Kiwanis, FCSS distributing care boxes into local community

Kiwanis International, as part of their efforts to establish a branch in Strathmore, have partnered with Strathmore Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) to deliver care boxes to local families.

Dubbed “Kiki Care Boxes,” 40 packages filled with things such as books, food, toys and gift cards are being distributed to FCSS supported families through this initiative.

“This is our first project here in Strathmore, but we have a lineup of projects on a monthly basis that we are looking at,” said Ron Gosselin, lieutenant governor of Division Seven of Kiwanis, Western Canada. “We have collected food from various suppliers and donors, and we assembled the care boxes in Calgary … those boxes are distributed via FCSS to low-income families.”

In addition to collecting donations for the boxes, Kiwanis has actively been selling family-friendly cookbooks aimed to encourage kids to get involved in the kitchen with their families. According to Gosselin, proceeds from these sales went into helping to fund the care boxes.

A family is eligible to receive a care box if they are registered with FCSS, are able to provide proof of a GST refund, and are considered a low-income family.

Beyond the distribution of the Kiki Care Boxes, Kiwanis is already looking ahead to their next initiative, centred around bullying awareness scheduled for April 14 at the Strathmore Civic Centre.

“We have secured a speaker … she is a specialist in what we call difficult conversation, and of course, anti-bullying,” said Gosselin. “This is our next project and we have all kinds of stuff lined up for May and June and (beyond) to try to set up the club here in Strathmore.”

The club’s third project, according to Gosselin, will be centred around mental health problems and how to address them. Though not yet scheduled, this is expected to take place in May or June.

Though Kiwanis has already established several members who are interested in participating in a local club branch, still more people are needed to help the club flourish and establish a solid foot in the community.

“We’ve got a base of members right now, but we’re looking at adding some to really form a club that is fully functioning within the within the Town of Strathmore,” said Gosselin. “Kiwanis is all about responding to the needs expressed by the community, and this is what we’re trying to do.”

More information regarding the care boxes, Kiwanis’ future projects and about the club itself in Strathmore is available through their local Facebook page.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times