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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Open Hearts Family Services

Around Valentine's Day, love is always in the air. What better way to show love than to help children in need! Open Hearts Family Services is loving children through providing homes for them all year long. Read below to find out ways you can help.

While fostering a child at this time may not be an option for everyone, there are still many ways to share your love with our children:

Donate Resources

~Care for our young ones by donating car seats, strollers, cribs, new or gently used clothing and toys.
~Provide your support to foster parents by donating gift cards or providing skilled services (hair-cuts or braiding, tutoring sessions, music lessons, birthday cakes, etc.)
~Sponsor a day out on the town by donating tickets to the museum, movies, zoo, or other fun family destinations.
~Make a valued financial donation that can help provide foster children with the opportunity to enjoy many opportunities that may not currently be available to them, such as summer camp, prom, athletic programs, recreation, family activities, and more.

Get Involved
~Host an event at your home or business for those interested in becoming foster parents or plan an appreciation event for existing foster parents in your community.
~Provide support and supervision for foster children during foster parent trainings or meetings, agency sponsored field trips, or special events.
~Establish and develop a mentoring relationship with a foster child or parent.
~Become a Community Partner with Open Hearts Family Services and help Open Hearts Family Services connect with your local churches, schools, businesses, and community groups.

Hire a Foster Child
~If you are a business owner or have the responsibility to hire, consider hiring a foster child. Whether the position is permanent or temporary, it gives the foster child a chance to gain hands-on experience while earning an income.

Raise Awareness
~Share with friends and family the opportunity to invite a child into their lives by becoming a foster parent or volunteering with Open Hearts Family Services.Host an event at your home or business for those interested in becoming foster parents or plan an appreciation event for existing foster parents in your community.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Service Leadership Club Spotlight - Sunrise K-Kids and Corner Lakes Builders Club

Sunrise Elementary K-Kids
With the help of their Faculty Advisor, Sally Castrianni, the K-Kids completed two major fall service projects. The first project was collecting gently used books from their classmates. The books were donated to children who attend Catalina Elementary School right here in Orlando. The K-Kids heard about a need the children had for books to read at home, so they asked their
classmates for books to help the children at this school. They collected 1,029 books and delivered them to the school the first week of November. The second service project was the annual collection of food for the East Orange County Food Bank, Thanksgiving Food Drive. The K-Kids collected over 300 pounds of food. This year, they picked ten needy families and gave them boxes of food directly. The food was delivered to the food bank on November 18, by Kiwanian
Jeannette Gabay and coworkers-David Evans and Kristen Childs.
—Jeannette Gabay, Kiwanis Advisor

Corner Lakes Middle BuildersClub participated in many projects in fall 2010 including several food drives, pop top collections, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, a Thanksgiving Basket program, and Breakfast with Santa. The students are interested in getting a web page set up for the club. Their officers also had to write an essay on why they wanted to be an officer in Builders Club and then have it reviewed by a board of staff members before being installed into office. They are also writing letters to a deployed soldier that they have adopted for his tour. The club is looking forward to doing even more service in 2011.
—Sean Osmond, Kiwanis Advisor

Teaming Up to Fight Hunger

Kiwanis of EOC teamed up with our UCF CKI brethren to fight hunger at the Second Harvest Food Bank on Saturday, November 20, 2010. Second Harvest is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties. These organizations serve over 700,000 people (20% of the Central Florida population) each year, and Second Harvest relies on donorship from local food retailers and volunteer efforts to accomplish their mission. After watching a moving video about the children and families who the food bank serves, we migrated to the warehouse for a tutorial on how the food is sorted. We then dove into hundreds of unsorted boxes. Three hours later, over 15 pallets containing 36 boxes each were ready for distribution to the community, including numerous cases of tuna for our Ton o’ Tuna drive! Thanks to Gene, Yoli, Wanda, Jared, Brent, Jeremy A., Jason, Stephanie, Paige, and four members of UCF CKI for volunteering! Second Harvest is one of the best and most productive service opportunities in Central Florida. I highly recommend you spend a day with them serving the local community and learning about
their operations.

Written by Brent Hambly