Key Clubs provide supplies, books and more to those in need.
(This is the third in a series of articles focusing on Key Clubs that received HALO Movement grants over the summer.)
By Danielle Castonzo
Key Club International and Nickelodeon’s HALO Movement again have partnered to offer grants to help Key Clubs carry out service projects. In the latest round of 10 winners, three clubs received grants for projects to help those in need of school supplies, personal-care products or children’s books.
In Cottonwood, Arizona, the Mingus Union High School Key Club received a HALO grant to provide students from economically challenged families with free school supplies and hygiene products.
“We believe that students shouldn’t have to go to school and not be able to take notes because they don’t have paper or feel embarrassed because they can’t afford deodorant or shampoo,” club member Reanna Bueno wrote in the HALO application.
Thanks to the Halo grant, the Key Club will expand inventory for its Hope Chest project. In April 2018, members cleaned out a classroom and stocked it with newly purchased personal-care items (deodorant, shampoo, body soap, feminine products) and school supplies (paper, backpacks, pens). Counselors and teachers refer students in need to the Hope Chest for these key basics.
In addition to using grant funds, club members will fundraise with other projects to keep the Hope Chest filled. They hope to involve other student organizations and expand their resources to provide clothing and food as well.
When a local pediatrics group approached the Beaver Dam High School Key Club in Wisconsin with a request for help, the club jumped into action. It applied for and received a HALO grant to fund a Reach Out and Read initiative.
Reach Out and Read provides books to young children when their parents take them to the doctor for the first time. The Beaver Dam community has a growing Hispanic population with many second-language learners. These books will help children acquire a new vocabulary and improve their language skills at a young age.
“Our Key Club is so excited about this project in so many ways,” Key Club member Kendra Gillett wrote in the HALO application. “We have forged a new relationship with Beaver Dam (Community) Pediatrics and want to support their efforts with helping young families throughout the community.”
In Hyannis, Massachusetts, the Sturgis Charter Public School East Key Club received a grant to help school children in Costa Rica through the Squads Abroad program.
During their spring break in April 2019, 10 to 20 Key Club members will travel to Costa Rica for a week of service. There, they will help to educate students about the importance of healthy habits – including good nutrition and dental hygiene — and provide resources to combat the lack of health care in the community.
“We feel that as active Key Clubbers, it is our duty to help not only our community, but other communities that are also in need,” Key Club member Ellen Adams wrote in the HALO application. “This opportunity will also bring cultural awareness to our club and help us become better world citizens.”
In addition to receiving the HALO grant, the club has held bake sales to raise money for the project. In the current school year, members plan to organize car washes and partner with local businesses to provide more resources for the children. Their ultimate goal: to leave a lasting impact on the Costa Rica community.