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The 2015-2016 Governor’s Project, Christmas in July, charges each Kiwanis club in Florida to provide personalized necessities for homeless children who Dr. Celia Earle refers to as the “invisible homeless”. These homeless children exist in just about every city in our State. The number one need of a homeless child is underwear (including diapers and socks); the second greatest need is shoes, followed by clothing. Clubs are encouraged to adopt a homeless family, a shelter, or numerous shelters where these children reside on a very short term basis. These children are not homeless due to any fault of their own.
The Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven provided assistance to students at New Beginnings High School. The project culminated with a special lunch event at the school for students, parents, and staff on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, featuring George Tinsley, Sr. as the keynote speaker.
Collection bins were placed at local businesses and government offices June 1 - July 15, 2016. Thank you to the following companies and organizations who collected supply donations!
History of Broward County 'Christmas in July' project
The concept of Christmas in July came about in 2001 when then Kiwanis Division 23 Lt. Governor, Dr. Celia Earle, performed research on the plight of homeless children in Broward County, Florida. She discovered that there were hundreds of the County’s students who could not list a home address because they were in shelters. This does not include the hundreds of homeless children under the age of five. She also realized that their number one need was underwear, followed by shoes, and then clothing. She implored the other Kiwanis clubs in the Division to make a difference in the lives of these unfortunate children from newborns to age 19 and they bought into the idea. She also reached out to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners who embraced the concept and set up collection facilities at their court houses.
Thus, Christmas in July was born. This event would provide a ray of hope to children who do not end up in these homeless facilities due to any fault of their own, but due to unfortunate circumstances. It would show them that others truly care about their plight. Learn more at http://www.christmasinjulyinc.com/.
Winter Haven Kiwanis President-elect, Tiffani Gozdur, was a recipient of the...more
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