BELOIT—The Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) Key Club is springing back after COVID-19 as it helps with service projects in the community. Its most recent task is to comfort the homeless.

Key Club students were packing kits for the homeless containing toiletries, high protein snack items, bottled waters and winter gear. They will be delivering the kits to Family Promise of Greater Beloit. The non-profit organization will hand them out to those who are homeless in the community as needed, according to BMHS Math Educator and Key Club Adviser Kati McQueen.

Key Club Treasurer Monica Aguilar came up with the idea for the care kits.

“During the holidays, people need a lift,” Aguilar said.

The students assembled 48 care packages total.

“We did a school-wide donation drive and used club funds from fundraising to purchase the remaining needed items,” McQueen said.

McQueen explained how Key Club is the high school version of the Kiwanis organization, a service organization. There are about 20 students in the club.

“We try to do a service project once a month,” McQueen said. “It provides a sense of belonging within the community. We try to do projects to not only help, but raise awareness of different needs in our community.”

Key Club touches base with the Kiwanis Club which has assisted the Key Club with projects and fundraising in the past. Students in Key Club meet every week.

In years past the students did projects such as making blankets for 4K students and spending the day with them, doing crafts with elementary students and sending letters to active duty personnel overseas. They also participated in a trick-or-treat for UNICEF.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the group had more limits but pulled off a scavenger hunt within the school district to get families out and actively looking for items.

Aguilar said McQueen, her statistics teacher, recruited her to join Key Club and she is glad she did.

“I like helping people and I like that we are able to give back,” Aguilar said.

“It supports the community that helps us grow as a person,” said Key Club President Alex Sala said of the club.

Sala, a senior who has been in the club since freshman year, said his favorite project at Key Club was making tie blankets as a sophomore.

“I wasn’t so good at first, but now I’m a professional,” he said.

Both Sala and Aguilar had kind words about their teacher and adviser.

“She’s kind and when we get on our nerves she finds a way to deal with us. She’s a really good teacher,” Sala said.

“She’s one of the best teachers, nice and kind. She lets us have fun but keeps us on track,” Aguilar said.

Sala said he plans to attend UW Madison to study business. Aguilar isn’t sure where she will attend college yet but plans to study nursing.