The Aktion Club of Licking County, Ohio, has 15 positive-thinking adult members who raise funds and volunteer to help their community. Through their ambitious dedication to serving people, they have learned so many things and gained self-respect — simply by being themselves.

In this spirit of enthusiasm, Aktion Club Vice President Kimberly McClain requested wagons for the Last Call Outreach Food Pantry in Newark, Ohio, a facility serving more than 100 patrons twice a week. Trying to balance one box of food while filling another was difficult for pantry clients, and McClain thought utility wagons were a more-efficient solution.

Her petition was successful thanks to a well-written donation letter, a sincere interest in her cause and the confidence she gained talking to local merchants. Home Depot Newark, Ace Hardware Heath and Aktion Club joined forces in the donation effort, and now six utility wagons are making a difference for the food pantry’s patrons.

Aktion Club President Les Gavin and McClain were guests on the “Inside View” program on Public News Radio, Kool 101.7, in March to discuss Aktion Club’s commitment to community service. “If it’s for a good cause, we’ll go and do it,” they stressed.

Aktion Club members also assist with local food pantry collections, the Newark Kiwanis Strawberry Festival and the Granville Kiwanis Fourth of July Street Fair. Additionally, they support Sleeping Children Around the World, an official international service initiative for Kiwanis Aktion Clubs. The project provides children with bed kits containing a mat or mattress, pillows, blankets, sheets, mosquito nets, towels and clothes. It’s goal: to give every child the opportunity for a good night’s sleep and the promise of a better tomorrow.

Aktion Club members ring bells for the annual Salvation Army fundraising campaign, help the disabled and attend Kiwanis family conventions. McClain has competed at the Ohio Kiwanis Aktion Club Convention with entries in club scrapbook and poster and received a first-place award in the speech contest. Gavin enjoys Aktion Club conventions, where he learns new ideas and receives giveaways such as the bike helmets provided in a “Prevention of Kids’ Head Trauma” session.

The Licking County Aktion Club received international attention when it won first place in the Kiwanis International “Ability in Action” video contest. The club is sponsored by the Newark, Granville and Heath Kiwanis clubs and the Newark Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities.