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Kiwanis Club donates 43 iPads to children with autism

Dec. 30, 2013

The Kiwanis Club of Elm Grove raised money that provided 43 iPads for children with autism this year. This is a record-setting performance for Kiwanis clubs in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

All iPads have been presented to students in Wauwatosa, Elm Grove, Brookfield, New Berlin, Menomonee Falls, West Allis and Waukesha with students, parents, teachers and staff members sharing in the experience. The iPads are furnished with apps for learning language and math, for communicating wants and needs, for iTunes, and for calming behavior, especially selected for each student by their special education teacher.

Autism is a complex, life-long, neurological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships and is diagnosed in one out of 88 children. Communicating, interacting and learning through normal methods are challenges for these children. The iPads with special apps help children with autism.

An example is Mitchell, one of the recipients of an iPad. His grandmother said to the club, "I can't begin to explain my gratitude. I wonder if you realize just how impactful your gift will be on his future. You've opened up a whole world to a child you don't even know. I find that amazing."

Funds have come from a range of individuals and organizations in the community. The latest major contribution was received from the Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society, which is accredited by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The President of the Annunciation Philoptochos Society, Patricia Galanis, presented a $1,500 check to Elm Grove Golden K Kiwanis in support of the iPad Program. The presentation was made at the annual Elm Grove Kiwanis December luncheon with about 100 attendees.

Galanis said: "Compassion is a heartfelt emotion that delivers loving kindness. Nothing else we do will likely have the profound, long-lasting effect of these iPads for students and all the people they touch in their lifetime."

The Elm Grove Golden K Kiwanis Club has about 100 senior members committed to service to the community and the nation.

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