This committee provides both financial and volunteer assistance to the homeless through established organizations that are endeavoring to answer the needs of the homeless in the community.The Homeless Committee has three major activities and service initiatives that benefit homeless children and families:
1. Manna Cafe: The committee quarterly provides funding and volunteer support for the community dinner, Manna Cafe, at Broad Street United Methodist Church. This community dinner is not the typical soup kitchen- tables are lined with table clothes and placemats, and a healthy complete dinner is served to guests with china, stemware and glassware. Approximately 180 families and children are served at this monthly dinner.
2. Good Neighbors Picnic
Each fall, the Kiwanis Club of Columbus participates in the Good Neighbors Picnic as part of National Make-A-Difference Day. The event attracts area homeless and indigent families for a day of free activities and needed supplies. Hundreds of volunteers help run activities or distribute needed items such as clothing, free of charge.
Our Club members run an area where we stage professional individual and family photographs and allow participants to decorate their own photo frame as a memento of the day. For many, this is the only photo they have ever had taken of themselves, or their families. Participants are grateful for the opportunity to have a nice photo they can keep, or send to a love one they have not seen for years.
Each year we take and present more than 500 photos over the course of the five-hour event.
3. Bethlehem on Broad
“Bethlehem on Broad‟ brings joy … As each of us was growing up, we likely had countless photos taken at Christmastime of us opening presents, wearing new clothes, playing with toys, and in general, enjoying the holidays. They were moments to remember, moments we all treasure. But not all children are that fortunate, and many have never received the gift of a happy memory captured on paper. On Saturday, December 12, Kiwanis Club of Columbus will partner with Broad Street United Methodist Church (501 East Broad Street) to conduct the annual „Bethlehem on Broad,‟ a program designed to bring Christmas to those in need and to help insure a memorable holiday. We will be taking photos of children and families sitting with Santa Claus, and providing them with a framed photo as a holiday keepsake.