Hannah’s Treasure Chest in Dayton was created to respond to the needs of the community. It provides social service agencies in Montgomery, Butler, Greene and Warren counties with diapers, clothing, toys and so much more. Their mission is simple: to greatly enhance the lives of children by providing the items they need. Southwest Ohio Parent spoke with Deanna Murphy about Hannah’s Treasure Chest and the services they provide.
How did Hannah’s Treasure Chest begin?
Twenty years ago our founder had a baby named Hannah and received a bunch of items she couldn’t use — no one needs three or four swings or cribs for one baby. So she got together with some of her co-workers and began distributing those items through social service agencies in the community. In that first year, they distributed just under 3,000 items to those agencies. Over the years, we have grown, moved buildings and are distributing just over 300,000 items per year. And we just hit 62 partner agencies throughout Southwest Ohio.
What kind of volunteer opportunities are available with Hannah’s Treasure Chest?
We have daily volunteer opportunities where folks can come in and help us fill care packages, or fold clothes or inspect them. We have a toy room available where they work on making sure all the toys are cleaned and in good working order. We have our diaper divas: They wrap diapers all day. We accommodate groups and special volunteers all the time.
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How do you get care packages to families who need them?
We work with a network of partner agencies throughout Southwest Ohio who do great things for families. They know the families’ needs, so they submit a request on their behalf. And they check off the list: what kind of clothing they need, sizing, hygiene product needs, school supplies, equipment, linens, diapers, shoes, books and toys. The list is pretty comprehensive.
Then they submit that list to us, and our volunteers shop for that child’s care package. What makes us unique is that our volunteers shop each request that comes in. So, if it says a child likes Barbie or Paw Patrol, they go out on the shelf and look for each one of those items. When the child opens the care package, we want them to know they have been seen, and that they are cared for. It instills dignity in that child.
How can the community support you?
You can donate cash on our website, or donate items. We take everything a child can use. Once Upon a Child in West Chester North is a donation drop off location for diapers. That helps us tremendously.
We are opening a thrift store called Shop Hannah’s right next store to Hannah’s Treasure Chest and that will be opened year round. All proceeds from sales will come back to our mission, so we can purchase things like diapers, socks, and underwear. This retail space will be all of our overage, so it’s filled with thousands of items that have been donated to us that for one reason or another can not be distributed. It is all more than we can use in a year to fill care packages. But they have been through our stringent intake process.