Payne Junior High students collect toiletries for homeless veterans

Charter members of the Builders Club at Payne Junior High School collected toiletries as well as thank you cards and letters to distribute to homeless military veterans. Club members are pictured with Payne Principal Paul Bollard and club faculty advisor Rosemary Schlechty. (Photo credit: Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek)


Homeless military veterans in the Phoenix metropolitan area were the recipients of a toiletry drive conducted by students in the Builders Club at Payne Junior High School in Queen Creek.

The 15-member service club collected more than 1,000 trial-sized items such as shampoo and toothpaste in November, Rosemary Schlechty, the club’s faculty advisor, said during a phone interview.

In December and January, club members packaged a selection of the items in brown paper bags that they had decorated in colorful manner, Ms. Schlechty said.

At that same time, members also collected about 200 thank you cards and another 200 letters written by Payne students to thank the veterans for their military service, Ms. Schlechty said.

The bags were then delivered to the Phoenix Veterans Hospital to be distributed to clients who needed them.

For their next project, club members are considering a used clothing drive to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, the club advisor said.

A community outreach organization of the Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek, the Builders Club at Payne was chartered in September, Jim Skiotes, president of the local Kiwanis Club, said during an interview.

“It is designed for seventh- and eighth-graders to help with volunteerism and leadership,” Mr. Skiotes said. “Congratulations to the entire student body at Payne Junior High School who have shown great leadership abilities along with their altruism. They are a very active club in support of their school and our community.”

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