conjunction with some other changes in the In God’s Hands Child Care. Our Ms. Goines has moved to working with preschool children along with Ms. D and

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SWAT Team descends on DXC!

A SWAT team descended on DXC a couple of weeks ago, but it had nothing to do with a hostage situation or police.

Nearly 50 young volunteers from the American Baptist Women Ministry’s National conference in Columbus came to DXC to spend a Day of Service with us.

The conference’s slogan this year was “Strong Women Acting Together” or SWAT, for short, and except for the lack of weapons and the emergency circumstances, they certainly seemed to have the organization and dedication of their more militant counterparts.

The young women ranged in ages from early to mid-teens and were accompanied by their adult supervisors. They came from all over the country and there were even two sisters from Puerto Rico who spoke little or no English.

Having to abide by State Law, we divided them into two groups; one group, of girls 15 and older, stayed here at the main building and worked in the classrooms with the children and teachers under the coordination of Cardella. The other group went with me to the East Fifth Street site to volunteer their efforts on the Feed Dayton Urban Farm project we’re partnered with.

The group that stayed here at the main office, played and talked with the children here, helped teachers with their lessons, and gave the kids some much needed one-on-one mentoring. Some others helped out by cleaning and painting where needed, and making the place more presentable.

Everyone enjoyed doing craft projects and reading to the kids – and the kids loved it too. The learning was a two-way thing, though, because all the young girls in the group said they had enjoyed learning about our kids and what goes on in the classrooms.

At first, the smell of the compost and the thought of working in the dirt over on Fifth Street was not very appealing to the girls, but, as they listened to Ken Carman, Director of Feed Dayton and one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable people I know on urban farming, you could see them getting more excited about it. Soon, we had small groups of young women harvesting kale and banana peppers for the local food pantry, others kneeling in the rows pulling weeds, and still others filling buckets with compost and carrying them to their friends to be spread on the crops.

It was not a cool day and was overcast – rain eventually did cause us to cut the project short by just a few minutes – so there was a certain quantity of perspiration involved. Still, they never complained. She pitched in and did whatever was asked of them. Every once in a while, you’d here someone playing off their slogan, saying “Strong Women Digging in Dirt!” or “Strong Women Spreading Rotting Leaves!” The longer we went, the more creative and funny the slogans became.

We came back to the Main Office for lunch and then the young ladies helped out around here for a couple of hours before boarding the charter bus to return to Columbus. There were a few good natured comments about it being an “interesting” ride home as far as the aroma in the bus, and a contest to see who could be the first to call for a shower when they got back.

But in looking at the comment surveys after they had gone, it was very interesting to read that, almost universally, there was one complaint: “I wish we’d had more time so I could have done more.”

Maybe there is some hope for the next generation, after all.

Thanks, ladies – everything you did is greatly and truly appreciated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We're getting noticed in high places!

We've had a few very busy days in the past week, and that's good.

The DXC/Feed Dayton Urban Farming Initiative has really taken off and we're attracting a lot of attention in high places with it.

Last Thursday, Ohio State Representative Peggy Lehner (R-37th District) paid us a visit and spent about two hours talking with us and Ken Carman, the director of Feed Dayton. And Treva Jenkins, Outreach Director for them.

Then, on Friday, Gary Abernathy, the District Representative for U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-Oh) came to town to see us.

Finally, but certainly not least, Dayton City Commissioner Nan Whaley (D) stopped by to see what's going on.

In the mix were reporters from the Dayton Daily News and WDTN – Channel 2 News.

Ken is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about developing urban farms to feed the hungry and homeless that it it's hard not to get excited about it just talking to him. All of our visitors – reporters included – left firm believers in our project and they all openly asked what they could do to advance the cause.

What Feed Dayton and DXC are trying to do goes beyond just feeding those here in Dayton who are in need. Make no mistake, that alone would be enough to demand respect. But we see much greater things in store.

For one thing, Feed Dayton and we want to make it easy for people at all levels to grow at least some of their own food. Study after study show that we can save money by having food grown nearby, but also that, the fresher the food, the more nutritious it is. Couple that with making a city like Dayton more self-sufficient and you have a win-win-win situation for everyone!

But wait! There's More!

The program itself is self-sufficient. Ken has been so resourceful that its now producing food and has cost him less than $20.

That's right – less than $20.

How he's done it is to use the resources around the city that are normally discarded or wasted; things like getting neighborhood residents to “donate” their fallen leaves and grass clippings; arranging with local tree trimmers to bring their wood chips to the farm and dump them for free, rather than playing to do it at a landfill; and bringing in manure from the county fairgrounds to use in his compost, saving the county some money by not having it hauled away commercially.

