Members of the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club (biscaynebaykiwanis.org) and their supporters recently joined with South Florida’s Returning Peace Corps Veterans to host an Everglades National Park outing for 75 homeless and disadvantaged kids from the Chapman Partnership and the Touching Miami with Love organizations.
Some 35 Peace Corps vets, who served in 20 countries around the globe, joined nearly 20 Biscayne Bay Kiwanis members as they served breakfast and lunch to — and then went on guided tours of the Everglades with — the inner city youths. Many of the same kids attend various elementary schools served by the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis.
“This was a fun and rewarding experience,” said Kiwanis president Carlos Gaviria. “Many of these kids have never been out of their inner city environment. Exposing them to the wonders of nature — and seeing their amazement — was truly rewarding. It is also important that they know that someone cares about them and is willing to go help them. The Kiwanis motto — Improving the world one child and one community at a time — was never more true than today.”
Park rangers who accompanied the outing supplied the youths with workbooks and various “tasks” to undertake to help them better understand the surrounding nature and earn their “Junior Ranger” badges.
“The kids got to experience nature firsthand and they had a great time doing it,” said Lindsey Roland Nieratka of the Peace Corp Veterans group. “And that’s the most important thing.”
For more information on the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis, call or text 305-814-2225 or send email to Biscaynebaykiwanis@gmail.com.