A group of Newton residents are hoping to unite the community behind their efforts to help those in need and are looking for local support with their endeavor.
The families of Renae Heikkila and LeAnn Karsten have started a group called "Newton - A Community United" to help those in need through an event set for Thanksgiving Day at the Newton Elks Lodge.
The Newton families are currently planning a number of activities leading up to the event to raise funds to provide the holiday meal to needy families, as well as gifts such as hats, gloves, underwear and socks. Members of the Elks Lodge are donating the use of their facility as well as their time to cook the meal.
"Newton is a community united and in these tough economic times, we are a people who stand up and help those in need in our community," Heikkila said. "Last year we did this for a homeless shelter in Des Moines, but this year we really wanted to focus on helping people in our own community."
The group is currently asking businesses to purchase spots on "Community United" t-shirts they are making as a fundraiser. There are two $500 donation spots currently available that would include the business name and logo (logos must be in white). There are an additional 12 spots left that would include the business name on the shirt. Those purchasing the $500 slots would receive five free shirts with those donating $100 receiving one shirt.
Those wishing to purchase advertising spots on the shirts can call Heikkila at 763-234-1961 (local cell phone or Sarah Heikkila at 612-836-7349 (local cell).
The group is also seeking donations of pop cans, clothing (new or used), financial contributions, and non-perishable food items. Contacts for the donations are Karsten at 641-275-2001 or Cara Straka at 641-521-1601. Individuals wishing to have cans collected may call the Newton Elks Lodge at 641-792-4118 to arrange a time for collection.
More information on coming events will be released as it becomes available.
The group has also created a Facebook event site that can be found here.