Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Building toward the future


Community-oriented group aids Golden Blitz

Out of the rebirth of one local organization, another longstanding one found youthful assistance.

Wednesday, the Junior Civitan Club Community Group worked at Fuller Center for Housing's Golden Blitz Build benefiting Nancy Windham as one of their first service projects.

"They have worked special needs day at the fair," adult sponsor Linda Johnson said. "They are planning to do a special needs kids Valentine's day dance. It was their idea – they voted on it."

Which is nothing unusual according to her.

"The Junior Civitans are set up to where they elect their own officers each year," she said. "We have a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a secretary, a PR (public relations) person, a sergeant-at-arms and a chaplain. They come up with their own projects – They choose what they want to do and they have to fund what they do."

Thomas Booth said his involvement began through another community service oriented organization.

"The Boy Scouts – there are merit badges," he said. "One is citizenship in the community, nation and world. One of the requirements is to do a project for the community so we (Booth and his brothers) joined the Civitans."

Booth said he was working toward becoming an Eagle Scout and would have to accomplish much to reach his goal.

"You have to do a lot," he said. "You have to complete a lot of merit badges and you have to do a project for the community. You have to direct it yourself as a leadership project and you have to plan it out and you have to tell your scout members what to do."

Other members have goals some might consider more lofty.

Johnson's daughter, Krista, would like to be an elected public official one day. However at 16 she is content to be the elected president of her Civitan group and to participate in the Fuller construction.

"We discussed at the last meeting what we would like to do and this was an option," she said. "Originally they wanted us to do a house in Minden, but we realized it was almost done and this one wasn't started. So we decided to take the extra few minutes and drive out here.

"There is satisfaction in getting to help someone else with something that really matters in our community," Krista continued. "We wanted to do something that wasn't just average."

The group has plans for more projects in the near future, according to her. She said after meeting YCP cadets helping at the fair, the group wanted to find something to do to help them. Also, they plan to have a Thanksgiving dinner for people at the Fuller house in Minden.

All that is contingent upon the group raising enough money and, according to their public relations liaison Cameron Shaw, 13, a fund raiser is scheduled for the Fasching Festival in downtown Minden.

"We're doing a bake sale," he said. "So there's going to be cookies, pies, cakes – all kinds of things. We trying to raise money so we can do projects like this."

As far as the intangible benefits of community service work, Shaw found something spiritual.

"When we do something for another citizen – help build another citizen a home – God will bless us," he said. "When we do things for other people I believe we will be blessed."

Civitan president Bill Barnett said he thinks highly of the budding Junior Civitan groups and hopes their involvement will inspire more young people to get involved with their community.

"We are proud of them," he said. "They are part of us. They are the next leaders of the Civitans and our community."

Members of the Community Group are composed of Webster Junior High, Minden High and home school children. Glenbrook school also has their own group.

Fuller President Ben Martin expressed appreciation for the Junior Civitan's work.

"They were very energetic and they were doing a great job," he said. "We are very pleased that they came to help. We'll be happy to see them again."

"Youth organizations are good because it gives them an early start on understanding what it's like to give back to the community," Martin continued. "If they start as youth it's something they are more likely to maintain through life. Most of our work is done by volunteers. When we don't have volunteers we don't have workers ... All volunteers are very important, in fact they are crucial. They are the backbone of our organization."

For more inforamtion about Junior Civitans contact Linda Johnson at 658-7333. For more information about Fuller Center call 5392122 or visit them on the web at www.fullercenter.org/websterparish.






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