by Carolyn Tokunaga
(Above pictures are from 2015, the first year the Centenary members partook in the Kid City project.)
In the midst of the pandemic the Kid City Spring Project was completed! Centenary was closed but this mission continued.
Donations and shopping were completed before the shutdown. We thank donors Mui Koike, Susie Koo, Victor and Cynthia Lew, Gloria O’Brien, Dorothy Goerke, Terry Kasuyama, and the many others who left things anonymously. We also thank the monetary donors listed in the Chimes. It allowed shoppers to fill in the gaps.
Dedicated volunteers Terry Miyashiro-Sonoda, Susan Edwards, Laura Yamanaka, Lorraine Suzuki and friend Esteban bagged the items going into the school bags. Trying to maintain social distancing, packing stations were set up throughout the multipurpose room, each person completing separate tasks.
Sunday, April 22 was to be the final assembly day when the colorful school totes were to be filled with 3 spiral notebooks, 3 two pocket folders, a bag of pens and highlighter, bagged granola bars and candy, an emergency medicine bag of band aids, EmergenC, Tylenol, and a gallon bag containing hand sanitizer, Kleenex, toiletries, toothpaste/toothbrush, deodorant, and laundry pods. Even though the church was closed, volunteers were willing to come in to complete this project. Gloria O’Brien offered to deliver the 100 bags.
The final phase never happened. Kid City also had to shut down and needed the supplies immediately. Because everything was bagged and ready for assembly, Sal, Kwesi, and Ann came to church and picked up the supplies – filling a pickup truck and 2 car trunks. They would do the final assembly. Their plans for a spring gathering and college visits to distribute bags was put on hold. Instead students were invited to drop in and pick up their supplies.
It is now time for Back to School Bags. Many of the Kid City students will continue their education on line rather on campuses. They will still need school supplies but their requests may be different. We are waiting to hear what they want us to do as the new school year begins. Our commitment to help will continue but it may have a different look.