Community Gem: Beth Mann of Centerville leads all-volunteer group to bring smiles to underserved children

Beth Mann and her husband, Doug Mann, hold a fundraising gala for For Love of Children (FLOC) at their Centerville home.
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Beth Mann and her husband, Doug Mann, hold a fundraising gala for For Love of Children (FLOC) at their Centerville home.

CENTERIVLLE — Beth Mann’s work with For Love of Children has improved the lives of thousands of children across the Miami Valley.

Mann was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Seth Schanher.

“She has devoted her life to helping the underserved children in our community,” he said. “I can not think of a more deserving person for this recognition.”

Mann volunteers as president of FLOC, a local charity focused on helping area children in need. The organization has no paid staff, so 100% of the money goes to helping kids. They are always looking for more volunteers.

“I’m very grateful, very appreciative and very honored,” Mann said on being nominated. “We literally have thousands of volunteers who just do the most incredible things for the children we’re lucky enough to serve.”

FLOC started in the 1980s with caseworkers from Montgomery County Children Services buying Christmas presents for 35 kids. FLOC has grown and now does that for 2,600 children a year.

They added other programs as well. The Birthday Club works with private investigators to help kids in foster care find out when their birthdays are, then sends them a card and gift every year. They offer a Grant a Wish program. Provide school supplies. Formal wear for school proms. And more.

FLOC serves more than 6,000 children who are neglected, abused, in foster care or in need of community resources. They identify kids to help in partnership with Children Services, Dayton Schools and other area partners.

Mann said bringing joy to the lives of children is “infectious.”

“That’s the most inspiring thing is to see that smile,” she said. “That lifts the heart, it really does.”

Mann said she and her husband, local attorney Doug Mann, sit down at night and talk about how they can best help the community. They routinely open their Centerville home to fundraisers.

Last year during the height of the pandemic, they worked with other groups to help feed 193,000 families.