Local charity brings organizations together to help community
By Jacqueline Quynh, Multimedia Journalist - email
Stack of jackets given to St. Michael's students to stay warm this winter.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Lucky Leprechauns is a local non-profit charity that works year round to help school children get basic supplies and clothes. A mom who helped start the charity, tells us how they are helping kids in need.
"Lucky Leprechaun went to school, and gave our school jackets," Abe Varella said.
That's Abe Varella one of the students from St. Michael's in South Sioux City Nebraska who came out to the Northern Hills Retirement community to say thank you to the seniors who donated money to help Lucky Leprechauns, a non-profit, buy them winter coats.
"Since 2008 we have raised probably over 20,000 in donations and provided coats and mittens and books and clothing and pajamas to kids in the area," Kelly Nashleanas said.
Nashleanas' son Ben actually started Lucky Leprechauns when he was in high school.
"Ben has always been older than his years and really wanted to help kids that were less fortunate, and so he is a huge Notre Dame fan and came up with the Lucky Leprechauns and we went from there,"
Ben is now at college, but the non-profit has been a family run effort that continues to do so with the community while he's studying to become a dentist. The non-profit recently handed out 100 winter coats to students in need at St. Michael's.
"The need of the students economic situation you know is definitely an issue, and so to be able to provide and hand them a coat in November when it starts to get cold out, when they don't have one is very important," Donna Bishop, St. Michael's Principal said.
Besides bringing the community together, Lucky Leprechauns is also helping bring businesses together to help. Aundrea McCadams is a store manager at Younker's. She's worked with the non-profit to provide students with coats. She says the group has been key in making it possible for the community to meet the needs of these students.
"A lot of organizations from the community come together to help the children with giving them the back packs, and making sure that they have coats and that we can continue to purchase things they need at the school," Aundrea McCadams said
Nashleanas' son has been recognized with several awards for his work, but his mother says, he doesn't want to be rewarded, rather he just wants more people to learn to help those who are less fortunate.
"He actually doesn't like any recognition I think he just enjoys helping people," Nashleanas said.
Nashleanas also says her son is planning to volunteer time to provide dental care to students who can't afford it after he graduates.
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