Game for These Heroes
FITCHBURG -- It's 9 o'clock on a Tuesday
morning, and about 70 volunteers are
furiously packing nonperishable meals with
one goal: the annihilation of one of the
nation's top obstacles -- childhood hunger.
The men, women and children gathered inside
the Wallace Civic Center will package more
than 25,000 meals to be delivered to 13
local food pantries and two nonprofit
Karin Oliveira, director of United Way
Community Builders, which organized
yesterday's Hunger Heroes event, said the
shelves of food pantries are growing bare,
and local food banks are struggling to
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_23094908/hungers-no-game-these-heroes?IADID=Search-www.sentinelandenterprise.com-www.sentinelandenterprise.com#ixzz36oTWP3Hb
Night of Thanks for Those Who Give
LEOMINSTER -- To be a volunteer is to make a
positive impact in one's community.
The United Way of North Central
Massachusetts held its annual Thank You
Celebration at the Four Points by Sheraton
Wednesday evening, inviting its volunteers
and donors to show appreciation for all they
United Way President and CEO Phil Grzewinski
called volunteers "the core of what makes
our nonprofit community able to do better
for society as a whole."
"At whatever level anybody volunteers,
within a nonprofit entity, you help forward
and push on the mission of that entity. ...
Without you, we cannot accomplish our goals
for the community," he said.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_23103666/night-thanks-those-who-give?IADID=Search-www.sentinelandenterprise.com-www.sentinelandenterprise.com#ixzz36oTmERNO
Leominster Student Creates Food
Packs for Kids
LEOMINSTER -- Early on as she raised her
11-year-old granddaughter, Kylee McCumber,
Lori Bateman instilled the message that it's
better to give than to receive.
Bateman said it's important to "pay it
forward" and share what you have.
"We've been blessed," she noted.
Kylee's website www.kyleeskarekitsforkidz.org
Kylee, who attends Southeast Elementary
School, saw some students eating breakfast
in the cafeteria.
When she learned this was a free meal
program, Kylee started to wonder, "What do
these kids eat on weekends? Do they have
enough food at home?"
"She was really troubled by that," recalled
Bateman. "She got really worried, and she
just really started to think long and hard
about it, and it bothered her."
Kylee decided to do something.
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_22283481/leominster-student-creates-food-packs-kids?source=rss#ixzz36oUtfbfM
This year marks the fourth year of the Star
Project Competition run by United Way
Community Builders of North Cen- tral
Massachusetts. The program runs during
National Volunteer Week. Five of the twelve
organizations participating this year are
from Leominster. Karin Oliveira is the
Director for Community Builders. She said
she could not be happier about this years’
“We are gradually getting there, the program
is growing each year,” Karin said during a
During national volunteer week, it is
projected that 385 people volunteered for a
total of 759 hours. An estimated 12,367
residents will benefit from this community
service and the man-hours translated into
monetary value equals $20,371.00. Data was
provided by the United Way.
Season of Giving
Kylee McCumber hold up samples of her Kare
Kits she assembles each week. Kits go home
with 30 Leominster students on Friday,
insuring that they have enough to eat before
returning to school on Monday.
as Kylee McCumber neared the end of her 4th
grade school year, she came to a
realization. Kylee asked why some students
ate breakfast at school. Her grandmother
Lori Bateman told her two reasons: some kids
get to school early because their parents
work and others would not eat breakfast
otherwise. It was the latter explanation
that moved Kylee. Some kids didn’t have
enough food at home? Kylee pondered on this
until another question hit her. What about
the days when there is no school? The
possibilities troubled her.
Kylee worked through her
ideas with her Grandmother Lori. Gina
Wironen, Administrator of Community
Engagement & Media Relations, directed Lori
to Karen Oliveria from the United Way. Lori
also did research through a co-worker who
knew about a program in Fitchburg that
provides food for students. Another source
explored was an organization called
Blessings in a Backpack. With information
and guidance at the ready, Kylee’s Kare Kits
For Kidz was born.
starts Kare Kits for Kidz
By Lynne Klaft CORRESPONDENT
~Weekend meals are served~
McCumber, 10, noticed that children at her
school, Southeast Elementary, received free
breakfasts and lunch, and then started to
worry that they might not have food to eat
on the weekends. So she did something about
“I talked with my grandmother about it and
we realized that they might not have enough
to eat when they weren't in school,” said
After doing some research, Kylee and her
grandmother, Lori Bateman, learned that one
in 10 children nationwide is food-insecure,
meaning they do not have the security of
knowing where their next meal is coming
“I don't worry about where my next meal is
coming from. Many children depend on the
breakfast and lunch at school,” said Kylee.
Kylee and Ms. Bateman have worked on
community service projects together before,
care packages and fostering NEADS dogs, so
they put their heads together and came up
with Kylee's Kare Kits for Kidz.
They involved Southeast Principal Andres
Vera and Superintendent of Schools James
Jolicoeur in their project, receiving
enthusiastic approval from both
Kylee's kits include nonperishable,
nutritious food items, individually packed
for each child to take home at the end of
the week for weekend meals.
“We have food for two breakfasts, like boxes
of cereal, and for lunch, macaroni and
cheese or cans of Chef Boyardee, fruit
snacks or pudding, and juice boxes,” said
“Each week the kits will change, we buy what
we can on sale,” said Ms. Bateman,
explaining that they are frugal and
discerning about how they spend the Kits'
The pair had a yard sale last month to
benefit the Kits and have enough funds to
take care of 12 children for the rest of the
school year. But many more children are in
need, and Kylee and Ms. Bateman are asking
the community to get involved.
“We estimate the cost per child for the
school year to be $90. We will provide juice
boxes, cereal, applesauce, fruit cups,
granola bars, raisins, fruit snack packets,
macaroni and cheese, chicken noodle soup and
beef ravioli in the kits,” said Ms. Bateman.
They are looking people to sponsor a child
or give donations in any amount. “Every
dollar counts,” she said. All donations will
go toward buying food. Folks can also donate
food and can email Kylee and Ms. Bateman at
kyleeskarekitsforkidz1 @gmail.com for
acceptable food items and more information.
Checks should be made payable to Kylee
McCumber, with Kare Kits for Kidz in the
memo on the check and mailed to Kylee
Main St., No. 564,Leominster, MA 01453-0564.
“I am proud that our families and students
are showing such a level of caring. Let's
support them,” said Mr. Vera.