Kids Care works for community

Clarkston High School Kids Care members who raised money for Make-a-Wish included Austin Burrum, Kristina Bauer,  Brendan Leddy, Kiana Colon, Kyle Richards, Rebecca Nofar, David Carr. Not pictured: Nathan Dimmer, Sam Hunt, Hannah Music, Danielle Sandor, Haley Telfer, Bobby Vanreydam, and teacher Marybeth Spicer. Photo provided

Clarkston students worked to make a difference all year with Kids Care, a community service club at Clarkston High School founded by sophomore Nathan Dimmer and mentored by CHS teacher Marybeth Spicer.
“I started Kids Care so CHS students could make positive contributions to the causes they believe in,” said Dimmer. “I’m looking forward to growing the club next year to make an even bigger impact in our community.”
The students focused on Make-a-Wish Foundation and Lighthouse of Oakland County this year.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that creates extraordinary experiences for children battling critical illnesses. Kids Care members participated in two events to raise money to grant life-changing wishes to these children and their families.
The first event was the Macy’s Believe Campaign which donates $1 for every letter kids write to Santa and send to Macy’s, up to $1 million.
Kids Care set up a Santa letter writing station last December at the National Technical Honor Society’s (NTHS) Holiday Mug Etching Fundraiser. Around  200 elementary students attended the event, and wrote letters to Santa, Dimmer said.
Thirteen members of Kids Care also raised money for the 21st Annual Walk For Wishes, a Make-A-Wish Michigan fundraiser. The 1.5 mile family-friendly walkathon was at the Detroit Zoo on May 4. The CHS team, Wolves Walk For Wishes, raised almost $600. Altogether, Walk For Wishes-Southeast Michigan raised more than $472,000 this year.
“This was a great event that brought in people and organizations from all over the area to help raise money to grant wishes to sick children,” said Spicer.  ”It was humbling to see so many people making an impact on children and families in such a personal way.”
Kids Care also ran two peanut butter and jelly (PB&J) drives, called Spread the Love, to donate to Lighthouse of Oakland County. Lighthouse provides direct services such as food, shelter, clothing, and utility/rental assistance, emergency shelter, and housing programs to families in need.
One Spread the Love campaign was organized by Grace Kaiding, a CHS senior  who collected PB&J at the Early Childhood Center, where she was placed for her Preschool Practicum B class.
The other PB&J drive was held as part of the sixth Annual Maker Girl Mania event on May 18. A coupon was offered to the participants for a discounted ticket with a canned good or peanut butter donation.
“While Maker Girl focuses on helping more girls get excited about STEAM, we also value the importance of giving back and encouraging our participants to help our neighbors,” said Laura Kalinowski, NTHS advisor.
These two Spread the Love campaigns resulted in a total donation to Lighthouse of Oakland County in Clarkston of 154 pounds of peanut butter and jelly!
“I love to get involved in any organization/program that helps meet the needs of kids and families – academically, socially, and emotionally.” said Spicer. “Both of these events provided an opportunity to pour into children and families. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
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