Our participation in the weekend food-in-backpacks program for grades K-6
has increased significantly. Our treasurer, Kathy Wujcik, is the 2015-2018 coordinator of volunteers and the shopper. Originally, our club only picked up and dropped off bags, and contributed financially each month. We thank church groups and individuals from town (and out of town!) who have helped pack. (We usually pack Wednesdays at 2:30 OR 4 p.m.)
Twenty-five bags of food (and a book) go to elementary each week, and fifteen go to middle school. For school years 2015-2017, we gave out 1080 bags of food per year, each containing a book!
Since 2012-2013: we bought used children's books from the public library's book sale, and donated a book to recipients of the backpacks. The Friends of the Public Library liked this idea so much, that they arranged with Miss Chrissy at the library to give us any donated used books to add to the backpacks. We added a bookmark, taped in the book, letting the children know that they may keep or return the book. Very few books are returned, so we think that students like this. The Church Mouse also liked the idea, and they began contributing books for the bags, too, in 2013. In 2014, Girl Scout Troop 239 added their own used books for the backpack program! In 2015-7, members of NF United Methodist Church added new books and learning DVDs to add to the food bags. Thank you to Mrs. Hogue & to NextGenTech for creating this program, and to Kiwanis members who have done more since Kathy became the coordinator. We thank Supt. Paul Woodard for help in providing a storing/packing room at the middle school.
Changes to the program: We prefer to spend the money we have on food. Because of pet allergies and the expense of cleaning the bags, we have begun to use plastic grocery bags (donated by Newton Falls IGA and Spicko's Shop 'n Save); we will still call the program the "backpack" program. We hope this will help students who might have allergies, and we won't have to buy cleaning products or be concerned about backpacks needing repaired or not being returned. IF YOUR STUDENT receives a bag, a note will come with it at the beginning of the school year. Your student my wish to bring his/her own backpack to the office to have the plastic bag set into it. You may choose to say to the office, "We don't want this."
Supplementing this wonderful program are 2 new ones: Newton Falls United Methodist Church has begun a Monday sack lunch program in the summer, and Newton Falls Public Library will have a similar lunch program three days per week.
Instead of having a regular supper-meeting on the last Tuesday of the month, our members meet at 6:30 p.m. at Country Club Retirement Campus (former Laurie Ann Nursing Home and Allan Dell Assisted Living) at 2200 Milton Boulevard to play several games of bingo. We award small prizes. We have been helped with some of the prizes by The Church Mouse, Pricetown Methodist Church, Alma Griffith, NF Christian Church, Barry Silliphant, Linda Hrenko, Kathy Wujcik and we appreciate their participation.
We donate funds monthly at ASECU to the NF Community Backpack Program.
We also give to the Boys State and Girls State and HOBY teen leadership programs. We sponsor a Key Club at NFHS (Key Clubs are the high school branch of Kiwanis). We sponsor a team in the NF Youth Baseball/Softball League.
April projects: Annual steak cookout last Saturday of April (April 28, 2018) 4-7 p.m. at Newton Falls United Methodist Church, 336 Ridge Road, (also known as State Route 534) , just 2 blocks north of the traffic light by Rite-Aid. Contact past-president Bob for presale tickets $15; review of scholarship applications (we give out 3 this year to local seniors). We financially help Girl Scouts with Newton Falls's Easter Egg Hunt. We sponsor a team in the NF Youth Baseball/Softball League.
New in 2016: we coordinated an essay contest with the 7th grade teachers, where students research their favorite charity, then write a persuasive essay encouraging others to support their charity. Teachers chose the Top Ten winners, and Key Club chose the top six. We sent the top six essays to the student's charities along with a check for $25 to each charity in each winning student's name.
May 2018 projects: May 5 (rain date May 12): junior olympics (fun track and field events) for local 6- to 12-year olds; we gave a new book to each first grader on April 25; award three scholarships; geranium sale May 17-18, 2018 --(THANK YOU!); Newton Falls beautification day working with the Class of 2018 on April 23, 2018
New social activity 2016-2018: We have a BOCCE ball team for the Newton Falls league, and named it in honor of a variety show that Kiwanis used to perform for the community: the Kiwanis Capers. We try (haha) not to play too badly.
Summer: We donate to basketball camp (or sponsor a hole at the golf outing).
October project: sponsorship and running of the Halloween Cake Walk (proceeds go right back to the clubs and organizations that donate the cakes); we contact area businesses for prizes for the costume contest. We'd love to have your help. Please join us!
December project: We ring the bell for the Church Mouse--all proceeds stay in the Newton Falls area. Starting in 2016-2017, we have helped with a cash donation to Santa Rick for toys for NF kids.
We'd love to have your help. Please join us!