By John Fulton
A Schoolcraft boy’s act of generosity before his untimely death has snowballed to benefit area infants and children in recent years, with the help of many volunteers and many contributions large and small.
The program, Adam’s Kids, provides baby formula, diapers, wipes and other personal care items for infants and young children up to age 3.
Among the contributors is Connections Community Church (3C) in Schoolcraft. The church makes a regular donation to Adam’s Kids and supports the group with volunteers from the congregation. “It is very rewarding to be involved,” said church member Sandy Sanders. When members of the Adam’s Kids program came by the church to explain the programs, 3C leaders loved the idea and presented it to its congregation. The church and its members have been strong supporters ever since.
Adam’s Kids is run under the umbrella of Schoolcraft Friday Pack, Inc., located in the Eagles Nest. “Adam’s Kids connects donors with kids that have a need,” according to Brenda Bowers. Bowers was the mother of Adam Worral, for whom the program is named.
Her son, she said, had a heart for people at an early age, and before his death made a donation to Loaves and Fishes, a Kalamazoo County food bank.
Bowers’ lifelong friend, Sue Kuiper, conceived the idea for the program and discussed it with Bowers. Kuiper had worked in schools and understood the needs firsthand. The two planned the Adam’s Kids and started it in 2010.
Besides food and diapers, the group provides items such as shampoos, lotions and soaps. Currently it serves about 20 families. It also fills specific needs for things such as strollers, car seats and other special items when it can connect a donor with a recipient.
Most of the donations of items are from small contributors, but Adam’s Kids has also received donations and grants from larger organizations such as the Kalamazoo Foundation, Fetzer Foundation, and Pfizer Retirees organization. “We accept donated items, but cash contributions are also greatly appreciated as we can purchase the exact items needed,” says Sanders.
Bowers and Kuiper do the shopping and operate the program. Other volunteers meet the second Saturday of every month to pack the totes and then distribute them to client families that day. The distribution is held at the Eagles Nest on Clay Street in Schoolcraft.
Volunteers serve in many capacities. A group of knitters make items for the kids. Others are involved in administrative functions, pack totes and distribute them from the Eagle Nest.
Bowers said, “They are passionate about what they do. People don’t understand the importance of a diaper. Diapers are a necessity, not a luxury.” Tax deductible contributions can be made to Schoolcraft Friday Pack, Inc., with Adam’s Kids noted on the memo line.
Those who need help from Adam’s Kids or would like to provide help can reach the program at 269-488-5847. Recipients must apply to receive help. Many of their families are referred by local agencies, schools, churches and have already qualified through another program.