More Than a Hug seeking nonprofit status


FAIRBORN — A community outreach organization centered around acceptance and open arms is seeking non-profit 501(c)3 status.

Amy Lowe started the group “More Than a Hug” in 2019 with the Wright State event Operation Holiday Glitter. This event was aimed at giving the young adults at Wright State a holiday season they wouldn’t have otherwise.

“I was working with some local LGBTQ+ community organizations and I saw a need for help,” said Lowe. “A lot of LGBTQ+ folks didn’t have accepting or affirming family members.”

This first event was in partnership with the Office of LGBTQA Affairs and the Office of Independent Scholars at Wright State University, which helps foster students and others without familial support.

Since that event, which Lowe said had “a great response” from the community, More Than a Hug has snowballed into its own organization dedicated to providing the unconditional love and acceptance some marginalized communities don’t have access to.

“We create initiatives to serve marginalized populations, including planning local outreach events, building relationships, and partnering with similarly-minded local organizations,” she said.

Lowe said her mission is far from over, but the positive response from the community is what made her start a fund-raiser to become an official non-profit organization, eligible for tax exemptions and certain grants the government provides.

More Than a Hug currently has a GoFundMe page up and is looking for $1,000 in donations. This money will go to filling out the necessary paperwork and registering as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in the State of Ohio. Applications for this status, as well as paying the necessary attorneys and consultants, all have fees attached to them.

More Than a Hug has about 50-75 volunteers depending on the event, according to Lowe, who come from all across the Dayton area. While the first event was specifically for Wright State University and the students there, Lowe said it was the community support and encouragement that has brought it into the greater Dayton area during the last four years.

The group has worked with other organizations in the area, primarily LGBTQ+ support groups like Daybreak, Have a Gay Day, and David’s Place. Since 2019, Lowe said they’ve helped more than 600 folks who don’t have support systems in place.

With Operation Holiday Glitter, which occurs annually each holiday season, community members have the opportunity to “adopt” individuals in need and buy gifts and other necessities for others in the community. Lowe described this model as a “giving tree,” which extends to other initiatives the organization started like a back-to-school book drive.

“Wherever there’s a need we try to show up,” said Lowe. “We want to continue the work that we’ve been doing and we want to expand, that’s the purpose of becoming a 501(c)3.”

Some more achievements Lowe and More Than a Hug have worked to give to the community include the region’s first transgender homecoming event, a baby shower, and buying household necessities for community members moving into their first home.

The GoFundMe can be found at, or on the More Than a Hug Facebook page. The fund has reached $150 of its $1,000 goal so far.

At the heart of More Than a Hug, Lowe said her mission is to help those in need and give to members of these marginalized communities the love and support they need to thrive. Reaching the nonprofit status is just another step in that mission, and Lowe said she hopes to see the organization reach even more in the Dayton area and beyond in the coming years.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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