KIND needs items for inner-city kids

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Since 1987, Kids in New Directions (KIND) has been serving inner-city youth free of charge.

“These students come day after day back to KIND knowing that they are cared for and loved. We try to promote an atmosphere of kindness and respect for others,” says the organization’s director Laura Helsby.” We have seen what a difference it can make in a child’s life to have consistent teachers, meals, services, homework help, and volunteers.”

Helsby says the group builds a foundation in Christianity through education and life experiences that encourage the young people to change the world for good. “KIND feeds the mind, body and soul, guiding young people through the love of God, academics, life skills, health and exercise,” says Helsby.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Here’s how it works: The organization offers an afterschool program from September to May and a summer program from June to August, both four days per week. Transportation is provided to and from the program. Students are divided into age groups and attend classes that focus on the Bible, reading, STEM, math, science, and social-emotional learning. Students learn to use technology and also receive homework help from volunteers. Classes are taught by degreed teachers and the student to teacher ratio is approximately 10:1, allowing for high-quality, individualized support.

“Every time a student comes to KIND, they receive a healthy snack and a hot, nutritious meal.,” explains Helsby. “Each week, we try to deliver a box of non-perishable food to the families of KIND. Students begin each day with 30 minutes of recess and teachers build active movement into many of their class lessons, utilizing our outdoor classroom. We prioritize nature-based activities such as hiking and gardening.

As needed, KIND connects families to community resources and also helps students enroll in extracurricular activities like soccer, gymnastics, and art – making the referral, paying registration fees, and helping with the initial transportation.

Partners in the project include Dayton Public Schools, the Summer & Afterschool Collaborative, Memorial United Church, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Foodbank Dayton, Let’s Feed Miami Valley, Picnk, Day Yoga Studio, Funk Lab Dance, the Life Enrichment Center, Dayton Metro Library, the Dayton Masonic Lodge #147, Athletes in Action, Shoes for the Shoeless, and more.

Here’s what they need:

For safety:

  • Antimicrobial hand soap
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Plastic cups

Students are awarded KIND Ca$h to recognize great attendance, behavior, and performance. That currency can be exchanged for prizes from the KIND Store! “So, donations of the following can help us restock our supplies and motivate the children to earn KIND Ca$h,” says Helsby.

  • Popits
  • Takis
  • Hot Wheels cars
  • LOL Surprise! Dolls
  • Puffer/Koosh Balls
  • Art supplies
  • For more suggestions, check out:

KIND is located at 2338 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton. Items can be dropped off from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions, contact 937-938-1991. Pick-up can sometimes be arranged. The organization’s website also has links to donate through PayPal or Amazon.

Other Ways to Help:

The organization is always in need of volunteers, both during the school year and during the summer. Volunteers do everything from providing homework help or individual tutoring in reading, writing or math to leading Bible lessons or helping with art projects and games. They also help serve dinner and arrange special activities. They serve as guest instructors for special events. During the summer, volunteers are needed to help monitor recess, join kids’ games, serve meals or serve as field trip chaperones.


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.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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