• ‘Have A Heart’ Back for Another Year; Still Guided by Founders


    For almost 20 years Have a Heart has been aiding District 50 families in need and through all those years, the guiding force has been Joan and Wayne Smith. As another school year gets underway, the Smiths are still at it.

    The couple has been active members of the community for over 60 years. Joan, or ‘Jo’ as she is known, served as a teacher, administrator and school board member at District 50 for over 18 years. Wayne has been a business leader, opening Smith World Travel in 1978.

    The couple started Have a Heart in 1996 after becoming acutely aware that many students didn’t have the simple basics essential to their success that many of us take for granted.

    "The mission of Have a Heart continues to provide food, clothing, school supplies and personal hygiene items to the children of District 50,” said Jo Smith. “We want them to achieve their full academic potential."

    The Smiths passed down their passion for helping the community to their daughter and Have a Heart co-board member Debbie Smith. She is, understandably proud of her parents. “Their community involvement is an example for all of us to follow. They keep on giving their time and knowledge,” she said.

    HAH This year, organizers are again asking people to donate money, food, clothing or their time.

    On the second and fourth Saturday of every month, the organization opens its doors to provide food, clothing and toys to families who might otherwise have to do without. The distribution center, which is located between Irving Street and Lowell Blvd on the north side of 72nd Avenue, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

    Qualifying for assistance is a very simple, one-time process. A child must present either information showing they are eligible for free or reduced meals or a letter from a teacher our counselor referring them for assistance. Only one piece of information per family is necessary.

    More information can be found at www.haveaheart4kids.com.

    Posted August 21, 2014