Submitted by Michelle Albert

Byron HS Key Club Faculty Advisor

The Byron High School (BHS) Key Club, a student-led leadership and service organization, will be spending their Spring Break on a mission trip to northwestern Florida; a volunteer opportunity of Education, Discovery & Service through Outreach.

Our children, our communities and our country benefit from youth who think about more than themselves and have deeper global awareness and understanding of other cultures, communities, diversity, and economic challenges.

These 15yr – 18yr old students will spend the week volunteering in a variety of ways including: working with elementary children at an impoverished inner-city school, painting for Habitat for Humanity, delivering food to Loaves & Fishes soup kitchen, visiting with and delivering homemade cards to a gulf coast Veterans at a VA clinic, serving lunch and other projects at Waterfront Rescue Mission where they feed the hungry clothe the needy, volunteering at a nursing home, assisting at an animal rescue, and collaborating with Gulf Breeze HS Key Club on a “Terrific Kids”, a student-recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance.
Making Sleeping Mats for the Homeless: We Need Your Help!

One of the Service Projects the Key Club members are working on in preparation for the Florida mission trip: Crocheting 4’ x 6’ sleeping mats for the homeless from recycled plastic bags.

We are requesting donations of plastic bags and if any Individuals or Groups are interested…we’d Love your help with crocheting!  Please contact Key Club Faculty Advisor: Michelle Albert, by phone/text: 815-985-5102 or malbert6@comcast.net. We need Bags ASAP and completed mats by March 15.

In order to keep expenses down, the group will drive to Florida (March 24 – April 1, 2017), are staying on a military campground and packing sack lunches throughout the week. This trip will be great personal development opportunity as the students engage with people from very different backgrounds, problem-solve, make good decisions and improve teamwork skills.

 

In addition to Service projects, the students are busy earning money to pay for their trip including candy sales, running athletic concessions and shoveling snow.

If you would like to donate or need snow shoveled this winter, please consider contacting advisor, Michelle Albert (cell/text 815-985-5102) to coordinate. They are prompt to respond, thorough in shoveling and sweeping…you determine donation amount. All checks are made payable to: Byron High School and mailed “attn. Key Club” to: 8918 N. Sunnyside Drive, Byron, 61010.

 

More about BHS Key Club

The 2016-2017 Key Club is comprised of 50 students and with the support of Byron School administration, staff and school board, the students are fortunate to participate in many volunteer and leadership opportunities. Some of their activities this year include:

  • Highway clean-up
  • Rockford Rescue Mission serving meals & working in re-store
  • Homeless Sleep Out to raise awareness for poverty
  • Food drive for People Helping People Food Pantry: $463 in cash donations & 292 cans/boxes of Food
  • Winter coat collection
  • UNICEF Trick-or-Treat:  Raised & donated $400
  • Pet Food drive with donations to Kibble Korner Pet Pantry: Raised and donated $100 and 536 Lbs. of cat & dog food
  • Service project to make and donate Pet Toys and fleece Pet Blankets for PAWS animal shelter
  • Helped host PTA Santa’s Secret Shop for elementary school children
  • Host BINGO and write Christmas cards for residents at Neighbors Nursing Home & Rehabilitation
  • Volunteer at Byron Chamber community Chili Cook-Off
  • Volunteer at Byron Park District Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5k
  • Volunteer at Byron Forest Preserve Halloween on the Prairie
  • Trained and Volunteer at Rochelle Kitchen Table, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to serving nutritious meals to people in the Rochelle, Illinois, area regardless of their ability to pay. It is set-up as a “community café” rather than a traditional soup kitchen
  • Many of the students have taken the 2-hour IL Food Handlers Course and have a certificate
  • Worked in the kitchen, served meals, bussed tables and clean-up crew for Byron Kiwanis Dessert Auction
  • Helped host Kiwanis Breakfast with Santa, serving 275 people in 2-hours:  Raised $613 cash donations & 54 toys for the Byron Police Department “Operation Santa”, making sure all children in our community have a Merry Christmas
  • Attend Fall Leadership Rally at Batavia HS
  • Volunteered at PTA Middle school Halloween Carnival
  • Babysit for at the school while parents attend training
  • Shoveling snow, working sports food concessions and selling candy to raise money to volunteer in FL
  • Made Christmas ornaments and set-up Kiwanis/Key Club Christmas Tree at the Byron Museum “Festival of Trees”
  • Baked, bagged and tagged hundreds of cookies for teacher/staff appreciation
  • Hosted “Frosty Land” for Byron Chamber of Commerce at annual community “Miracle on 2nd Street”
  • Hosted a Rock River Valley Blood Center Blood Drive for HS students & staff:  Registered 44 individuals, with a total of 34 units collected, and 24 of these were NEW donors!
  • Hosting Blood Drive for the public on Feb. 13 at Byron High School