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Santa’s helpers at AIS

December 30, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Just prior to Christmas break, members of the Austintown Junior Women's League made a special delivery for the 55 special education students at Austintown Intermediate School. They delivered socks filled with candy and toys, all courtesy of the club members.

"The project involved members purchasing candy, school supplies and small toys to stuff in the socks," said Ruty Rodriguez-Patterson. "One of the holiday-themed socks was rolled up and placed inside the other, which was then stuffed with the items and tied with a bright ribbon or bow."

She said the socks were actually socks the kids could wear.

Article Photos

Lynn Larson, Chrissy Bloom, Sue Hovanec and Ruty Rodriguez-Patterson play elves as they carefully hang socks stuffed with small toys in the cubby holes at Austintown Intermediate School.

The socks were placed in the evening hours, in the cubby holes of the special needs classrooms. The students came to school the next day to discover the socks had been placed just for them.

"When the kids returned to the classroom the next day they would be surprised to find them with the candy canes and gifts," Rodriguez-Patterson said.

The service project in the school helped end a year of giving back and a wide array of community projects. The club annually completes 25 to 30 community service project per year in the following areas: education, arts, public issues, home life, international outreach and conservation.

The Austintown Junior Women's League is under the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The local club just celebrated its 25th anniversary and continues to make a difference in the community.

Today there are 41 members who take part in the community projects. They also volunteer to worthy community services and events like volunteering at the Community Kitchen on MLK Day of Service, collecting funds for UNICEF @ Halloween and throughout October, "planting" pinwheels at the township park during Child Abuse Prevention month in April, collecting and donating school supplies on behalf of Int'l Youth Day in September, donating supplies and touring local Ronald McDonald Houses and hospitals, collecting and sending prescription bottles to the Matthew 25 Ministries which recycles/reuses the bottles in impoverished countries during medical missions trips, volunteering at the USO packaging centers, volunteering at cleaning up the 911 park on Earth Day, participating in "walks" that are fundraisers for St. Jude's Children Hospital, recognizing and remembering veterans on Veteran's Day and many, many more.

More information on this volunteer club can be found on Facebook at AJWL2014.



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