Backpack Giveaway

Backpack2Many happy student faces could be seen at the annual Kiwanis Club of Northeast Miami-Dade school backpack giveaway program that recently took place at the local Walmart. Prior to the charity event, Kiwanis members held their monthly dinner meeting at Duffy’s where the group filled a quantity of colorful knapsacks with heaps of school supplies from pens to notebooks.

School counselors decided which students met the financial eligibility for the program designed for youngsters who come from low economic families.  At the event everyone gathered and enjoyed a light breakfast of cereal, bagels, fruit and coffee.

Knapsacks KNEMDNot one to sit on the sidelines, Lewis Thaler made the transition from being a city vice mayor to engage in social, political and philanthropic work.  “This year the Kiwanis knapsack giveaway program is expanding to Sunny Isles Beach. Another program we have started is to create a library with book replenishment at the Foxy Lady Laundry to encourage a reading program,” said Thaler president, Kiwanis. 

Spearheaded by Milton Fisher, the Kiwanis backpack giveaway program does help these families in need.  Fisher came up with the idea when he saw how much money he shelled out for school supplies required by teachers back when his kids were in school.   

“We partner with the Lions Club to make this event possible. Kiwanis members distributed the backpacks filled with school supplies and the Lions Club gave a $50.00 gift card for clothing. Walmart donated the space and employee time,” said, Ken Kruger, secretary, Kiwanis.

Knapsacks-Key ClubElizabeth Feldman, high school lieutenant governor, Key Club, responsibility is to oversee eight Key Clubs in schools in the Northeast Miami-Dade area.  “I spend every week with the Kiwanis and attend their meetings and projects. The schools offer fun meetings and any student is welcome to join us,” said Feldman. 

The Kiwanis mission is serving the children of the world. Since 1957, this local chapter has a positive history of community and charity work. The Kiwanis Club sponsors eleven area South Florida public schools for students to join including: Circle-K for college students; Key Club for high school; Builders Club 6th through 8th grade; K-Kids 3rd to 5th grade. The purpose of the various school clubs is to interest young people to get involved with community awareness to improve the quality of life for all.

For more information about becoming a member visit

or contact:

Jeffrey Berson 305-682-1569

Reading Corners in Barbershops and Laundromats

Books in Barber Shops – NBC6 Click Here

Kiwanis Joins Laundromat, North Miami Beach Library To Dedicate Reading Outreach Program

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             The Kiwanis Club of Northeast Miami-Dade, on of South Florida’s most active community service organizations, recently joined with the North Miami Beach Library and a local laundromat to dedicate the Foxy Lady Reading Corner, the first outreach reading program of its kind in the State of Florida. 

            Located at the Foxy Lady Laundry, 250 NE 167th street, the reading corner—which features a wide variety of books geared to kids up to five-years-old—is designed to ensure that parents can read, year-around, to their children while doing their laundry.

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            “It is important to have books available to kids—and their parents—outside of the school setting,” said Dr. Wil Blechman, former President of Kiwanis International, and current Chairman of the Kiwanis International Committee on Youth Children who spearheaded the reading corner. Blechman, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Northeast Miami-Dade, is an internationally known expert on early childhood development.  “Getting these children comfortable with books and reading at a young age plays an invaluable part in their intellectual growth and understanding.  The significance of learning at an early age simply can not be overstated.”

             The Kiwanis Club of Northeast Miami-Dade, now celebrating its 61st year, has played a key role in education in the northeast Miami-Dade area for more than six decades.  For the past 20 years, members of the club have read monthly with first grade students at Gertrude K. Edelman/Sabal Palm Elementary and the club has one of the state’s largest dictionary distribution programs, annually supplying dictionaries to 19 elementary schools.


             The dedication/ribbon cutting featured a variety of Kiwanis Club members and kids, as well as North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis S. Smith, City of Sunny Isles Commissioner Larisa Svechin and Foxy Lady owner Richard Bassin.

             “Like many laundries, we have video games the kids can play while their parents do their laundry,” said Bassin with a smile.  “But when the Kiwanis Club approached me with the idea of a reading corner, where kids—and their parents—could read together, I was excited.  This is a great opportunity to help improve our community on a grass-roots basis by helping kids.  And, after all, that’s what its all about—the kids.”

             For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Northeast Miami-Dade or to participate in one of their community service projects, visit their website, or call 786.792.9490.