Real Change Dayton

Real Change Challenge Raises Awareness, Funds, Donations

Mike Colvin DDP Press Releases



For More Information: Val Beerbower, 937-224-1518 ext. 230


DAYTON (Ohio), June 5, 2018 — When Real Change Dayton launched in June 2017, it began as a public awareness campaign to call to attention the vast offerings local social service agencies and nonprofit organizations supply the region. Real Change Dayton sought to remind people that while they may be approached by individuals seeking money, the best way to ensure long-term, sustainable life changes that truly lift people out of poverty, addiction, underemployment, and the other root causes for panhandling is to support local charities, social service agencies, and nonprofit organizations that tackle those specific issues. This week, those groups are celebrated during The Square Is Where as the first-ever Real Change Challenge.

To kick off the second year of Real Change Dayton, partner organizations decided to issue the Real Change Challenge and selected St. Vincent de Paul as the inaugural year’s beneficiary. “We wanted to remind people who might be working or visiting downtown that while the decision to give is entirely their choice, there is a better way to give,” said Downtown Dayton Partnership President Sandra Gudorf. “We are fortunate to have a wide supplement to our social services network, and we wanted to make sure we promoted the good work these groups are doing.”

During the week of June 4-8, barrels located throughout downtown and on Courthouse Square will be collection sites for a donation drive. The group is collecting new packages of adult-sized underwear. “We were looking for something memorable so people would recall the ‘Real Change’ goal, but this drive also helps us meet a year-long need at our shelters,” said Michael E. Vanderburgh, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Society. “The Real Change Challenge provides the most basic items our homeless neighbors need. Most of us never have to think about wearing clean underclothes, other than making sure we get our laundry done. Real Change is meeting a real need!”

In addition to donated underwear, monetary donations may be made to St. Vincent’s, or using the Real Change Dayton collection infrastructure, including the website,, which provides links to each Real Change Dayton partner organization so people can learn more about the services provided, and how donations to these organizations go further than contributing directly to an individual. There is also a text-to-give campaign (text “REALCHANGE” to 71777), and brightly colored wrapped meters where people can make immediate monetary contributions, if they so desire.

Partner agencies include United Way of Greater Dayton, City of Dayton, Montgomery County Health and Human Services Department, and the Downtown Dayton Partnership, with support from Homefull, St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill Easter Seals, and other local nonprofits. Each organization represented in the coalition contributes to the Dayton region’s net of social services and specialized care options for at-risk populations.

“What people might not realize is you can give a dollar to someone standing with a sign at the intersection, but that same dollar can be stretched farther when it’s donated to a local nonprofit or social service agency,” said Tracy Sibbing, vice president of community impact at United Way of the Greater Dayton Area. “These organizations have built extensive networks and can leverage donations to maximize the number of people who can receive benefits. Real Change Dayton will help these nonprofits continue their great work and get people back on their feet. Our ultimate goal is to help those in need to change their futures for the better.”

On Friday, June 8, representatives from St. Vincent de Paul, United Way, Homefull, and others will be at Courthouse Square during the free lunchtime programming (The Square is Where, weekdays from 11:30 to 1 p.m.). St. Vincent will be presented with the total donated items and money collected in the first year of Real Change Dayton.


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