Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just in time for blistering winter weather

Staci Kimmons, left, principal of Julian Thomas Elementary School, assists members of the Community Women's Club in hand out mittens to students


by Dominica Jaramillo
Young eyes twinkle and innocent mouths grin as tiny hands receive an earnest gift from the heart of another. December 4, members of the Community Women’s Club of Racine, Tammy Gandy and Betty Thomas, pass out their sincere affections in the form of 145 Ziploc baggies filled with brand new knit gloves and holiday candies. As the five and 6-year-olds of Julian Thomas Elementary school line up, one after another, hands patiently waiting behind their backs, they are moved with anticipation as they hear the excitement and surprise hinted to them by their peers’ gleeful expressions. “I like these!” one girl exclaims, after closely examining her new pair of pink gloves. “Candy!” shouts another little boy, jumping and dancing with excitement. And in unison, whether bags are in hand or not, little voices come together in chorus to say “thank you!” to the women who considered their needs.
Part of the Women’s Club’s Adopt-a-School Initiative, the 3-member committee, comprised of Gandy, Thomas and Alma Allen, the giveaway was the first undertaking in an anticipated series of works geared toward providing supplies to kindergarten and first grade students.
Additional tasks the committee hopes to commence also include engaging the children in mentoring and supplemental learning activities.
Julian Thomas was chosen this year as it was the school named after committee member Thomas’ husband. On the initiative, Gandy comments, “I watch the Oprah Winfrey Show. I see how she can give. She started little and then she went big. That’s how we want to do it, start little and get big!” In support of the committees’ aspirations, Gandy and Thomas agree that next year their goal will be to supply the whole school.
Though the giveaway was funded primarily out of their own pockets, the women hope the community will see the efforts and recognize the need. With the help of the thoughtful words of 6-year old Darrion, that should be no problem; “I like my gloves!”
For more information on the Women’s Club of Racine, or how you can get involved with the Adopt-a-School Initiative, please contact Tammy Gandy at (262) 331-3863.

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