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Zonta Club of Auburn: Z-Club's service continues despite unprecedented school year
ZONTA CLUB

Zonta Club of Auburn: Z-Club's service continues despite unprecedented school year

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The Auburn High School Z-Club is once again wrapping up the school year with extreme pride and success, having met all of our club goals. Despite the given circumstances and the changes that ensued due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this club has gone above and beyond in our efforts to better the community and stay involved. We would like to dedicate our success to all of the organizations we have collaborated with, volunteers, club members and our extremely hard-working club leader, Mrs. Liccion. This year, we came together and continued to help people in need through various school, community and international projects.

Our community service project this school year focused on making homemade masks/face coverings and donating them to the Rescue Mission and local food pantry. In addition, Z-Club members and their families and Auburn Zonta members joined together to donate large bags of clothes to the Rescue Mission for local families. These donations make a big difference in the lives of those who need them and are a great way to support our community. The Rescue Mission in Auburn provides case management, meals, clothing, household supplies, employment resources, youth and family activities, and spiritual care. The program staff specializes in trauma-informed case management to support healing and recovery for those who have experienced abuse, stress and upheaval. They offer support for basic needs such as food and clothing, and their case managers work with families to achieve their highest level of stability and independence. They connect parents to services ranging from parenting classes and employment resources to transportation and health care. Our Z-Club is proud to serve local entities like the Rescue Mission and area food pantries.

One of our most valued and involved projects this year has been the renovation of the Casey Park courtyard. In times of uncertainty and despair, this project has been something that we were committed to finish in its entirety. It gave our club purpose and hope, knowing that it would greatly affect the children who attended Casey Park Elementary, as well as our members who worked hard to plan the outdoor classroom. Plans to assemble raised planters, plant flowers and lay the remainder of the playground nuggets are underway. Our goal was to create a space where the children can learn in an outdoor environment where they feel comfortable, enjoy the fresh air and can be around nature.

Our great efforts to beautify this space have not gone unnoticed. Recently, and surprisingly, we learned that our school district was being honored by the New York State School Boards Association for the courtyard classroom! It is truly a Z-Club privilege to be recognized by this prestigious organization.

Z-Club realizes the importance of helping others on an international level, and our school year would not be complete without incorporating a project to serve others far away. Last week, we concluded our fundraiser to help young girls in Malawi meet their education goals. The funds we raised will help fund the girls’ education, provide desks for them and purchase learning supplies. Funds go to the K.I.N.D. Scholarship through UNICEF USA. Thank you to all of our Z-members and their families, and Auburn High School faculty and staff, for supporting this worthy cause through our fundraiser.

Since its inception, Z-Club has successfully completed three major service projects. This year was no exception, even with lost time and resources, and fewer students. Overcoming the hurdles made our club stronger and more ambitious. Typically, we would be done with our volunteer work. Instead, we have recently partnered with the Seward House Museum for a year-end community gardens beautification project. The rollout of this project is underway and we look forward to closing out the school year with a memorable, multi-faceted community service/learning endeavor like no other!

Grace Morgan and Chloe Picciano are members of the publicity committee of the Auburn High School Z-Club, a youth program of Zonta International. For more information, visit zonta.org or zontadistrict2.org.

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