Make a difference: How you can help local families in need

Food and other items can be dropped off at donation bins outside Dayton Mall



We check in periodically with FLOC (For Love of Children), the organization that traditionally collects holiday gifts for the needy.

“Right now, we are focusing on feeding families that are without, and providing resources where there is little,” says the group’s founder and guiding light Beth Mann. “We are partnering with the Dayton Mall in order to distribute much needed items to families in need. With winter coming, and resources dwindling, it is very timely to put this message out in our community.”

According to the mall’s marketing director Karen Kelly Brown, who oversees the project, the Dayton Mall Non-Profit Co-Op is set up like a store, only it’s not open to the general public. It currently serves 12 nonprofit organizations with the list continuing to grow. Those nonprofits that have registered with the co-op make appointments, and can come anytime the mall is open to gather items for those they serve.

Items stored inside the Dayton Mall Non-Profit Co-Op include non-perishable food, paper products, cleaning supplies, personal items, school supplies, pet food, baby supplies and toys and games.

Food cannot be outdated, clothing and perishable foods are not accepted, and all items — such as books and games — must be new.

Here is a short list of needed items:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Canned veggies
  • Canned fruit
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Pancake mix and syrup
  • Canned ravioli and spaghetti
  • Canned chili
  • Mac and cheese
  • Snack items such as chips, crackers and cookies, raisins, fruit snacks
  • Pudding and Jell-O cups
  • Cold cereal and oatmeal
  • Canned protein such as tuna, chicken and beef
  • Juice, canned milk, bottled water
  • Baby items (formula, diapers, wipes)
  • School supplies
  • Personal items (shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, deodorant)
  • Paper supplies (toilet paper, paper plates, paper towels)
  • Books and games

You’ll find donation bins outside the mall every day near the Chick-Fil-A entrance by DSW. Brown says volunteers are instrumental in maintaining the store, as they help sort and stock all of the donations.

If you’d like more information on this project or are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Brown at

Could your nonprofit use these items?

A Make a Difference reader writes to say she has several prayer shawls and lap robes and is wondering if there is a nonprofit organization in our community that might use them. If so, please let me know at


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:

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

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