MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Local nonprofit Njoy! Njoy! needs donations, hosting a fish fry today

Freida Oriakhi, founder of Njoy! Njoy! Is pictured at the groundbreaking for Angels @ Work Resource. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

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Freida Oriakhi, founder of Njoy! Njoy! Is pictured at the groundbreaking for Angels @ Work Resource. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

Njoy! Njoy! is the West Dayton organization that for the past 10 years has been providing warm, healthy meals to residents in the neighborhood as well as anyone else who is needy and would like to come. The nonprofit is a member of the Dayton Foodbank.

Over the years, the free lunch was prepared and served every Wednesday by a group of committed volunteers. The mealtime has also offered an opportunity for visitors to talk to volunteers regarding a variety of personal issues. The lunch program has grown from serving 60 lunches to more than 100. Because of COVID, the meals are served on a carry-out basis the third Thursday of every month and free groceries are given out on the fourth Thursday of every month.

Directing the group is founder Freida Oriakhi, a retired Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employee who, along with her mother came up with the idea for Njoy! Njoy! Their dream was to eventually build a community center which could offer a wide variety of much-needed services.

“Njoy! Njoy! was started to feed the vulnerable and struggling members of my immediate community,” explains Oriakhi. “Our feeding program has surpassed our wildest expectations. However, as it progressed to fill the void of reaching out to the homeless/hungry, we saw the need to recalibrate and rebrand our organization to help solve other disparities and find alternative ways to serve the under-represented and under-served community.”

The exciting news is that the organization broke ground on its Angels @ Work Resource Center on May 19. Although Oriakhi’s mother has passed away, she says her mother continues to inspire her. The new resource center, she says, will include everything from health screenings and vaccinations to youth parenting classes, computer training and GED/job readiness training to legal aid services and a free clothing and shoe giveaway.

Also planned is an adult daycare for those with disabilities and special needs and a home health aide training school. “In our new building we will house additional partner agencies under the umbrella of Njoy! Njoy! " says Oriakhi. ”A conference room will also be available for public meetings.”

The hope, she adds, is “to fulfill the dreams, desires, hopes and needs of our clients.”

I got a call recently from a reader who has been wondering what she could do with all of the containers she’s accumulated from restaurant carry-outs during the pandemic. Here’s the answer.

Here’s what they can use:

· Carry-out food containers, either paper and plastic. May be previously used from a restaurant if they are cleaned.

· Paper products including napkins, plates and cups

· Plastic silverware

· Cleaning products

· Paper towels

· Toilet tissue

· Gift Cards to purchase food

· Non-perishable items including canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly, cereals.

Donations can be dropped off at 1500 West Riverview Ave., Dayton, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday, but you are asked to call in advance to be certain someone is there to receive them. Other times for drop-off may also be arranged by calling Freida at 937-279-7463. Monetary donations may be made to Njoy! Njoy!, 1500 Riverview Ave., Dayton, OH 45402 or by visiting www.njoynjoy7.com.

Other ways to help

NJoy! NJoy! will be holding a fish fry fundraiser in support of its new building from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, July 8. at 1500 Riverview Ave., Dayton. Fish sandwiches are $7 and dinner is $10. You can show up at the door or make an advance reservation by calling 937-279-7463.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

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

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