Kiwanis Shorewood Club in St. Clair Shores dedicated to helping children

Sharon Gwizdowski discusses project close to her heart

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ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – A Metro Detroit woman who always wanted to have children of her own but never did finds herself helping children through a nonprofit organization.

Tucked away in a classroom of the now-closed Pare Elementary School in St. Clair Shores is the Kiwanis Shorewood Club. It’s a group that has one main goal.

"Kiwanis is a global organization of dedicated volunteers working to improve the world, one child, one community at a time," Sharon Gwizdowski said.

Gwizdowski leads the group of volunteers as a volunteer and chapter president.

"What we do is different projects to improve the life of children and making a difference," Gwizdowski said. "Our whole focus is children. Each club and chapter decides on their own what they want to do."

The organization does a lot for children, such as providing scholarships to graduating seniors and helping out with back-to-school shopping, Christmas in August and many other events and activities children love.

One of the organization's biggest and most fun projects is the Shorewood Kiwanis Harper Charity Cruise. Money raised from the event benefits the organization's community service projects and other charities it supports.

"It's just heartwarming. You see all the families coming out. They watch all the classic cars," Gwizdowski said.

But for Gwizdowski, Shorewood Kiwanis is about more than just giving back. It's giving back to children, which is very close to her heart.

"Not having children, always wanting children -- I think that's what my life is about: children. I feel that I'm a servant of God where I can give my time to help children in our city," Gwizdowski said.

Shorewood Kiwanis does an assessment to find out what's needed in the community and finds ways to meet those needs. Kiwanis clubs are making a difference all over the world.

"Here in Michigan and wherever you go in Macomb County, Oakland -- you can find a club that's close to you," Gwizdowski said.

Shorewood Kiwanis is having its Harper Charity Cruise on Aug. 28. Click here for more information or to volunteer.

About the Author:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.