Virtual Santa Event Held

Now that the busy holiday season is over, its time to update the website again about what has been going on. Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego held a virtual visit with Santa for many kids via Zoom. When the parents booked the appointment, they were able to remind Santa about what their kids wanted for Christmas. This, combined with Santa already knowing the kids name and other info about them, made the experience really magical. Funds raised from this event are going towards kids in need.

Family sponsored for Thanksgiving

Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego sponsored a family for last Thanksgiving. Safeway donated a turkey and all the fixings. Members bought toys for all the children, and made a live floral centerpiece.

Ashley Jones, Safeway / Joyce Handa, Kiwanis

Club announces virtual visits with Santa Claus

2020 has brought on many challenges throughout the year. While COVID has continued into the holiday season, many parents have been worried about bringing their children to see Santa at retail stores. This has been a problem for many non-profits, so Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego was up for the challenge.

The club brainstormed and came up with the idea of offering virtual visits online. Normally in a retail environment, Santa doesn’t have much opportunity to learn about the child before the visit. By booking the visit ahead of time, the parent has the opportunity to let Santa know a few special things about the child, allowing for a more personalized interaction. In lieu of providing photos that a parent would normally receive in a retail environment, the club decided to take advantage of the technology being used, and screen record the interaction. This will be a unique opportunity to share this interaction with family and friends who cannot attend holiday gatherings, and be a cherished memory for years to come.

To test the demand for virtual visits with Santa Claus, the club will be offering time slots on December 5th-6th. If demand is high enough, the club may open more dates and times. Visits with Santa are $20. Each 15 minute time slot includes 10 minutes of visit time with Santa, and a 5 minute buffer between other kids.

Proceeds generated from this fundraiser will be used to support youth programs for underserved children at River Grove and Oak Creek elementary schools, and a handful of homeless students within the Lake Oswego School District.

To reserve a time slot for your child, please visit: https://k20338.site.kiwanis.org/santa-2020/

Kiwanis assist Neighborhood House 20/20 Food Drive

Joyce Handa and Esther Medina, along with Key Club members from Lake Oswego High, volunteered at the “20/20 Food Drive” hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Southwest Hills in Portland which benefitted the Neighborhood House, a non-profit organization, located in Multnomah Village. The community was asked to donate 20 pounds of non-perishable food and/or $20 in monetary proceeds. The event was set up in conjunction with the annual Kiwanis One Day project which encourages clubs to work together to help their communities worldwide on October 24th this year. The event was organized as a Drive Through to keep donors and the Kiwanis families at a safe distance due to the Covid-19 environment. This Food Drive successfully raised $1,500 and collected 1,600 pounds of food, which included 200 pounds of pet food. Great work Kiwanians and Key Clubbers!

Installation of Club Officers and Induction of New Members Ceremony

The Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego held their “Club Installation Ceremony” on Tuesday, October 6th. The installation ceremony is the official changing of Officers and Board of Directors at the beginning of the new fiscal year. Kiwanis Fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th. Normally, this would be a formal ceremony with appetizers and drinks, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was held virtually via Zoom.

The retired Lt. Gov. of Division 70, Richard Chesbrough, attended to recognize the retiring of officers. His position has now been filled by Betty Crawford, who will act as Lt. Gov. of Division 70 for the next two years. Jennifer Berman, the previous year Club President, now Immediate Past President, gave her word of appreciation to the club.

Betty Crawford, Lt. Gov. Division 70, performed the Installation of Officers and Directors Ceremony. She spoke to each new officer and board member, explaining the importance of their specific roles to the club. Joyce Handa is now the Club President. Andrew Caswell is the Club Secretary. Erin McCulloch is now the Club Treasurer. Jennifer Bergman is the Immediate Past President. Deena Bothello is now serving as the only Board Member.

Afterwards, Betty Crawford performed an induction of new members ceremony. This was an exciting moment, as the club brings on two new members. Alison Palombo, previously a member of the now closed Portland Kiwanis Club, is now a member of Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego. Esther Medina was also inducted as a brand new member of Kiwanis.

Upon closing of the ceremonies, club members were able to depart for the evening. The brand new officers stayed to conduct the club budget meeting. Discussions about financials and upcoming service events that could revolve around finances of the club took place. 

Final donations delivered from Wildfire Service Project

Joyce Handa (middle) stands with two girls who received donations after evacuating from the wildfires.

Monday marked the official end for deliveries of donations to those affected by the Oregon wildfires. Over the past few weeks, members of the Lake Oswego came together to help neighboring communities by donating toys, food, personal hygiene items, new clothing, diapers, etc.

Various businesses opened their doors to be official drop-off points for Kiwanis collection bins. These locations include: Safeway, McCulloch Insurance Agency, dba, Farmers Insurance, Lake Oswego Fire Station, Lake Oswego Library, and Lake Oswego City Hall.

Members of Kiwanis visited these various donation sites, and then delivered the supplies for sorting and temporary storage at Rapid Response Bio-Clean in Portland. Rapid Response also donated the use of an 18ft Isuzu box truck to deliver supplies to an evacuation site and a relief organization.

