Programs and Services
In the early 1980’s, a few caseworkers recognized that the children they cared for would not be celebrating Christmas but for their help. That first year, they bought gifts for the thirty five children in their care. In the late 1980’s, FLOC took over that program, eventually serving all 900 children in foster care Christmas magic. We opened our doors to the community, and this past Christmas served over 2600 children holiday joy. Included in the many gifts that we shared with each child were a winter coat and hat, mittens, filled stockings and individual presents, as chosen by the parent and their personal shopper.
Monthly recipients are chosen through requests presented either by Children’s Services, or through community applications. A letter of recommendation by an adult who can speak to the child’s personal contributions, something we can honor in that child, and a letter of intent from the child must accompany each request. Our board meetings are all the richer for the presentations made to our monthly recipient. This month, we are honoring a very gifted videographer, as requested by his art teacher, with a specialized video camera.
We have, literally, hundreds of gorgeous, new gowns, shoes, suits, shirts and ties- all kinds of formal wear for our youth attending formal functions. At this point, we have had 725 young people come to our Boutique in hopes of finding something special. 725 have left our Boutique with something special.
Children being brought into foster care were given a garbage bag to collect their belongings until FLOC stepped in. Now every child making this difficult transition does so with a brand new duffel bag.
This program provides educational and community resource for young parents who have little to none. This program is under new development; we are in the process of connecting with area sponsors who will provide classes and onsite training for new parents.
After our first gala (held in our home with hundreds of dear people gathered) we were made aware that many children in foster care did not receive any kind of birthday recognition. Many kids didn’t even know when their birthdays were. We had private detectives do some pro bono work. Now every child in foster care receives a card and a gift from FLOC.
Beth Mann’s mother was a professor at Kent State University. When she retired, her student body put her up for Ohio’s Professor of the Year. She thought that was such adorable. She won. She was then placed in a pool for National Professor of the Year. She thought that was crazy and hilarious. She won. Beth’s mom is named Betsy Hoobler, and her skill center offers all kinds of tutors and mentors to area children in need of academic support. Betsy Hoobler tutors there.
Our offices have ten new computers, academic resources in all forms of supplies, mentors and tutors available, and all kinds of academic aide. This resource is available to anyone in the community; a letter of reference and intent will be needed. We never give handouts to the people we serve, we always want to honor something in that individual.
Developed in 2013, we are following thirteen students from grade school through graduation, offering academic supply and tutors along the way. We meet monthly and perform community service, and determine current academic need. Each one of our students have demonstrated great growth and success, and credit this to our study. This has become a community for these children and their parents, and the love and respect shared is palpable. Upon graduation, scholarships will be awarded, based on individual student’s overall input.
We have thousands of books to offer the young people we serve. Many schools have done book drives for us, and we share those with the children coming in our offices. For many, it is the first book they have ever owned.
There is a downtown Dayton school where over 30 of the children in attendance do not eat over the weekend. The families are very poor, and their teachers have identified these children as those who need our help. We fill their book bags on Fridays; we are careful to be very circumspect in how we offer our assistance so as not to alert their fellow students.
For two years, we have held a rally downtown wherein we offer community resource to the bullied and the bully. Hundreds of students have been in attendance, with each rally nearly doubling in number. Educational and informational support is offered, and a school program for individual students is in development.
We are delighted and honored to have students from UD offer their time and expertise working with us in an internship capacity for the past two years. These students have overseen our Christmas for Kids Program, developed our quarterly newsletter, have inventoried our Boutique clothing; they have been instrumental in developing new programming. We are so very proud to have these students at the forefront of our mission.