MOUNT GILEAD — Whetstone Industries Aktion Club members were busy with several Christmas service projects this year. The group, which is sponsored by Kiwanis, collected hats, gloves and scarves for the Clothes Closet and made grieving “Care Bears” for Hospice of Morrow County.
Club advisor, Sandi Williamson said they sold candy bars to raise funds for the projects as well as getting donations from the Whetstone staff and Kiwanis members.
Williamson said that each of the bears was handcrafted with love. Whetstone individuals realize that losing a loved one or friend can be painful and they hope the bears will help ease the loss and bring comfort. There are also journals for teens and others to write out their thoughts and feelings that are sometimes difficult to talk about.
The Aktion Club also had a giving tree where they collected hats, gloves and scarves. They gave special thanks to Kami Workman, a fifth grader who donated many hats and gloves for the project. Workman has donated her birthday items to the cause.
Aktion Club President Chad Wogan spoke about the Whetstone Industries People First, Self-Advocacy group and Aktion Club’s belief that “all people with disabilities should be treated as equal and be able to speak up for what they want by serving as leaders and working together as a team with all members of the community.”
Kiwanis Past President Diana Keplinger said the Aktion Club is one of four service and leadership groups Kiwanis sponsor. They also sponsor Key Club at the Mount Gilead High School, Builders Club at the Middle School and K Kids at Park Elementary School.
“These groups all have programs and projects that foster and teach leadership and service,” Keplinger said.
“We have wonderful support from Mount Gilead Kiwanis,” Williamson said. “Aktion Club also gets support from Kiwanis International, which provides programs, literature and opportunities to relate to individuals with disabilities.”
Williamson added that there are more than 500 Aktion Clubs serving their communities worldwide with more than 12,000 members. Aktion Club is the only service club for adults with disabilities.