For a variety of reasons, most notably the coronavirus pandemic, the past year was a challenging one. Kindness, defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate,” is needed more than ever nowadays.
Recently, three local organizations got together to make a difference in the community.
It all started when the Rotary Club of Salem invited the Salem Kiwanis Club to participate in their coat drive last winter. It was so successful that organizers mutually decided to pursue another group service project and invited the Salem Host Lions Club to join too. What came of that effort was a massive clothing drive at the Salem Civic Center last Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Members from the Salem Kiwanis, Salem Rotary and Salem Lions Club came together to form an inter-club committee. The goal was to find ways to work together on projects to help in the community,” said Lisa Bain who got involved with the Kiwanis Club as part of her job as a Business Development Coordinator for SERVPRO. “It was decided that this clothing drive would be a good project for the inter-club to start with.”
When current Kiwanis Club President Mary Cross spoke with local elementary and middle school counselors, she learned what their current needs were, and clothes were a common factor. “The donated clothes today will go towards local schools so children can have back-up clothes if they get dirty at any time during the day,” Cross said.
Added former Club President Susan Mini, “In these unprecedented times of COVID, it is hard to get a lot of people that are safe and comfortable with projects, so we partnered with the Salem Rotary Club and the Salem Lions Club for this great idea to benefit our schools and the community at large.”
At the time when Iris Park joined the Kiwanis Club a few years ago, she says that she wanted to be part of the bigger picture of making a difference. I am so glad I joined, she added, not just because I enjoy the fellowship, but also because I enjoy finding creative ways to serve the needs of children in our community through local service projects.
For more information, visit salemvakiwanis.com or join the organization for lunch any Tuesday at 11:45 am in the Salem Civic Center Community Room. Additional information about the Salem Host Lions Club can be found by contacting 540-387-4506. The Rotary Club meets each Thursday at noon at the Salem Civic Center, and people can email Membership Chair Ray Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.