NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Dottie Fromal runs The Hive, a free drop-in for school-aged kids offered by Integrated Services in Nelsonville.
COVID-19 brought changes, said Fromal. But The Hive made lemonade from lemons — and she found a new way to get to know the town’s children.
“We’ve been on hold because of COVID, so instead we have a van go to visit kids in the afternoons at their homes. We play games, drop off groceries. It has been a blessing in disguise to get to know the children so in-depth,” said Fromal.
There are 250 children enrolled at The Hive, and Fromal says about 40-50 children drop in on a regular basis. The Hive has an outside table where children can pick up food. Fromal says the community comes together to bring food, whether that’s bags of food, snacks, or fresh produce.
What concerns her is the number of children in Nelsonville who need more attention in their lives. Some children have a parent in jail, or have lost a parent to an overdose. “It seems to be almost normalized, like this is a normal thing, not an unusual thing,” Fromal said.
Fromal loves the town and lives above The Hive. She says the library provides a lot of programming, and the school is wonderful.
“We put out free food every day,” Fromal said. “We buy some of it, but honestly the community members bring it.”
Children who come to The Hive might get a hot snack or take a bag of food home for dinner. Sundays after church the might be looking for lunch.
“I live upstairs, so sometimes I hear them calling my name, and I come downstairs,” Fromal said.
If you’d like to support Fromal’s work, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.