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Flooded communities can count on Kiwanis for relief

Vicki Hermansen | Apr 12, 2019

Kiwanis makes difference in flood zone

Communities affected by flooding in Nebraska and Iowa will continue to receive aid after the Kiwanis Children’s Fund approved an additional US$15,000 in disaster aid, bringing the total relief effort to $45,000.

Residents of Bellevue, Nebraska, will receive hygiene products and diapers from the Kiwanis Club of Kirksville, Missouri. Residents north of Omaha who were forced from their homes will receive food, cleaning supplies and clothing. And residents of Hamburg, Iowa, who received sack lunches from the Atlantic, Iowa, club a few weeks ago, will now have money to help residents buy bedding, towels and other items needed to begin anew.

“We learned that a food bank in Bellevue was in desperate need of diapers and personal hygiene items,” said Racheal Young, president of the Kiwanis Club of Kirksville. “We’re using our grant to buy diapers, toilet paper, paper towels and other needed items, and working with the food pantry in Bellevue, as well as local Kiwanians, to distribute them.”

The Kiwanis Club of Blair, Nebraska, will apply its $5,000 grant to help residents rebuild their lives, said Gayle Roberts, club treasurer.  

“There is a continued need to help families clean up or start from scratch and our Kiwanis club could would like to be of help to the families,” said Roberts. “With a focus on children, we want to make sure kids have the supplies and clothing they need to attend school.”  

Roberts said schools have just reopened, with some children having missed as many as 34 days. The club plans to help in Washington County, Nebraska, and meet the most critical needs.  

In Hamburg, Iowa, the Kiwanis club was on hand a few weeks ago to receive lunches prepared and delivered by five clubs in Iowa and Nebraska; now the club will have funding to help residents restock their homes with bedding, towels and personal items.  

“If a community is hit by a natural disaster, Kiwanis members are going to reach out to help their neighbors. That’s just the type of people we are,” said Ann Updegraff Spleth, chief operating officer of Kiwanis Children’s Fund. “And while Kiwanis isn’t a traditional disaster relief organization like the Red Cross, the Kiwanis Children’s Fund is proud to be there to help clubs meet the immediate needs of children and families in communities around the world.”

The Children’s Fund has already granted $25,000 to five clubs in Nebraska and Iowa in March and early April, allowing clubs to provide relief to friends and neighbors whose homes and businesses were damaged by flooding. 

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