Courtesy photo Aktion Club of Highlands County President Ralph Meyers (left) unloads a bed being donated by the club for the Avon Park Housing Authority Transitional Housing program. Three beds were donated by Aktion Club and Kiwanis Club of Sebring to help three children. Helping to unload the beds are some of the recipients (from left) Trent Lampkin Jr., Alexander Galarza, Emmoniel Blake and Trent Lampkin Sr.
published: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Aktion Club gives beds to homeless children
Special to the News-Sun
AVON PARK - Three families with children were thankful this holiday season when they were able to rest peacefully in their own beds.
The Aktion Club of Highlands County collected donations to help get three beds for the Avon Park Housing Authority Transitional Housing for homeless families. Cam Barnard, coordinator of the Transitional Housing program, stated she had an immediate need since these children were sleeping on the floor.
Lakeside Park I is a developed transitional housing program with two to five bedroom units. The site also has a laundry mat, community garden and a tot lot for the children. This is a transitional and emergency housing program for homeless and about to be homeless families in Highlands County. It is a 12-14 month program that prepares families to be self-sufficient. After the adults receive stable employment, they have the ability to apply for subsidized or affordable housing. The participants receive various types of educational training to make their transitions in employment.
Barnard explained that often residents have no belongings to accommodate their needs. She is in need of any furniture or household items that could be donated. All donations would be considered tax deductible.
The Aktion Club members, who are individuals with disabilities, each donated $1 and was able to raise $70 to purchase one bed while the Kiwanis Club of Sebring chipped in $175 to pay for the other two beds. The clubs purchased beds from the Ridge Area Arc Resale Store and the Nu-Hope Elder Care Services Resale Store. They delivered the beds prior to Thanksgiving.
"It was good for our club members to pitch in and help these children. I was really shocked to see how bare their homes were. I am glad we got these beds to help them. The kids looked happy," Aktion Club President Ralph Meyers said.
The Aktion Club also received a donation of $100 from one family member and another $100 donation from Germaine Surveying in Sebring. These donations and any other money will be used to help purchase holiday gifts for needy children in the county which is another project coordinated by the Aktion Club.
There will be approximately 30 children in this county who will be adopted by the Aktion Club this holiday. This is the fourth year that the club has adopted needy children during the holiday. Last year, they helped 22 children in eight different families. The club receives names from the Gulf Central Early Steps program which works with children ages birth to 3 who have disabilities. The club also includes the siblings in the gift giving.
A tree has been set up at Lakeshore Mall in the Aktion Club Gift Wrapping Store which features ornaments with the child's first name, age, size or toy wish. The public is invited to help purchase gifts for these needy children or make a donation. All money raised from the gift wrapping will go toward this project. Anyone who chooses a name on the tree and buys a gift for a needy child can get their present wrapped for free.
The Gift Wrapping Store will be open from 4-8 p.m., Dec. 3-16, at Lakeshore Mall. It is located in the former Highlands County Sheriff's Office in the Food Court near the bathroom hallway.
Packages, whether purchased in the mall or somewhere else, can be wrapped for a donation. A variety of holiday paper, bows and tags will be available.
For more details on how to help, call Aktion Club Advisor Cindy Marshall at 452-1295, ext. 124.
Great Organization (by: Joey P. - 12/5/2012)
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