One of my favorite parts of working at The Ohlmann Group is attending our monthly volunteer trips to non-profit organizations in Dayton. It’s a big part of the OG’s commitment to giving back to Dayton, and it’s a tradition that we’ve carried since our doors opened back in 1949.
This month, we volunteered with Daybreak Dayton. Since 1975, Daybreak has served as Dayton’s only 24-hour emergency shelter and crisis hotline for runaway and homeless youth. Today, the organization has grown to provide outreach, prevention, transitional housing, employment and life skills education, and other services to help runaway and homeless youth in our community.
Daybreak is an organization that truly goes above and beyond. Their services provide not only housing and support for homeless youth and young adults, but they’ve also created innovative programs to ensure Dayton’s homeless teens and young adults are never homeless again. One special program that Daybreak has developed is called Lindy & Company. Lindy & Company was created to teach individuals valuable work skills through providing employment at their gourmet dog treat bakery, Lindy’s Bakery.
Lindy’s Bakery bakes, packages, and sells dog treats with 100% of the proceeds directly helping the homeless teens and young adults at Daybreak. Working at Lindy’s provides these individuals with the necessary job-readiness training and confidence to help them enter the workforce and excel.
For our volunteer project, we worked directly with Lindy’s Bakery to roll out the dough, cut it into shapes, and prepare the treats for baking. We had a blast helping this valuable organization, and even brought home some yummy treats for our own pets!
I also had the chance to talk with Sean Mitchell, Daybreak’s Development Associate for Community Engagement to learn more about his role and how others can help Daybreak.
Sean got his start at Daybreak ten years ago as a case manager, where he worked directly with individuals to help them improve the quality of their lives. Today, he is on focusing community engagement to increase awareness of Daybreak and coordinate with community leaders.
“In the past few years, I’ve been working to make connection in the community to not only strengthen Daybreak’s name and awareness, but also building relationships and partnerships that not only support our youth, staff, and programs, but help to develop a community of service that our clients and all citizens will later be a part of,” he said.
When I asked how volunteers can best help Daybreak’s mission, Sean emphasized the importance of donations and volunteering one’s time for socialization with Daybreak’s clients.
“Through our partnerships with Hannah’s Treasure Chest, The Foodbank, the local universities, Youth Build, or Goodwill Easter Seals to simply name few, a dollar to us also supports their missions as we are connecting our clients and using their services. Our dollar provides more food for our shelter clients or hygiene products to our housing clients. On top of that, we can save those dollars by utilizing other services to put them toward providing more services to our youth or transportation,” he said.
Socialization and mentorship are other key areas that can benefit Daybreak’s clients.
Sean added, “Knowing that the hour you spent playing a game or participating in an art activity with our youth, is an hour of them having a role model and a connection with someone who is safe and won’t take advantage of them or provide unhealthy stresses. Socialization skills are what we need for our youth.”
Sean is passionate about not only Daybreak but the Dayton community as a whole. Part of his role includes coordinating volunteers to work with Daybreak or Lindy’s Bakery.
“Personally I have a large commitment to “Good Things in Dayton” and that is because I get to see all the great businesses and corporations that are regularly giving back with time or money (items included) to the communities they are a part of,” he said.
He added, “I think it is even more prevalent in the Dayton area. We are on the leading edge of what it means to be a true community of businesses, organizations, and individuals all giving back to make their “Home” the best place it can possibly be.”
We’d like to send a huge thank you to Sean for arranging our visit to Lindy’s Bakery!
If you want to learn more about Daybreak’s mission and services, check out their website. And if you’d like to help, you can donate online, or check out their wish list of essential items that you can ship directly to Daybreak.
Check out a few of our pictures below!