Kiwanis Club launches project to help community

Kiwanis Club of Lady Lake member Glendia Brown, of Oxford, fills her car with groceries to be delivered to a family as part of the club’s Adopt A Family service project.

The Kiwanis Club of Lady Lake recently launched a new project designed to fulfill the needs of the many local families adversely affected by the coronavirus.

In April, the club began its Adopt A Family service project. The project helps families who have been identified by community leaders as needing assistance with essential items because of circumstances resulting from the pandemic. Club members shop for and deliver food, paper goods and personal toiletries to families in need. 

The project started off with $5,000 from the club’s funds. Individual members then made donations to increase the amount to about $7,000. Kiwanis International this week added a $2,500 grant to help cover costs.

“As a club, we had decided to go ahead with the project even before we got the grant,” said Cleve Tinsley, former president of the Kiwanis Club of Lady Lake, who is overseeing the project. “With the grant, we have about $10,000 dedicated to helping others with the project.”

A little over a month into their new service project, they are still taking requests to help families in need.

Most of the families are identified through schools and Sidney Brock, pastor of Heritage Community Church in Fruitland Park. 

School counselors reach out to potential candidates and let them know about the Adopt A Family program. After a brief conversation, counselors send the names and contact information

to Tinsley.

Tinsley, of the Village of Calumet Grove, calls each family and asks that, after taking a look in their fridge and pantry, they send a list of what they need to take care of their families for the next few weeks. 

Tinsley then sends a family’s list to a club member, who shops and delivers the items to a family’s home.

“When it comes time to deliver the items, a member contacts the family to let the family know they are coming,” he said. “We can’t visit with the families as much as we would have in the past when doing other projects, because of the virus. So most deliveries are made to the porch, doorstep or driveway.” 

Club member Glendia Brown has been making deliveries since the project started.

“We are doing our best to make sure they get everything they need while still bringing comfort during this trying time,” the Oxford resident said. 

The club works with a different group of families each week, and members look forward to helping more people.

“Knowing that we are helping the community, it gives us, as a club, a feeling of accomplishment,” Tinsley said.

For more information on how to help with the Adopt A Family project, contact Tinsley at 352-789-1667.

Staff writer Andrea Davis can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5374, or andrea.davis@thevillagesmedia.com.

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