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.