Community Gem: Kelsey Hurlburt helping support Bellbrook-Sugarcreek community

BELLBROOK — Kelsey Hurlburt went from volunteering a few days a week at what is now the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Community Support Center to becoming its executive director just weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Ohio.

“From there, it has been nonstop movement, excitement and growth, and it’s been the most fun I’ve ever had,” said Hurlburt, 35, of Sugarcreek Twp.

Hurlburt was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by her sister, Haley Wegner, of Beavercreek. Hurlburt has found and filled the needs of the community, revitalizing the organization along the way, Wegner said.

“She goes above and beyond to find ways to create positive programs and systems that don’t exist already in the community,” she said.

Hurlburt began helping at the center in 2019, shortly after moving to the Miami Valley from Germany. The organization had come close to closing, she said.

When the pandemic shuttered schools and brought new challenges, the center answered by coordinating donations and responding to needs. Hurlburt became executive director not long after.

Before the pandemic, the nonprofit center was happy to provide food to one family per week. Now they typically serve 25 to 50 families, Hurlburt said.

In addition, the center offers support groups, life skills education, social services assistance, clothing drives, school supplies, holiday help and more. A “birthday wishes” program created by Hurlburt allows clients in need to sign up their child to receive a gift purchased by a community member and a cupcake from a local bakery

The center serves about 200 families in the community in some way, she said.

Hurlburt said the center’s success has been a team effort, with help from partnerships and volunteers who donate both items and hundreds of hours of their time.

“If we did not have this community support, we would not be here,” Hurlburt said.

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