KIWIN’S and Builder’s Clubs join hands

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April Rios

During Winter Break, KIWIN’S member Francis Flores, 12, helps prepare lunch at the Midnight Mission as she serves her volunteer hours for the club. KIWIN’S members banded with Builder’s Club to help aid the mission in its busiest time of the year.

April Rios, Writer/Photographer

While some students relaxed over the holiday season, KIWIN’S and the East and West Middle School Builder’s Clubs banded together to volunteer at the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles. KIWIN’S has reached out to mentor their fellow Builder’s Clubs at East and West Middle School.

Volunteering at the Midnight Mission was an idea developed by KIWIN’S president, Brenda Lopez. Builder’s Club had previously volunteered at the soup kitchen but had failed to run the project with ease. Therefore, Lopez saw the opportunity to teach the younger students how to successfully manage a service project and serve those in need at the same time.

“We decided that we would not only be helping them [the Builder’s Clubs] but others as well,” Lopez said.

At the Midnight Mission, faces lit up as the young volunteers served the unfortunate with smiles. The students were excited to be part of the experience and have the opportunity to reflect on their good fortunes this holiday season.

“You learn to really appreciate what you have and you also get to feel the joy of helping other people. Nearly everyone says ‘thank you and god bless’ after you give them food. That makes you feel good because you know they really appreciate your help,” junior Jesus Gonzales said.

The clubs helped serve food during the lunch hours, organize the food drive donations into variety packages, arrange the donated toys into age groups, and prepare the food for the next meal. The workload might have been arduous, but the satisfaction of providing a needed service to those in need was more than enough for some students.

“It was nice to know that our job consists of helping others and making an impact,” senior Jessica Leon said.

The KIWIN’S leaders have extensive goals in mind and wish to make a difference in our community and others as well. The high school service club plans on teaching the younger students how to develop and apply leadership skills that are necessary not only to run a club, but to also make valuable decisions in life. KIWIN’S has become involved in Builder’s Clubs’ meetings by visiting both middle school clubs once a month to overview their meetings and provide guidance on how to improve what is being done with regards to projects and leadership. They established a constant presence at Builder’s Clubs’ service projects, such as volunteering at the Midnight Mission, to teach the students how projects should be carried out. They look forward to setting new events in motion, such as providing funds to build a school in Kenya and seeing the ones already in progress, such as the Bring Up Grades mentoring program, succeed.