MAKE A DIFFERENCE: School supplies, food items needed

·3 min read

Jul. 30—School supplies for needy children in Montgomery, Greene and Preble counties are being collected by the folks at "With God's Grace." The organization is also always in need of basic food items for its free pantries.

The goal is to fill 500 backpacks with items the youngsters will be needing in the new school year. "Unfortunately, not all families can afford to purchase basic supplies their children need when returning to school," says Nicole Adkins, the organization's founder and executive director. "Every child deserves a chance to succeed in school."

Here's what they need: — #2 pencils with erasers — Black or blue ballpoint pens — Washable markers — Crayons — Colored pencils — Pencil boxes or bags — Wide ruled notebook filler — Spiral-bound wide-ruled notebooks — Erasers — Rulers — Blunt-tipped scissors — Glue sticks — 2-pocket folders — Book bags

The school supply donations can be dropped off from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 5505 North Dixie Dr., Dayton, Ohio, 45414. You're asked to go to the side door and ring the bell. Donation deadline is Aug. 6.

Food items needed as well

"We show people we care, that they have value and that they are loved by us and by God," says Adkins, who founded the organization in 2015. "It is our intention that they receive not only food for their physical hunger, but generous portions of kindness and grace to feed their spiritual and emotional hunger."

In addition to a year-round free grocery store, "With God's Blessings" also operates monthly mobile units that allow people in various locations to shop for basic needs. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them. "They may shop for food to supplement their income during times of crisis and as they work toward self-sufficiency," says Adkins. "A philosophy of community empowerment means we aim to solve hunger issues by developing programs to meet the needs of the community, including partnering with other organizations on issues of food security. "

Here are most needed items for food donations: — Cereal, all kinds — Canned bean-and-ham soup, beef pot roast soup, chicken quesadilla soup, split pea with ham soup, beef stew, tomato basil soup — Canned spinach, cabbage, sauerkraut, beets, turnip greens, mixed greens, yams, peas & carrots, creamed corn, collard greens — Canned pineapple, mandarin oranges, pears, red grapefruit, cranberry — Spaghetti sauce, canned diced tomatoes, split peas — Dried fruit, canned fried apples — Nuts — Dairy items — Enfamil baby formula

Donations can be dropped off at the same times and days as the school supplies.

Do you need food?

"With God's Grace Free Store" is also located at 5505 North Dixie in Northridge and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, with the exception of Wednesdays. The store is open to residents of Montgomery, Preble and Greene counties. For a list of the locations and times for the mobile pantries, check out

Note that appointments are required before you visit. You're asked to call 937-602-9981 to set up an appointment and are required to show a photo ID for all adult members in the family. You're also asked to bring a birth certificate for all minors and a piece of mail with your current address from the last 30 days.

Other ways to help

Adkins is always looking for volunteers to distribute food, help clients in the free store and fill book bags. "We will train volunteers on site and we'll be looking for volunteers to help hand out backpacks on Sunday, August 7," she says. You can reach her at 937-397-4124.


Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith:

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group's mission.