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Dayton Public Schools host donation drive on MLK National Day of Service

A driver reaches out of the passenger side car window to hand a plastic bag to donation collectors outside of Ponitz Career Tech Center Monday. Dayton Public Schools was hosting a donation drive to help students experiencing homelessness.
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A driver hands a volunteer a bag of items outside of Ponitz Career Tech Center Monday. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Dayton Public Schools was hosting a donation drive to help students experiencing homelessness.

Bundled up in layers of hats and scarves, Angela Worley piles bags of donations into Brute trash bins. Although the weather stayed at a chilly 20 degrees the whole day, they’ve received 14 bins worth of items so far.

Dayton Public Schools hosted a drive-through donation event Monday, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Folks dropped off masks, toothbrushes, and other hygiene supplies outside Ponitz Career Tech Center.

Worley is the community outreach coordinator for Dayton Public Schools and organized the drive to help students experiencing homelessness. They’ve already received monetary donations, face masks and hand sanitizer bottles from entities like Macy’s and Five Rivers MetroParks, says Worley.

Worley says that instead of one or two plastic bags, many donors showed up with their car trunks stuffed with boxes. Even though some people are off work and school, Worley says today is a day on.

“We know that there are marches and there are rallies, and there are lots of different things that are going on in the community outside,” Worley said. “Some people may not have that opportunity or the ability to march or to withstand the cold, but everyone can stop at Walmart and pick up a tube of toothpaste and drop it off.”

Worley and her team of volunteers will stuff backpacks with the donations and distribute them to nearly 1,100 students who qualify for the McKinney-Vento Homelessness program. This federal program serves homeless students and ensures they have equal opportunities for educational success.

Worley hopes this drive will bring awareness to the program, and says this is just one of many events she’s planning throughout the year.

“I think that there's lots of work to do, but there's also, as today has demonstrated, there's also lots of partners that are willing to help.”

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.