Make a difference: FLOC needs games, toys for children this holiday season

FLOC’s “Christmas for Kids” provides toys and games to needy children over the holidays. CONTRIBUTED
FLOC’s “Christmas for Kids” provides toys and games to needy children over the holidays. CONTRIBUTED

We recently let you know about the important project FLOC (For Love of Children) has been doing in conjunction with the Dayton Mall.

This week our focus is FLOC’s “Christmas for Kids,” which provides toys to needy children over the holidays.

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FLOC was started in the early 1980s when five caseworkers at Montgomery County Children Services realized the children they served would not celebrate the holidays without their help. The group went to a local hardware store and fashioned a long pole complete with a red velvet pouch filled with gifts for their children. That year, they went from home-to-home providing Christmas joy for 35 kids in their care.

Over the years, FLOC has expanded its population to children in the community, as well as all the children represented by Children Services. “The population we typically serve are the students at Emerson Academy, a few specific grades at DECA, and those students at City Day School, and the children with Montgomery County Children Services,” explains founder and board president Beth Mann. “This means our Toy Cottage is filled with volunteers — typically 50 at a time — with twinkly lights and happy faces of those adults picking up toys for their children.”

To contribute new toys to “For Love of Children,” look for white boxes with this logo. SUBMITTED PHOTO
To contribute new toys to “For Love of Children,” look for white boxes with this logo. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The nonprofit organization now serves more than 6,000 children in southern Ohio who are neglected, abused, in foster care, or who are in need of community resources. “We are 100 percent volunteer-oriented with no paid staff; any and all monies coming to us go directly to the dear children we are lucky enough to serve,” says Mann.

Due to COVID-19, she says, the organization is unable to serve the larger population this year and will be working with Montgomery County Children Services. “Our volunteers will be very careful in social distancing, and we will be distributing these much needed bundles of toy joy to the Haines building, where caseworkers will be sure to get them to each family served,” says Mann. “We need help in providing toys!”

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Sue Spiegel, FLOC organizational manager, says if she had to narrow the choice down to the most important section of the Toy Cottage, she’d request a donation of games. “We are delighted to include a game for every family,” she says. “And the best part about games is that they never go out of style.”

Here are some of the best games to donate:

  • Monopoly Junior
  • Scrabble
  • Simon
  • Operation
  • Candy Land
  • Chutes & Ladders
  • Life
  • Connect 4
  • Sorry
  • Family Feud
  • Apples to Apples
  • Twister
  • Clue

Other needed items:

  • Mittens
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • New stuffed animals with tag attached
  • New children’s books

Monetary donations are also appreciated and can be sent to FLOC, 131 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402

There are FLOC donation boxes at both entrances of the Talbott Tower, 118 W. First St. and 138 N. Ludlow St. in downtown Dayton. Drop-off times are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and by appointment only on Sunday.

Should any group conduct a “Game Drive” and would like to donate a large quantity of games, they can contact Sue Spiegel at Sassyspiegel@gmail.com or (937) 776-9592.

Other ways to help:

The organization’s biggest fundraiser is an annual gala, usually hosted at Doug and Beth Mann’s home. This year, due to COVID-19, the group is hosting a live auction on its website. Those interested can go to the group’s Facebook page.

More information about the organization, as well as the live auction, can be found at flocdayton.org, or you can email info@flocdayton.org.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations in our area and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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