by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer
Target Dayton Ministries is a church for the poor and homeless in inner-city Dayton, Ohio. With the help of hundreds of caring volunteers and financial partners, Target Dayton served more than 45,000 hot meals to the poor and homeless last year.
Cedarville’s Dine Out for Hunger was created in 2008 by Julie Furj-Kuhn, former assistant professor of social work, and Phi Alpha, the student-run honors organization for social work majors.
“There is a great need for donations around the holidays, so this comes at the perfect time,” said Cindi Stevens, director of Target Dayton Ministries. “We are very blessed that the students at Cedarville are conducting Dine Out for Hunger. It’s very evident in everything they do that they have hearts to serve Jesus.”
The social work department has been the catalyst for nearly $10,000 in donations over the past several years from local businesses and the Cedarville community to those in need. Last year, Dine Out for Hunger raised almost $1,300 for the Greene County Housing Program.
The program does more than just benefit the community. According to Melissa Brown, assistant professor of social work at Cedarville and the new director for Dine Out for Hunger, the event helps teach students about fundraising, event planning and how to leverage community involvement for important causes.
Participants in this year’s Dine Out for Hunger initiative include chain restaurants such as Chick-fil-A, Subway and Chipotle, and local eateries such as Colonial Pizza, Beans & Cream and Mom & Dad’s Dairy Bar.
“Being aware that hunger and homelessness are real in our community is so important,” said Brown. “If you can’t participate by dining out, then give of your time or talent and volunteer for Target Dayton. The important thing is that we get involved.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.