By Judy Tacyn
The Kiwanis Club of Severna Park is more than 60 years old and is proud to still be creating new programs that improve Severna Park and surrounding communities. Its latest project is a collaboration with Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Judy Centers to create the Kiwanis Kids Closet, which launched March 1.
“We are excited to be working with AACPS and the Judy Centers to provide diapers, Pull-Ups, baby food and other baby supplies to families in the Belle Grove and Hilltop elementary school catchment areas,” said Nadine Jacobs, Kiwanis Club of Severna Park board member and Kiwanis Kids Closet program chair.
Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers (Judy Centers) provide a central location for early childhood education and support services for children, from birth through kindergarten, and their families who reside in specific Title I school districts in Maryland, including Hilltop Elementary and Belle Grove Elementary schools in Anne Arundel County.
“The Kiwanis Club of Severna Park has worked with the Hilltop Elementary Judy Center for several years,” said Jacobs. “When the Judy Centers director mentioned the need for a baby pantry, we were happy to create this project.”
Several local businesses are now collecting supplies. The goal is to have 12 locations collecting supplies for a one-month period each to keep the “closet” supplied for one year. Jacobs and other Kiwanis members will deliver the supplies to Belle Grove Elementary, where the closet is located.
“There are obviously many wonderful community service organizations and nonprofits,” Jacobs added. “One of the unique aspects of Kiwanis is that we have groups at the elementary, middle and high schools, and college levels, to encourage community service by our youth. Our Key Clubs (Kiwanis at the high school level) are particularly active. Kiwanis in Severna Park sponsors Key Clubs at Severna Park, Old Mill, Chesapeake and North County high schools.”
Several high school Key Club members will soon paint a mural to decorate the basement location where the Kiwanis Kids Closet supplies will be stored at Belle Grove Elementary. The Kiwanis Club of Severna Park and Key Club members will also provide supplies for a community baby shower to be held on March 30 at the Brooklyn Park Library.
A public Kiwanis Kids Closet collection box is located at the Howard Bank at 305 Crain Highway in Glen Burnie. People may donate supplies or money at that site. The most urgent needs are disposable diapers, Pull-Ups, baby food and formula, and unused baby and toddler clothes.
“Our club has monthly dinner and speaker meetings and we’d love new members,” said Jacobs. “As a Kiwanis member, you can evaluate both children’s issues and community needs on an ongoing basis, and conduct service projects to respond to those identified needs. Together we can accomplish great things that individuals alone could not do.”
Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members and partners dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.kiwanis.org.