Return to Headlines

Caring Kids Care About the Community

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day took on new meaning for K-4th grade students in the Jane Ball Kids Care Club.  “Martin Luther King made blacks and whites join together and made things less hard for people,” said Jenna DeYoung, a 4th grader in the Kids Care Club.  Jenna and 18 other students from the Kids Care Club joined the sponsor of the Club, Guidance Counselor, Lesley Klauk and Kindergarten Teacher Cece Kiger, at the Hanover Township Trustee’s Office for a morning of service in the Township Food Pantry. 

Girl Smiling

Jenna DeYoung takes a few minutes out of her busy morning at the Trustee's Office to share her thoughts on MLK Day and the Kids Care Club.

In spite of the cold, in spite of the legal holiday, Trustee Kevin Toth and his office staff members; Teri Blagojevic, Kelly Lopez and Beth Tate were all on hand to welcome the caring kids and assign each and every one to a task.

Man helping little girl

Hanover Township Trustee Kevin Toth helps a little Kid Care Club member get started bagging pet food.

The youngest of the caring kids were quickly put to work bagging dog and cat food.  1st grader Samantha Kawa was excited about the service morning and the Kids Care Club.  “I like to help my brother, so I thought I might like to help others too,” she said.  Packing the pet food had special meaning for Samantha who has two cats at home.  “I used to have a dog too,” she said, “but he died one day getting off our deck.  I loved him a lot and he used to lay on my lap,” she added with a smile.  Samantha wasn’t sad to be thinking about her dog, but rather happy to know she was helping someone else’s dog. 

Little girl smiling

This morning's community service brought back happy memories of her own dog for Samantha Kawa. 

Another group of kids circled boxes on the floor to write clear and legible expiration dates on canned goods, while the oldest group of Caring Kids loaded individual boxes for families who visit the pantry. 

woman with children and can goods

Trustee Office Staff Member, Kelly Lopez explains how to label cans for the food pantry with expiration dates that are easy to see and read. 

girls sorting boxes

Kids Care Club members begin to sort boxes for Food Pantry recipients.

workers in a food pantry

There were lots of boxes to fill, and fill them they did!

woman and child marking tin cans

Mrs. Klauk helps some of her club members mark cans.

“I felt good about signing up for the Kids Care Club because I knew I would be helping others,” said Jenna who is also working on another project with the Kids Care members.  “We are making ‘Giggle Books’ for kids in the hospital,” she explained.  “We’re making a book full of jokes and funny pictures we’ve drawn.  We’ll send them to places like Riley’s and St. Jude and maybe we can help make sick kids smile.”  Jenna’s own smile comes easily when you tell her that, as a 4th grader, she is a student leader, and her service will provide a good example to others.  She is excited to see the Kids Care Club taken on new projects.  “I also think it would be very caring if we could donate hair to someplace that makes wigs for women who have cancer,” said Jenna.

man and woman help boy stack items

Trustee Toth and Beth Tate help one of the Kids Care Club members do some last minute tidying up.

“The observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has gained notice over the past few years as a “day on” instead of a day off.  Many people and organizations observe this day by volunteering in their community.  We had a make-up snow day and it seemed the perfect opportunity to introduce the kids to some ‘hands on’ community service,” said Mrs. Klauk.

two women helping kids

Terri Blagojevic (left) and Mrs. Kiger (right) help students fill pet food bags.

Indeed, the kids enjoyed the experience and worked hard, all the while knowing they were helping others on a day that has come to symbolize and celebrate such efforts.  Members of the Kids Care Club are (in random order are):  Samantha Kawa, Annie Widstrand, Kensley Martisek, Cole Martisek, Jessica Ferguson, Madison Payne, Victoria Preda, Claire Donaldson, Natalie Miller, Julianna Sowa, Jesslyn Sowa, Vanessa Mills, Jenna DeYoung, Carter Thomson, Dawson Boyer, Chase Thompson, Adelyn Martin and Tatum Eastling.

Group photo of adults and volunteers

Hanover Township Trustee, Office Staff, and the members of the Kids Care Club.  Great Job Everyone!