By SUE SUCHYTA
HEIGHTS – Volunteers helped make the holiday brighter for residents on March 27 with a drive-through Easter candy, gift and book giveaway and a food commodity box distribution at Canfield Center.
Teens from the city’s high schools, including the Annapolis Key Club and the Crestwood High School National Honor Society, helped with the lifting and logistics, while the Easter Bunny posed for photos.
City Councilman Bob Constan, who was volunteering as a member of Kiwanis, said it was great to see the energetic high school student volunteers helping out.
“I’m here, and my back is aching, and they are running the boxes down,” he said. “It’s a good use of their energy.”
Renea Callery, a Kiwanis member and Key Club advisor, said she was proud of the student volunteers.
“To have them give up a Saturday, and come here and to give back to the community is amazing,” she said. “These are amazing leaders, who give up their Saturday to come and do this.”
Callery said the teens have fun while serving.
“They are also learning a lot of different things: How to coordinate things, leadership, how to give and how to work together as a team,” she said. “I can’t say how proud I am of these kids.”
Callery said she thinks at least 500 vehicles went through the drive-through in the three-hour period.
“Target, Mayor (Bill) Bazzi and all the volunteers that reach out to the other places to make this happen – the books, the toys, the candy from Target, Eternal Light (of Dearborn) who gets the (USDA) food (boxes) – it’s a community that is coming together,” she said.
She said the Key Club volunteers will continue to work food distributions as long as they are needed.
Bazzi said it was amazing to see so many high school age volunteers helping with the drive-through distribution.
“It is very heartwarming to see our youth engaged with the community,” he said. “This is something that I have always wanted to do, to make sure that our youth is invested in community.”
Bazzi said the teens are learning leadership skills as they volunteer.
“They just came here, we gave them instructions, and they took charge and they are doing what they need to do to serve the residents,” he said. “It is also heartwarming to see the kids in the vehicles when they see that they are giving away candy and books.”
Bazzi said that the Dearborn Heights Target store donated more than 700 treat bags for children, and at least 1,000 USDA food commodity boxes were distributed.
“Just to see the expressions on the kids’ faces is heartwarming,” he said.
Liz Coburn, Human Resources executive at the Dearborn Heights Target, said the store is so happy it could partner with the city to be part of such an amazing event.
“We just want to get out to the community and really help those in need in a tough year,” she said. “So, to be able to do this, to give back to the kids, and have an Easter Bunny here, and to see all the smiles, is just amazing. It warms my heart.”
Parks and Recreation Director Kim Constan said she thought it was wonderful that the high school students were on hand to help with the drive-through distribution.
“It’s a fantastic thing to see both of the generations work together and help each other,” she said. “It went fabulous today, and everything turned out well. I don’t think we ran out of anything, so it was really nice.”
Kim Constan said a lot of books for all different ages of children were distributed as well.
“It was really, really nice, and it was a great thing for the community,” she said. “We had cars backed all the way up to Ford Road, but we got it under control, and it just went well.”