Key Club: December Drives
As the winter holidays approach, there are still many non-profit organizations and people in need during this time. Interviewed between December 14th and 15th, Key Club advisors, Mrs. D’Urso ad Ms. Mazza, shared their ideas for the club’s December events, while highlighting the importance of giving.
Key Club, Kiwanis Educating Youth, is an international student-driven organization with food drives that have been running for many years in NHS. It provides services and opportunities to students to help build their characters and develop leadership skills. It allows them to actively engage and participate in their community by raising awareness for its needs. Naturally, it is locally-based, so students are expected to interact and communicate with citizens in their area.
“Caring is our way of life” is Key Club’s motto. This encourages students to do better and cooperate, while helping them to develop useful citizenship skills. Ms Mazza states, “We encourage students to participate by providing them with a sense of service to their community. These events foster compassion and caring for those in times of need.” D’Urso comments, “We try to push these activities that we come up with and remind them every week during the meetings. The incentive is getting credit to count as an activity.”
As a result of Key Club's efforts and incentives, D'Urso notes the success with all their events, particularly the Food Drive. "We have been very successful with the Food Drive, collecting so much food for Thanksgiving. We brought everything over to the Nutley Family Service Bureau and they were so grateful," she commends. "We are so fortunate that our members are willing to share their generosity with the population in Nutley." With their generosity, they accumulated extra food donations that were sent to other local food banks.
These funds are collected through generous donations or activities, such as Brother's Bakery. Most of these collections are sent back to help the community, as Mazza explains in an email. "We offer money to different organizations that could use some support or donations," D'Urso elaborates. "This year for Christmas, we did Toys for Tots and collected gift cards for sick children in Beth Israel Children's Cancer hospital, in Newark."
And though it is no cure or treatment, Mazza recalls, "Every year, we receive a letter from the hospital thanking NHS Stucco and Key Club for their donation. The phrase that impacts me the most is when they tell us how these gifts put a smile on a sick child's face."
Key Club is more than just another club, primarily aiming to promote the community's necessities. With the students' willingness to help achieve such goals, they create a friendly and stable environment where fulfilling demands are no burden. D'Urso says, "It's a great organization with tons of members and I think that it’s promising. The kids are aware that there’s so much need out there and that we should be grateful for what we have."