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Fort Myers South Kiwanis Partners with SIYA

Published: Sep 03, 2010 12:01 PM EDT

The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers South has partnered with Supporting Independent Young Adults (SIYA) to help local teens who have aged out of the foster care system. The club has committed to provide cleaning supplies to each former foster teen in the Fort Myers area as they move into their new home.

“In Florida, foster children leave the system at 18, which means they have to sign the lease to their new apartment on their birthday,” said Jane Bell of SIYA, “Most of these kids don’t have the foundation, skills and support to be successful their own, which is how we are trying to help.”

“The cost of moving into a new place is shocking to these teens- between rent, application fee and security deposits for the apartment, water and electric there is little money left, especially for cleaning supplies,” said Jan Sommer of SIYA.

“When our club heard about SIYA, and how they were trying to help these young adults we knew we had to get involved,” said Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers South president Rachel Toomey, “Who would have thought teens would be so excited to be given a broom. We feel grateful that we can help them in at least this small way.”

Supporting Independent Young Adults (SIYA) is in the process of completing the necessary paperwork to receive their 501(c)3 status for charitable gifts. SIYA is working to purchase or build a transitional living facility where on-site support would be available. To contact SIYA, please call Jane Bell or Jan Sommer at (239) 206-3294 or e-mail

The Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers South is looking for more service-minded individuals and business professionals who would like to make a direct impact on the community through volunteering. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. at Edison State College. For details on joining the Fort Myers South Kiwanis club, please call Rachel Toomey at (239) 940-3893 or e-mail

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