The Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club (www.biscaynebaykiwanis.org), one of South Florida’s most active community service organizations, recently distributed backpacks containing one week of school uniforms, school supplies, and lunch boxes to 100 innercity children from four different elementary schools.
Children from Santa Clara, Phillis Wheatley, Eneida M. Hartner, and Frederick Douglass elementary schools have each received five uniform polo shirts and three pairs of slacks or shorts stuffed in a new backpack. This is the 14th year the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club has held a back-to-school project for homeless and disadvantaged children.
In a change of “format” students received their backpacks in the Douglass media center and then proceeded to “shop” for school supplies before leaving. In total, Biscayne Bay Kiwanis provided more than $10,000 worth of items with this annual project.
“This is one of our signature community service projects,” said Kellie Gayoso, club president. “Being able to help disadvantaged kids — many of which are homeless — start the school year off on an even footing with their classmates is so important in bolstering their self esteem and confidence. Over the years we have seen that having the proper clothes and supplies encourages the kids to stay in school.”
Since its founding in 1950, the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club — an all-volunteer service organization of professional men and women based in Downtown Miami — has improved the lives of disadvantaged children in Overtown, Allapattah, and Midtown Miami through educational programs, field trips, and hands on service projects.
The 68-year-old club’s very successful programs include an in-school reading program to help second graders pass the EOY (End of Year) Exam, funding of summer swim lessons, lessons in etiquette, civics, and life skills, Thanksgiving meal giveaways to innercity families and guided tours/field trips to Everglades National Park and South Florida museums.
Over the past eight years the BBKC has awarded more than $260,000 in scholarships throughout Miami-Dade County, including full, four-year college scholarships to deserving Booker T. Washington seniors.
For more information on the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club, send email to Biscaynebaykiwanis@gmail.com or phone/text 305-814-2225.