Donation Day supports mentoring organization

Photo by Jennifer Rubino
Students from Clark’s Arthur L. Johnson High School Key Club fill a truck with donations they collected for the Big Brothers and Sisters Organization.

CLARK, NJ — On Friday, Jan. 13, students from Arthur L. Johnson High School’s Key Club and the Clark Kiwanis collected items to donate to the Big Brothers and Sisters Organization. The event was called Donation Day, at it lasted from 3 to 4 p.m.

“The Key Club is a community service organization,” Key Club advisor Ellen Zamboni told LocalSource in an interview. “Kiwanis is the parent organization; this is the high-school version. This is one event they team up for, where the students unload the cars and pack up the truck.”

People dropped off their donations at the high school. Donations came from students, faculty and other members of the community.

“We collected clothes, shoes, household items,” President of Clark Kiwanis Jennifer Gallo told LocalSource in an interview. “Most of the donations were shoes and household items. Today’s event was very successful. We received more donations than usual.”

The organization is involved in numerous charitable events such as helping the Plainfield Women’s Shelter prior to the holidays.

“This is a great time of year to donated unwanted items,” Laura Weise of Clark told LocalSource in an interview. “It gives people a chance to get rid of any old items from last year and clean out their homes for the new year.”

In addition to giving people a chance to get a fresh start for the new year, The Kiwanis hopes this event will also help spread awareness about the organizations and what they do for the community.

“These are some of the best kids,” Susan Dougherty of Clark Kiwanis and a Key Club advisor told LocalSource in an interview. “They donate so much of their time to community service. Last year, they completed more than 1,000 hours of community service.”

The Key Club consists of about 200 students. They have volunteered at Clark Recreation, Clark Library, the Community Food Bank, Women’s Crisis Center and at nursing homes.

“The Key Club is currently working with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital on a teen room in the cancer center,” Dougherty said. “A student from the school passed away due to cancer and received treatment at the hospital. This is just one of the many ways they work to give back to the community.”

The truck carrying donations to the Big Brothers and Sisters Organization was filled to the top by the time the students finished packing it. After they completed carrying all the bags of donations to the truck, they posed for a group picture.