Scott County Schools (SCS) spread some holiday cheer to children and families throughout the week.
SCS received 55 bikes and helmets along with 40 food baskets from the Georgetown Kiwanis Club as part of Christmas donation the group has done for the last 30 years. These donations will be given to Scott County students and their families across the district.
The bikes are being hand-delivered by Family Resource and Youth Service coordinators throughout the week. Lynne Switzer, director of Student Services, coordinated the giveaway along with Torie Hundley, coordinator of Scott County Family Resource Center. When she was asked to get involved, Switzer said she couldn’t resist helping out.
“I think that the sheer joy it brings, not only to kids, but to the parents, to see that their kid can have something that is fantastic,” Switzer said. “You want every kid to have a bike. Having a bike is not like having a burger. Food and security is life-sustaining, a bike isn’t life-sustaining, but a bike brings joy to parents and kids alike.”
Switzer said the schools providing students with something non-essential, such as a bike, allows parents to focus on the things that are essential.
“It takes some of the pressure off them,” she said. “I know bikes aren’t super expensive, but in many cases that may not be something our folks can buy.”
Donnie Fryman, president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, said bikes were the chosen donation because of their memorability.
“We latched onto that (bikes) pretty quick because as kids growing up that was the one gift that almost all of us (the committee) remembered,” he said. “We wanted to do something special for them.”
Renee Holmes, community education director, said the Georgetown Kiwanis Club has typically done a lunch with Santa event, where students are able to meet Santa Claus and receive a gift, along with a meal. This event typically services 250 people each year.
“This was an effort to continue their decades-long support of our students,” she said. “We worked together to make some changes to their normal programming in light of the pandemic. Our friends at Georgetown Kiwanis Club are dedicated to making a difference in our community, and we are so thankful for their kindness and service to our schools.”
Instead of the Lunch with Santa event, the Kiwanis Club provided meal boxes that included a main dish of ham or turkey for families. Accommodations for the food and bikes were both made by Walmart.
Fryman said the changes required a lot more coordination with the school system than in years past.
“Normally, the school system just had to get the children there to us and we’ve been able to take care of it from there,” Fryman said. “The school would provide the transportation of 250 students that the school system chooses. This year, we had to rely heavily on Renee and the school system to pick up the bikes and transport those and to pick up the food to distribute from Walmart.”
Georgetown Kiwanis Club relies on its one and only fundraiser throughout the year, which is the Scott County Fair. However, because of the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 fair was cancelled this summer. But Fryman said the club had been saving up for a rainy day such as this.
“That’s our only fundraiser throughout the year,” he said. “We had absolutely zero money coming in this year. We planned the last several years. We thought we’d miss a day or maybe a week because of rainouts. We had been building up reserves to make sure the community was taken care of.”
Because of this, the club was able to allocate the exact same amount of funds overall that it had in previous years.
“We budgeted the exact same,” he said. “We wanted to use every dollar we could.”
The Kiwanis Club also recently donated 500 toys to the Great Crossing High School’s National Honor Society toy drive this year.
Fryman said the Christmas donations are a huge part of the club’s dedication to helping the children of Scott County.
“Our overall mission as Kiwanis here and around the world is to provide for children, and the school system is the one teaching our children and preparing them to take over our spots in the future,” he said. “We definitely want to nourish and help in any way we can to advance the children.”
Kyle Woosley can be reached at email@example.com.