MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Help make the holidays merry for needy children

For Love of Children, best known as FLOC, has been a wonderful blessing to children in our area who are neglected, abused, in foster care or in need of our community’s support.

The all-volunteer nonprofit organization has served more than 35,000 children since its inception and brightens the lives of 8,000 children in the Miami Valley year-round. The organization’s largest undertaking is Christmas for Kids, which this year will provide gifts for more than 2,400 young people between the ages of newborn and 18.

“This program was initiated in the early 1980s by very compassionate, generous caseworkers who were concerned the kids in their care wouldn’t get Christmas joy without their help,” says Beth Mann, founder and president of the FLOC board. “They went out and served the 35 children they worked with by bringing gifts to their doors personally.”

Mann says this year the families who have registered for the holiday distribution will receive a new stuffed animal, a full stocking, a game for the family, a new winter coat, hat and gloves and a minimum of two new gifts. The project for this holiday season is now at capacity and no new requests are being accepted.

“Santa Sue (Spiegel) works with a team of ‘elves’ that individually assemble each and every magical bag of joy,” Mann explains. “Our gifts go to a number of agencies in our area who sponsor children who are in great need of Christmas, most especially Montgomery County Children Services.”

The FLOC offices have recently moved from the first floor at Talbott Tower to the fifth. The Toy Cottage takes over most of the second floor. “We now also have a formalwear boutique filled with 1,200 brand new gowns, jewelry, shoes and purses for teens going to the prom or homecoming,” adds Mann. “It is our gift to young people and we always need donations, especially for young men.”

Mann has received many photographs that capture the moment a child opens a gift, unexpected on a day that was not to be celebrated. “That sudden look of wonder, of happiness, of hope, that is the message I see in our Christmas For Kids Program,” she says. " You are cared for, you are special.”

Note: Items must be new and unwrapped. The community is asked not to donate toy weapons.

Here’s what they can use:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Paints & Coloring Sets
  • Dolls & Doll Sets (Mixed races)
  • Jewelry items
  • Games
  • Perfume & Cologne sets
  • Audio, Boombox, Karaoke & Music Sets, Headsets
  • Super Hero Toys
  • Remote Cars & Trucks
  • Drones
  • Sporting Goods
  • Electronic Games
  • Oversized Stuffed Animals
  • Scooters, Skateboards & Rollerblades
  • Learning Pads
  • Science & Discovery
  • Guitars & Keyboards
  • Bath, Beauty & Makeup
  • Blowdryers, & Curling Rod
  • Playdoh
  • Clay & Slime sets
  • Anything that features the latest movie icons such as Barbie, Frozen, Disney, Dora, Batman, Nemo, Mickey, Minnie.
  • Gift cards for Walmart, Target, Kohl’s

Your donations can be dropped off at Talbott Tower, 131 N. Main St., second floor, in downtown Dayton. You also can give your items to the reception desk in the building.

You can also donate to the Christmas for Kids program through the website. You’ll find a specific wish list of needed items as well as a way to donate cash through PayPal.

Other ways to help:

Check out the website and you’ll learn about the 16 FLOC programs that serve our community year-round.


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

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

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