Using donated rain barrels, he catches the castoff water from the roof of our building for watering purposes rather than using city water.

When harvest times comes, he'll be in touch with neighborhood residents who will come over to help out in exchange for keeping 20% of everything they harvest.
So, who wouldn't get excited about a program like this?

All of this, we think, is a great model to use for other communities to do the same thing, so Ken and we spent a lot of time talking to both Rep. Lehner and Mr. Abernathy about how we can “export” the model to do good things in more places. Ohio needs to lead the way in innovation and forward thinking and this is a great place to start, both our guests agreed.

Who knows? It may just be that cities all over the country might one day be doing what we're doing here – all because we believed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Come Out and Celebrate Spring with Us!

Spring has finally come, it seems, and we're all just as happy here as everyone else. In fact, we wanted to celebrate the early days of Spring with a our friends and friends-to-be, so we came up with a day set aside just for that. We're calling it Family Fun Day and we see it as a chance for people to get out and enjoy a (hopefully) warm Spring day and also have a chance to learn a few things about health, safety, and wellness.

In fact, it has taken off and flown much higher than we expected. Last week, United Health Solutions (who oversees the AmeriCorps program here in Dayton) contacted us and asked to make Family Fun Day its official AmeriCorps Week project! Of course, we agreed right away and as a result, we're getting a lot of very good people attending to help us out.

Even before AmeriCorps came on board, we had some pretty good partners in this: The Dayton Fire Department is going to have a truck and some firefighters there to let the kids get a look at what being a firefighter is all about, and to give tips on how to make y9our home safer from fire.

Also, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is going to have child ID kits and other information, plus McGruff the Crime Dog is going to be wandering about having fun with the kids.

The American Red Cross of Dayton, Dayton Children's Medical Center, the Children's Hunger Alliance, and United Way and the Power Mobile are all going to be in there too.

But don't get the idea that it's going to be all business! We've got some great games and activities planned and giveaways too!

There's going to be a balloon toss and balloon stomp , face painting, and a ducky pool – see a theme developing here (wear clothes you don't mind getting wet!)?

Free bike helmets are going to be given away for kids 12 and under on a first-come-first-served basis, and there's more: King's Island has given us two free tickets to give away; Cassano's has coupons for free pizza, and Subway sandwiches has coupons for free subs. Plus, the Dayton Dragons is giving us gift bags with free Dragons hats and shirts, and a few free tickets to see a game!

All of this is going to take place at the Dayton Leadership Academy, 1416 W. Riverview Ave in Dayton and we really want to thank them for offering their facilities so we can hold the Fun Day rain or shine.

So come on out and share a day with us. It's going to run from 10 a.m. To 5 p.m. And it's going to be a whole lot of fun!

See you there.

Friday, April 16, 2010

DXC hopes to expand Childcare Feeding programs and Martin’s Meal partnership with Benefit

The Dayton Christian Center (DXC) has a long history of being there for people in need. For 88 years, it has provided faith-based assistance to anyone who seeks help.

DXC operates a state-licensed Childcare program for 36 families in the Dayton area. As part of that program, the center offers three nutritionally balanced meals five days per week.

In addition, DXC hosts a community meal along with one of the Center’s partners, Martin’s Meal. Two–to-three times each month, some 40-50 Dayton residents have a complete, hot meal they might not have otherwise. The meal is prepared and served by volunteers from seven area Catholic parishes on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of each month (with an altered summer schedule).

“We’ve been doing this for six years now and it’s been a great partnership,” according to Tasha Johnson, Childcare Director/Administrator at DXC. “But there’s a real need to do more, especially in the hard times we’re in now. That’s why we want to completely renovate the kitchen at our site on Riverview Ave; so we can serve more people.”

To give others the opportunity to help complete that task, DXC and Martin’s Meal are holding a fundraising Benefit Evening.

“We’re asking people to come to enjoy some good food, excellent entertainment and good company and help us feed even more people,” Johnson said.

The renovation project was begun in the fall of 2009 and got a boost from Good Samaritan Hospital. The facility rebuilt its kitchen and offered to donate the older equipment to DXC to aid in the project.

“It was one of those situations where we had a need and, through word of mouth, it was filled, and, honestly, we’re just as thrilled as we can be over it,” Johnson said.

But, while the center has raised a large amount of what is needed through donations and in-kind gifts but there is still a bit more needed before renovation can begin.

“We’re so very close to reaching our goal,” Johnson said. “We need just a little more. The whole renovation project is going to total $50,000, but we’ve already raised $30,000 of that and now we just need to take it the rest of the way. “

That’s what the Benefit Evening is all about, she said.

