Community Gem: ‘I understand what it’s like to not have the things you need,’ says Deanna Murphy

Deanna Murphy is the director of Hannah's Treasure Chest a charity in Centerville that provides children in need with clothing, toys, books and other items.
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Deanna Murphy is the director of Hannah's Treasure Chest a charity in Centerville that provides children in need with clothing, toys, books and other items.

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

Deanna Murphy knows what it’s like to be a child in need. That’s why the Miamisburg resident is such a devoted advocate for children and their families.

“I would’ve been one of the children that we serve at Hannah’s Treasure Chest,” she said. “My parents were teenagers. My mother was an addict. My dad is a recovering alcoholic. They struggled a lot when I was young and I understand what it’s like to not have the things you need.”

Murphy, a teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned nonprofit worker, was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Sue Hill.

“She works tirelessly to find ways to serve children,” Hill said.

Murphy has been instrumental in two local children’s charities. She helped found Brigid’s Path, a newborn recovery center established in 2018 in Kettering that cares for drug exposed babies and connects their families with resources for things like housing and transportation.

In December of 2019, Murphy took over as executive director of Hannah’s Treasure Chest, a nonprofit in Centerville that works with social service agencies in Montgomery, Butler, Greene and Warren counties to supply children in need with essential items like clothing, books, hygiene items and toys.

Murphy says the care packages Hannah’s provides are a lot more than just books or shoes.

“I know these families are struggling every day to ensure that their children have what they need. So when we provide a care package to a child, that family can then redirect their limited resources to housing, food, all those things that make their family successful,” she said.

In Murphy’s short tenure as director of Hannah’s Treasure Chest, she has already shaped the children’s charity with her “great vision,” said Hill.

Murphy has worked to make the charity more self-reliant by opening a thrift store called Shop Hannah. The store sells excess donations that don’t meet caseworkers’ requests or items the charity has an overabundance of.

If you know a person in your community who has done something great in the community, go to DaytonDailyNews.com/CommunityGems and nominate them.