In addition to the local Lake Oswego Community, various nearby Kiwanis Clubs also helped collect supplies to help our clubs cause. Clubs from Tigard, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Washington County, and Ross Island; set up donation drop-off points, and delivered the supplies to the Rapid Response Bio-Clean Warehouse.

An article about the clubs donation collection efforts published by the Lake Oswego Review on September 23, 2020.

Various trips were made to the Evacuation Relief Center in Estacada. Coordination on a rotating list of needed supplies was made possible by the assistance of Estacada Community Watch. As their needs dwindled, we identified a different organization who helps young single parents, and is a referral source for those who call 211. This organization, “The Madonna Center for Life”, had their supplies depleted due to COVID-19 and the Riverside Fire. We made multiple trips to this organization, and rebuilt their supply inventory that should last until the end of December.

On Monday, October 5th, Joyce Handa was able to meet directly with a mother and two small girls who evacuated during the wildfires. According to Handa, through the incredile generosity of neighboring communities, we helped make a meaningful impact. “It was a touching experience to witness firsthand, the joy of giving to children affected by the wildfires, and hearing laughter and excitement during this unexpectedly tragic event in our state.” said Handa.

Photo of two girls how received some of the donations from the clubs wildfire donation collection.

Kiwanis present 20 headsets for underserved children

Erin McCulloch (Kiwanis Treasurer Elect), Jamie Lubov (River Grove Learning Specialist), Joyce Handa (Kiwanis Club President Elect)

COVID-19 has shutdown schools within our community, requiring students to attend class virtually. According to a Pew Research Study conducted in 2019, roughly 18% of Americans making less than $30,000 per year don’t have broadband internet access. These numbers could speculate the difficulties some families may experience in order to get their kids to attend school online. Through our relationship with River Grove Elementary School, it was determined that multiple underserved students were in need of headsets in order to attend their virtual school functions.

On September 1st, a meeting was held via Zoom for club members to discuss the needs of River Grove Elementary students. After the presentation, the club board approved the purchase by unanimous vote. Financial assistance for the purchase was provided to the club by McCulloch Insurance Agency, dba, Farmers Insurance.

Delivery of the headsets was delayed due to wildfire smoke that plagued the Portland area, creating the unhealthiest air quality in the world. On Monday, September 28, Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego presented the headsets to the Learning Specialist of River Grove Elementary.

Final day to drop off donations

Today is the final day we will be collecting donations for wildfire victims and organizations that assist them. Be sure to bring your donations to a location listed below before 5pm. Afterwards, all collection bins will be taken away from those facilities.

McCulloch Insurance Agency: 17030 Pilkington Road, Lake Oswego

Rapid Response Bio-Clean: 2711 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland

Safeway: 401 A Avenue, Lake Oswego (Exterior, eastside of store)

Safeway: 17779 Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Fire Department: 300 B Avenue, Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Library: 706 4th Street, Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego City Hall: 380 A Avenue, Lake Oswego (Interior Vestibule)

Monetary Donations are also being accepted. Please make out any checks to our sister Kiwanis Club: Hillsboro Kiwanis Foundation. These funds will be distributed to national disaster relief directly involved in the assistance of Oregon Wildfire Victims. (Red Cross, United Way, etc.) Monetary Donations can be dropped off at: McCulloch Insurance Agency, 17030 Pilkington Road, Lake Oswego.

Donation Delivery on Saturday, September 26th

On Saturday, September, 26th, we made deliveries of donations to a few different locations. As the wildfires have been dying down, some of the traditionally thought out relief centers have received an over abundance of supplies. We needed a creative way to get your donations into the hands of those who need it most.

We visited the Madonna’s Center, a non-profit that serves UNsupported young single parents who cannot provide for their kids. They are referred to individuals who call 211 for assistance. COVID and the wildfires have created a huge demand where they have been turning away young single parent families in need, due to the lack of supplies. One of their volunteers were in tears because of the amount of generosity they received from YOU, the community.

After we left the Madonna’s Center, we headed out to see our friends at Estacada Community Watch. Based on continued communication from throughout the week, they identified a few families with kids who lost everything from the wildfires. We were able to get these donations to them through this partnership.

A family in Estacada that evacuated with their daughters reach out to us directly on our Facebook page. We are looking at getting this family some toys and other goods later this week, and are in the process of going through the donations we have received from you over the past few days.

Thank you to everyone involved. None of this would be possible without all of your help. Also, thank you Ashley Jimenez for your help driving the box truck donated by Rapid Response Bio-Clean.

You still have time to drop off donations. Our donation site partners will be accepting your donations until Wednesday, September 30th. Stop in at McCulloch Insurance Agency, along with L.O. Safeway, L.O. Fire Station, L.O. Library, and City Hall.

August 16th Thank You Letter Project

COVID-19 has shut down many different things in our lives. It has made socializing difficult, some businesses had to close, while other businesses and organizations had to continue running. Kiwanis Members wanted to recognize those individuals who continued serving the public.

Kiwanis gathered in the backyard of a members home. This was one of the first times members met together in person during COVID-19, as meetings had been taking place on Zoom. Tables were set up so Kiwanis members could distance themselves safely. Members handwrote personal “thank you” notes to employees of various grocery stores, police, fire and medical organizations.

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