The event will be held April 24 at the Dayton Engineer’s Club, 110 East Monument Avenue, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Ticket holders will be treated to hors d’oeuvres and “opulent mini” deserts prepared by Chef Lora, a local caterer. There will be a cash bar and entertainment will be provided by Broadway actress Tory Ross accompanied by local pianist Paul Kwak. Ross, an alumnus of The Muse machine, recently appeared on Broadway in Cry Baby as well as an earlier performance as the misfit showgirl in the film version of The Producers before returning to London, England where she appeared in the musical Silence. Kwak, a native of Kettering, is currently an M.M. candidate in collaborative piano at the Juilliard School. And will begin medical school at Case Western Reserve University in the fall where he plans to specialize in otolaryngology in order to combine his fascination with the voice, singing, and music with his desire to become a physician. Both Ross and Kwak are graduates of the Miami Valley School. David Claybrooks will emcee the event.

Tickets for the Benefit Evening are $75 each with $50 being tax deductible. Tickets are going quick so reserve yours today!

For more information on this project or to make your reservation, contact The Dayton Christian Center at 937-275-7174.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Planting Season: Put those volunteers to work!

Our volunteers this past Tuesday knew what they were doing! So we let them do what they know best...urban farming. And what a wonderful job they did! 5 volunteers from Eaton First Church of God came out to help with the ESP Urban Farm. They picked up stones, planted onions, and put mulch, leaves and wood chips down among other things! They worked for about 2.5 hours at the farm and worked hard every minute of that time. With their help, we can plant soon and work on other needs at ESP. We hope they enjoyed their time with us, because we enjoyed having them here!

If you have questions about Feed Dayton, the ESP Urban Farming Initiative or about Dayton Christian Center, please call us at (937) 275-7174. We would love to hear from you!

Another big thanks to the volunteers from Eaton First Church of God! We welcome all of you back anytime!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today's lesson: Teeth

Everyone needs to learn how to clean their teeth properly! And this is just what Katie, our volunteer, did for the pre-school and school-age classrooms. And oh how the kids LOVED it! Having this oral health lesson for our kids fits into our goal of being healthy and staying healthy. And this includes caring for those teeth!

Katie had a display with her as well as examples to show the children how unhealthy food can rot your teeth and how eating apples and drinking milk will make your teeth stronger. Using peanut butter and juice as an example in the pre-school room, she got the children to have fun and learn at the same time. A lot of the school-age children asked questions during their lesson and they learned that sugary beverages are bad for their teeth and that they should brush and floss every day.

Other pictures shown in the slideshow include our office move. A few of the administrative staff moved into new offices in the house next door so we had our wonderful volunteer Seth help us out. Bob hurt himself in the meantime, but he is a tougher man for it! I made sure to bandage him up and put him right back to work!

Thank you all for reading this post and staying dedicated to DXC! We couldn't do all that we do without you and your support! Have a blessed day!

Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What is this so called "urban farming" in Dayton?

Dayton Christian Center is proud to say that we are involved in a huge movement that will change what Dayton knows about farming. Recently, we partnered with Feed Dayton, which is a local urban farming program that is growing fresh produce for members of the community who are struggling during today's difficult times. As a partner, we are providing land for them on E. Fifth Street (5,000 square feet) that will be used as a demonstration and training facility this year and for years to come. Along with this land comes the ESP Building which is not be using currently. Dayton Christian Center hopes to start using this facility in the spring/summer for programming that connects back to the farm and our partnership with GetUp Montgomery County.

Through our partnership with GetUp and Feed Dayton, we are changing the way Dayton Christian Center looks at things. We want to focus on healthy lifestyles and initiatives that will benefit our center and the community. As part of this, 80% of the produce grown from the farm will go to local food banks and pantries. 20% will go directly into the hands of those helping during planting season.

Please look at the "before" and "after" pictures of the ESP building and training facility. Ken Carman, the director of Feed Dayton, has been out working everyday alongside volunteers to get this site ready for planting. By Friday, Ken should have some seeds already planted and possibly some kale from his personal garden brought over.

Thank you to Feed Dayton, GetUp Montgomery County, and all the wonderful volunteers for helping us with this new initiative. The more hands, supplies, and support we have for this, the more we can help those in need. We know we are making a difference and I can't wait to share the produce with those in need and to not only provide meals to those in Dayton, but healthier, nutritious meals.

Be on the lookout for online and print articles about Feed Dayton in your local news sources. Also, check out Feed Dayton's website at and please go on to GetUp Montgomery County's website and see why we took the challenge of 5-2-1 Almost None and why you should take the challenge too! Their website is!

