Community helps homeless Dayton students, who will receive hygiene items, backpacks and more

Generous community members and groups donated many boxes of hygiene items and enough products to fill nine large waste containers during an event on MLK Day that will benefit homeless students who live in the Dayton Public School district.

The curbside donation drive was sponsored by the student council and collected items to support the DPS’ McKinney-Vento program, which assists students who have lost their housing and ensures they have “equal access to education.”

The donation drive started in the schools shortly before Christmas break, but a community donation event was held at David H. Ponitz CTC on Monday, MLK Day, which is a federal holiday designated as a national day of service.

“The whole purpose is to bring awareness to the McKinney-Vento program, and to highlight that because there are so many people who have never heard of it,” said Angela Worley, coordinator of student activities, parent engagement and outreach with the Dayton Public Schools, who helped organize the donation drive.

The program helps hundreds of kids locally, Worley said, who added that this donation drive is brand new, but she hopes to make it an annual event.

Dozens of vehicles swung by Ponitz CTC on Monday to drop off donations during the eight-hour event.

Individuals and organizations donated money, tooth brushes, toothpaste, soap, combs, brushes, masks, hand sanitizer, washcloths, backpacks, lotion and other items.

Donated items filled about nine 55-gallon trash containers, and community and labor groups also contributed many boxes of hand sanitizer and other necessities.

Many kids live in group homes, while others are couch surfing or are doubled up with other relatives and families, Worley said.

Some people continue to struggle with housing insecurity even years after being displaced by the Memorial Day tornadoes of 2019, she said.

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