LIVERPOOL - The motto of Kiwanis is “Serving the Children of the World,” and the Liverpool club’s activities, since its formation in 1931, have been doing just this.
Now, the Kiwanis Club of Liverpool has started a new gifting program.
“We all think of kids in need at Christmas, but what about their birthday?” writes the Kiwanis Club in its promotion.
“We are always looking for ways to make a difference to Queens County children’s lives and, apart from financial support for the Queens Country food bank, we came up with an idea this past summer of possibly providing birthday gifts for food bank children who might not otherwise have them on their birthdays,” says member Roy Payzant.
The community addresses Christmas presents for needy kids but not birthday gifts, he says.
To get the project started, the Kiwanis club asked the food bank for information on children who were food bank clients, to see if they could develop something specific for each child.
The club discovered there were 90 children on the list of clients and Payzant says the club decided to narrow the target to the 70 children aged four through 10, at least for the first year.
From there, a database was created with client numbers, gender and birth dates for the 70 children and the data was sorted by birth month. Payzant says the database is updated monthly for any new child clients in the four to 10 age group.
The program started on Nov. 1, with the Kiwanis club members providing a gender and age-specific present in a gift bag for the eight children with November birthdays. The food bank added sippy drinks and snacks to complete the bags and arranged for each child to receive the gift bag prior to their special day, says Payzant.
Payzant says the cost of each gift is about $30, so the program cost for November 2017 through October 2018 will amount to approximately $2,100.
To cover most of this cost, Kiwanis is sponsoring a hockey game at the Emera Centre on Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. between the Liverpool Privateers and Bruce Inglis Financial All Stars. Entrance is a donation of $9 for adults and $5 for students. There will also be a silent auction at the game as well. Donations will be gladly received for items to auction, Payzant said.
Once the club sees how it works, members would like to expand the age range. They are also looking into the possibility of having members of the public sponsor the gift for children who have the same birthdays.
“We are enthusiastic about this program,” says Payzant, “and awaiting feedback from the children and their parents.”
Learn more about the upcoming fundraising event and the Liverpool Kiwanis Club at https://www.facebook.com/events/289885691529892/