The student-run Builders Club has returned to Robert Moore School after a lengthy hiatus and is ready to make its community a better place.
“I am super glad and excited that we're back up and running because I really enjoy spending time with those children,” enthused Sarah Freeman-Kivimaki, who currently runs the Builders Club and had been involved for 12 years prior.
The group of students who make up the club are in Grades 5-8 and they take on the roles of president, vice-president, treasurer, information officer, and general members.
The club is modelled after, and in partnership with, the Fort Frances Kiwanis Club, which is a not-for-profit community organization focused on bettering the lives of children.
“It's a junior Kiwanis Club and we base our club strictly on service to our community," Freeman-Kivimaki explained. ”So our first community is the school and then we look at our town and then we look at sometimes overseas.
“We believe that we've got lots of issues right within our own school community that we can make better with financial donations,” she added.
Purchasing new books for the library, supporting Robert Moore's breakfast program, or donating to another club at the school that's in need of support are all ways the Builders Club serves their school community.
“It's a service club so we are just trying to strike some volunteerism in our youth,” Freeman-Kivimaki noted.
She said the more that children volunteer from a young age, the easier it is for them to become life-long volunteers.
Freeman-Kivimaki often is amazed by how enthusiastic the club's members are about serving their school and community.
“They're so energetic and they're willing, and they want to make a difference even though they're young,” she enthused.
“I think by showing children that to help out is to be part of something good, it all comes back.”
Most recently, the club raised just over $300 through a mini-doughnut sale at Robert Moore, which is earmarked to help combat homelessness in the community.
Around the holidays, the club hosted a Christmas penny table that raised more than $800 and also donated to the annual “Operation Shoe Box” fundraiser.
Looking ahead, club members are planning a visit to Rainycrest or La Verendrye Hospital to spend time with the elderly and do some activities with them.
“I truly believe that the older people in our lives are forgotten, and they're still so valuable to our community and they have so much to teach our kids,” Freeman-Kivimaki stressed.
The club also will be organizing and hosting the annual Robert Moore School barbecue in June, with students soon to decide where the money raised through the event will go.
Any student at Robert Moore in Grades 5-8 is welcome to join the club and encouraged to attend a meeting, which takes place on the second Wednesday of each month.
“I would encourage students to join," said Freeman-Kivimaki. ”It's fun, it's a feel-good club.
“Just the feeling of helping is amazing.”