Now get outside, enjoy this beautiful weather and live, breath and eat healthier! Go Dayton!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Busy Bees at DXC

Above are some pictures of recent volunteers and "happenings" at the Dayton Christian Center. These volunteers have truly been lifesavers! Our biggest project right now is on the East Side at the Emergency Services Program Building. This building is governed by the board that governs DXC. Along with Feed Dayton, we are making an urban farm and creating programming to go along with the garden. Please look at the pictures of Drew, our University of Dayton Grad Student and the helpers he brought on to clean up the building and surrounding area! I am going to blog more about this new initiative as we go, so be on the lookout!

We also had a group come on Saturday, March 6th to help with some spring cleaning and organization projects! That day, we had a desk built, classroom toys were sanitized, donations were inventoried and organized, and DXC looked that much brighter at the end of the day! (Some of these pictures have gone MIA, but as soon as I find out where they went, I will post them!) Throughout the past two weeks, we have also had individuals do craft projects in the classrooms, clean the kitchen, and educate our school-age room on theater, science and math.

All of the volunteers were truly a delight to have and we hope they all come back soon. The center has been so crazy the last few months and having the volunteers come here and donate their time and resources has truly been a blessing.

Signing off for now until the next free moment I can blog :)

Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Volunteers Make Us Happy!

There are no words to describe the crazy two months the Dayton Christian Center has had. Changes, transitions, new staff and new volunteers are the reason this is so! Since our partnership with the "Give A Day. Get A Disney Day." program, we have had 25 new volunteers. And this month, we have another 30 volunteers signed up! Our volunteers have done a wonderful job helping in our kitchen and classroom. We also now have two beautiful scrapbooks and two excel referral databases which will help us for years to come. Recently, we have a very gracious volunteer from Kentucky who helped us out. Between her and her family, they worked for 98 hours to make us beautiful quilts to use in our classrooms! Even her granddaughter helped out. We can't say thank you enough for all the hard work our volunteers have done for us at DXC. We hope they all come back to volunteer again.

If you are interested in being a part of this program or are interested in just coming to volunteer with us, please contact Betsy at (937) 275-7174. We have volunteer activities for all ages!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

DXC Welcomes a New Family Member

Since no one who knows Cardella would even briefly
imagine her to be shy, we have to conclude she's
part of the Federal Witness Protection Program.

There’s been a new addition to the DXC family this month. Cardella Scroggins has joined the team as an assistant to Tasha in the Childcare program. Cardella comes to us as an Americorps member and was previously posted to HighRise Services here in Dayton. She’s completing her degree in Early Childhood Education and she has already been busy developing a new integrated curriculum, evaluation policy and working closely with Tasha on several other projects – not to mention cleaning, straightening and organizing everything in sight! In fact, a staff member took a nap at break time only to find herself cleaned, pressed and hanging in the closet. She was rescued by Sarah who was looking for some copier paper.

All kidding aside, we’re really happy to have Cardella working with us. She sets the bar pretty high and keeps us on our toes, which is a good thing, and we’re convinced that she’s going to help us make a positive difference in the lives of our kids.

Cardella brings the Americorps count at DXC to back up to two, with yet another one coming on soon. (We’ll have an announcement on that soon, we hope.) Americorps has let us increase the staff here to levels that have been needed for a long time. With the experience and skills Americorps members provide, we’re able to begin moving forward with some very exciting new plans and programs (again – more coming on these later) and have the impact on our community that we’ve been looking for. Besides Cardella, our media relations are being handled by an Americorps member.

Cardella will be with us at least through September when her Americorps commitment closes out, but we hope she’ll be able to stay on much longer.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Give A Day. Get A Disney Day.

During the last month, we have had a large number of volunteers at the Dayton Christian Center. This, due to our partnership with "Give A Day. Get A Disney Day." This program allows anyone over the age of 6 to give back to their community for one day and in return receive a free ticket to Disney theme parks! This wonderful partnership has gave us the ability to meet so many new people and to learn ways to better our volunteer program. The pictures below are from a few volunteers who have taken advantage of the program during January and the first part of February. We have had volunteers make scrapbooks, create excel documents, do craft projects in our classrooms, clean our kitchen and organize our very messy lounge room. We have many more signed up to volunteer this month and next month as well! We look forward to having them all here!

If you are interested in being a part of this program, please contact Betsy at 937-275-7174 or log onto to learn more. Tickets are going quick, with over 500,000 given away already. This program continues until December 15, 2010 or until all 1 million tickets have been given away.

Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cooking Up Something Good Together

Join us for a morning with registered dietician and nutritionist Alberta Scruggs, DTR. Alberta will be sharing the important life skill of healthy eating through the preparation of nutritious and delicious foods without emptying your wallet. Learn the basics of nutrition, how to make healthy food choices, and how to prepare healthy and tasty meals. Some food will be prepared during our time together for you to try. Saturday, March 6th from 10 am to Noon in the basement of Our Lady of Mercy Church (Founders Hall) at 533 Odlin Ave. Dayton 45405. (From Main St./St. Rt. 48: Turn onto West Siebenthaler. Go one block. Turn left onto Odlin Ave.) Contact Jennifer Melke at 274-2107 ext. 106 or email her here for questions or to RSVP. RSVP is requested (for food purposes) but not required to attend. Please note though, if you do not RSVP, there may not be enough food for you to eat.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DXC Offers Another Reason to Volunteer


DAYTON-- The Dayton Christian Center (DXC) has joined the Disney Parks Give A Day. Get A Disney Day®. volunteer incentive program, according to the organization's Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, Betsy Fox.

The program, Fox said, was developed by Disney Parks to encourage people to volunteer in ways that will benefit their communities and contribute to the quality of living there. It rewards community volunteer service by giving a voucher for one day's free admittance to a Disney theme park. These vouchers are limited to one voucher per person, Fox said.

“It's a way to get families together and to go out into their communities and, in return, get a free ticket to a Disney theme park,” Fox said. “And, if they can’t use it or decide they don’t want to use it, the ticket can be donated.” She said it cannot be transferred to another individual, but there is a list of organizations on the website to which the voucher can be donated.

The program is open to anyone over the age of 18 and to children of volunteers, Fox said, and entire families are encouraged to register. Children between the ages of 6 and 18 are eligible for a park voucher, but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during any volunteer activity.

Registration can be completed by visiting the Disney Parks website and clicking on the “Search and Sign Up” button at the top of the web page. From there, they will be asked to enter their zip code and to choose areas of interest. There is also a box to check for opportunities that include children along with parents.

When a person chooses an opportunity on the Dayton Christian Center’s list, Fox said, an email is sent to her and she must contact that individual within 72 hours. Normally, Fox said, she tries to contact the volunteers by phone, but also makes use of email. A date will be scheduled for the volunteer service. When it is completed, Fox notifies Disney Parks and the voucher is sent to the volunteer. The program will last until December 15, 2010 or until the vouchers are gone. Disney Parks has a goal of getting one million people to volunteer this year.

“The neat thing is that they don't have to wait until they volunteer,” Fox said. “[The ticket] will be reserved as soon as their registration is completed.” She added that the voucher will not be sent out, however, until she verifies that the individuals who registered have actually completed the day's service.

DXC has a number of volunteer opportunities, Fox said, and it is easy to register and volunteer.

Dayton Christian Center operates several daycare rooms at out site at 1352 Riverview Ave, “she said. “As part of that care, we provide each child with three meals every day, so we have opportunities for those who want to help with the children and in the kitchen. They can also work with the kids doing crafts and art projects.”

But, she added, there are many other ways to help out. Fox said that the Center is involved in reorganizing its Administrative Offices at the Riverview location and is in need of help to with some light cleaning, maintenance, and getting the new offices set up, along with doing some office work such as data entry and filing.

But the one of the areas the center needs the most help in is with its VITA program, Fox said.

That program – the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program – offers help to families or individuals in need of tax filing. That program will start up in early February and will continue through the April 15 filing deadline.

“This would be a really good way for someone who knows about filing tax returns to help out in the community and get something in return,” Fox said. “We have quite a few volunteer openings in this area.”

But, she said, the Center is open to anyone who wants to be of service to the community.

Fox said DXC decided to get involved with the Disney program because of its new vision and commitment to the community in new ways.

“[This is a] new year and a new year brings new opportunities to reach out with new programs,” she said. “This is an easy way to reach out to others and let them know we appreciate them for volunteering.”

Additionally, she said that she hopes that people find their own reward in volunteering

“Volunteering is a great thing to do and I'm really glad that Disney came up with a way for people to get something back, but I hope they enjoy their work enough that they will want to come back and continue to volunteer with us,” Fox said.

She said more information on the “Give A Day, Get A Disney Day” program, or to register, people may visit the website at For more information on volunteering with the Dayton Christian Center, she recommended people contact her directly at 937-275-7174 or at

Dayton Christian Center is a faith-based community center founded by the National Ministries American Baptist Churches USA in 1921 and is one of 19 similar centers nationwide with the mission of enriching and empowering lives, one choice at a time. For more information on the Dayton Christian Center and its programs and services, call the Center at 937-275-7174 or at