Kiwanis Club helps neighborhood by lending hand to familySeveral volunteers from the Superior Kiwanis came together to help a family with seven children last month; in doing so, they made a positive impact on the entire neighborhood.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Several volunteers from the Superior Kiwanis came together to help a family with seven children last month; in doing so, they made a positive impact on the entire neighborhood.
Kiwanis secretary/treasurer Michelle Johnson became aware of the situation in Superior’s 10th District when she heard neighbors of the family complain. They were concerned about garbage and debris that had accumulated in the family’s yard. Johnson reached out to Community Policing Officer Bonnie Beste and other members of the Kiwanis to see what could be done.
“Once I asked around, plenty of people were willing to help,” Johnson said. With the assistance of AA Roll Off, the volunteers hauled 25 yards of trash, wooden boards, garbage, old doors and more from the family’s lawn and garage. Johnson said the neighbors were pleased.
“Everyone is very happy,” she said.
Beste, a member of the Kiwanis, said the project was an example of “the community coming together to help where there was a need.”
Johnson joined the Kiwanis nine years ago because she liked the laid-back attitude and their focus on children in Douglas County.
“You know you’re making a difference,” Johnson said.
The yard clean-up project fit the group’s mission to care for kids in the community. People may be aware that Superior Kiwanis hosts a children’s activity tent at the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival, but their activities go far beyond that. Each year members read to children at the Superior Public Library and Family Forum Head Start Program. They also hand each Head Start student a book to keep.
“Some of those kids don’t have books,” Johnson said. “They’re so grateful.”
Kiwanis members keep an adopted a stretch of State Highway 35 clean. This spring they built and decorated mobile planter boxes for the Boys & Girls Club of Superior to grow tomatoes in. They helped build a garden for Family Forum in 2010 and helped fund three pediatric “jump bags” for the Superior Fire Department in 2011. Each bag contains child-size medical supplies for use in an emergency. In the last year alone, the group donated about $12,000 to various organizations including the Nutrition on Weekends program and Superior High School clothes closet.
The group will host a fundraiser, the Superior Kiwanis Dinner and Auction, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Barker’s Island Inn. Both live and silent auctions will take place. The cost to attend is $25. The function has grown every year, Johnson said, from 60 attendees when they started to 120 last year. For information on Kiwanis, go to www.superiorkiwanis.org. Tickets for the fundraiser and additional information are available by contacting Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.