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Perry Kiwanis launches Cares for Kids program

Perry Kiwanis launches Cares for Kids program

Perry Kiwanis is launching a new venture to collect and distribute suitcases and duffel bags in good condition, along with hygiene items, to Perry Schools students who are homeless. The program is named “Kiwanis Cares for Kids.”

“On any one day in Perry Township, there are as many as 300 students in the school system who are homeless, living in cars, behind benches or with friends, or are in foster care,” explained Kiwanis Co-president and Treasurer Scott Splichal. “These kids have no place to keep their belongings except perhaps a grocery bag or paper sack.”

“Perry Kiwanis recognizes that fact and wants to do something about it here in Perry Township,” Splichal said. “We are collecting new and gently used suitcases in good condition, with wheels that work and with no rips or tears, as well as duffel bags also in good condition. We also are collecting regular-sized toiletry items to distribute.”

“We need the help of the community with this project,” Splichal said. “We need suitcases and duffel bags as well as toiletry items so we can hand them out. Cash donations will always be accepted and appreciated. This is a program that will make a big impact on the lives of the young people it serves,” he added.

Homeless students attending Perry Schools often have no place to keep their belongings except a grocery bag or paper sack, according to Perry Kiwanis Co-president and Treasurer Scott Splichal. (Submitted photo)

“We are working with Perry Schools student services and social workers on this program. We also are working with Resources of Hope in Whiteland, which works with foster families.”

The program is still in the planning stages, Splichal said, but already has support from Melissa Johnson, the new executive director of Perry Senior Citizens Services whose board president is a foster parent, and from Bill Boone, chairman of Servant’s Heart pantry, which has donated 10 suitcases.

“We are grateful to Tom Clark of Storage Express: https://www.storageexpress.com.  for renting us, at a reduced rate, a storage unit for easy access when we need the suitcases and supplies to hand out,” Splichal said. He added that the club will need to find a community partner to help fund the program.

Perry Kiwanis has an urgent need for toiletry donations and is looking for additional pantry sites. For more information, contact Dale Nordholt at (317) 626-9396 or Scott Splichal at (317) 319-9345.

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