By Agnes CONSTANTE
To help foster children in Los Angeles County, The Lions Clubs of Los Angeles Mid Valley and Crescenta-Cañada held Kases for Kids, a donation drive for backpacks and school supplies.
The drive took place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and even in the sweltering summer heat the organizations managed to collect 147 backpacks and suitcases at the Ralph’s parking lot on Foothill Boulevard.
“We’ve had a good turnout,” confirmed Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club President Art Rinaman. “There’s no downside to [the turnout].”
Last year the clubs collected 157 backpacks and suitcases, and while this year’s collection fell 10 short compared to the previous year, Rinaman is thankful to the community for supporting the event.
“We appreciate it very much,” he said.
More than 50 people stopped by to donate. Although the Lions Clubs primarily sought suitcases and backpacks in good condition, they received bags filled with miscellaneous items like clay, filler paper, pens, Post-its, books and toothbrushes.
“Nobody said, ‘You have to … put items in the bags,’ but people [were] generous and buying pencils [and other items] and putting them in there,” said Rinaman.
All donations will be given to the Los Angeles Department of Children Services.
This is the second annual drive the clubs have held together.
“I’m always looking for ways we can get out and do things for our community,” said Rinaman.
The clubs intend to hold another drive like this next year.
Among the donors this year were Boy Scouts Troop 8, State Farm Insurance, North West College, Montrose Candy Company, The Flowering Tree, Palmdale Lions Club, Roger and Carol Young, St. Luke’s of-the-Mountains Episcopal Church, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Curves and employees of the City of Glendale.
The Lions Club is an international service organization that has 1.35 million members and chapters in more than 208 countries.
The Los Angeles Mid Valley and Crescenta-Cañada clubs are still accepting donations for foster youth until Monday. Anyone interested in giving to the cause are encouraged to contact Art Rinaman via phone at (818) 248-0478 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.