In addition to on-the-ground support in communities most affected by the devastating Memorial Day storms, nearly 2,000 donors have contributed more than $650,000 (and counting) to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund (GDDRF) of The Dayton Foundation, with several significant gifts pending. GDDRF was established the morning after the tornadoes struck to provide individuals with a safe place to give, while allowing the Foundation to quickly distribute disaster relief funds to charitable organizations working to fulfill the immediate needs of tornado victims. It also makes funds available for The Dayton Foundation to assist nonprofit organizations in addressing long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts, including filling in gaps for items not covered by insurance and other funding sources.

To date, more than $100,000 in grants have been awarded to organizations that are working directly with those impacted, including The Foodbank and the American Red Cross. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., Miami Valley Community Action Partnership and St. Vincent de Paul also received a total of $87,000 in grants, as they are helping individuals with immediate needs, such as housing and legal assistance.

“We are so grateful for the funds from the GDDRF of The Dayton Foundation, which will help us directly assist clients impacted by the disaster in keeping their housing or securing a new place to live,” said Cherish Cronmiller, president and CEO of Miami Valley Community Action Partnership. “One client had her place of employment sustain damage and missed a week and a half of work. Subsequently, she was unable to pay June’s rent in full, but we intervened and helped her to stay in her apartment. We also have pledges to landlords for security deposit assistance for those clients who need to relocate.”

Thousands of donations have poured in from all over the world. One gift came from two local bands who set up a donation jar during a performance and donated both the proceeds and their earnings to raise $338 for GDDRF. Another gift came from a woman who lives in Boston but grew up in Dayton. She wanted to fly in to volunteer with clean-up efforts in her hometown but decided instead to donate the cost of the plane ticket to GDDRF. Even actor and former Dayton resident Rob Lowe encouraged his Twitter followers and attendees of his recent one-man show at the Schuster Performing Arts Center to support tornado relief efforts through the GDDRF.

Nonprofit organizations that are helping individuals impacted by the tornadoes with short- and long-term needs are invited to email Michelle Brown, community engagement officer, at A brief description of the needs the nonprofit organization is seeing and how it plans to fill those needs should be included in the email.

There are several ways to support long-term tornado relief and rebuilding efforts through The Dayton Foundation. Individuals may make a secure, online credit card donation at or mail a check to The Dayton Foundation, 40 N. Main Street, Suite 500, Dayton, OH 45423. “Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund” should be designated on the check or in the credit card form’s fund name field. Individuals or organizations that would like to hold a fundraiser to benefit GDDRF should contact Carrie Dalrymple, community relations program officer, at (937) 225-9952 and visit for a Giving Toolkit. Flyers, talking points and other important information for the event is available in the toolkit.

Individuals who are 70 1/2 or older and have an IRA also may choose to support these efforts through a qualified charitable distribution to a Field-of-Interest Fund established at The Dayton Foundation. Visit or contact us at (937) 222-0410 or for more information.

“From organizations holding fundraisers, to individuals walking in off the street to drop off donations, the outpouring of support to GDDRF has been amazing,” said Michael M. Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation. “We only anticipate the needs of those individuals affected by the tornadoes will continue to grow. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and individuals in the community, we will have resources to support nonprofit organizations that are helping those impacted by the tornadoes to get back on their feet not just today, but in the months and years ahead.”


      The Dayton Foundation, the region’s largest community foundation, has been helping you help others locally and around the world since 1921.

We provide unmatched services, resources, support and counsel to help individuals achieve their charitable giving goals; we assist other nonprofits by funding important initiatives and offering our expertise to help them operate more effectively; and we’re helping build a better community by identifying important issues and bringing together the people and organizations who can solve them.

Whether you are an individual, financial advisor, nonprofit organization or someone wanting to make a difference, The Dayton Foundation can help you help others. 

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