URS needs kids’ items

Local artist Mike Elsass is one of those community members who volunteers his time to URS. CONTRIBUTED
Local artist Mike Elsass is one of those community members who volunteers his time to URS. CONTRIBUTED

Our readers have been generous in responding to the needs of United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton (URS), the 61 year-old organization that continues to increase the scope of its programs, expanding the safety net of support for those with disabilities.

“URS provides a continuum of care that is unsurpassed in the Miami Valley region,” said executive director Dennis Grant. “We are committed to expanding the safety net of support services for children, adults and seniors with developmental and acquired disabilities. “

Grant says his organization prides itself in providing meaningful activities — like weekly art classes for the hundreds of children and adults served each day at the center.

“Many of these individuals wouldn’t otherwise have opportunities to participate in activities of this nature which are so important to their well-being and development,” he said.

The organization’s five-star rated Early Childhood Education and School-Age Programs, under Ohio’s Step up to Quality Program, offers the only local childcare programs with on-site nursing services and therapy programs to meet the needs of medically-fragile children.

URS also serves 100 families from Wright Patterson Air Force Base through its youth services and therapy programs. For adults and seniors, there are daycare programs and vocational training opportunities — all in an environment where they can work, socialize and feel supported.

Enrichment classes

Local artist Mike Elsass is one of those community members who volunteers his time to URS. Most recently, he created a one-of-a-kind piece for the newly renovated lobby, as part of its recent expansion to add capacity for 60 additional children and 100 additional adults with disabilities.

Elsass also offers art enrichment classes to URS clients. “Mike creates beautiful, unique works of art using reused and recycled sheets of steel,” says URS development director Vivian O’Connell. “Each piece can have up to 40 coats of paint and glazing.”

She says Elsass joins a dozen other local artists each July for URS’ annual ArtSplash event, which provides an opportunity for clients to experience many different types of art. Art supplies are among those items that are always needed at the center.

“Your readers have generously donated countless items on our wish list through the years,” adds O’Connell. “We have received a refrigerator, art supplies, personal care items and toys. The community support is essential to our success!”

Donations needed:

  • Vibrating Pillows for children with Autism (www.got-specialkids.com/product-p/3709.htm)
  • Musical toys, children's music and karaoke CDs
  • Puzzles with knobs, letter or number recognition puzzles
  • Lift-the-flap books
  • Baby doll clothes and diapers
  • Art supplies (sequins, pom-poms, pie cleaners, stickers, glue sticks, watercolor paints, colored pencils, markers, construction paper)
  • Games (Uno, Phase 10 , Go Fish, Old Maid, Sorry, Guess Who, 20 Questions, Headbanz, Hi Ho Cherry-O)
  • Cause & effect toys
  • Hand puppets
  • Wii remote controls
  • Label maker
  • Countertop microwave
  • Greenhouse

Where to donate:

Donations can be delivered to 4710 Old Troy Pike at Needmore from 6:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or call (937) 853-5430 to arrange for pick-up. Visit www.ursdayton.org for more information.

URS has a monthly tour for the community for anyone interested in learning more. The next Breakfast Tour is at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 11. RSVP to Ann Reinhart at areinhart@ursdayton.org.

Others ways to help: More than 1,400 volunteers support URS annually. Volunteer opportunities include clerical support, activities with youth and adult clients, weekend improvement projects, and special event support for annual events including the Rubber Duck Regatta. Visit ursdayton.org to learn more.


Each week Meredith Moss profiles a non-profit organization in our area and its specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to publish, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

Please include a photo and a daytime phone number.