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A new group called the Happiness Club, Helping Hands in Racine has started with the primary purpose of bringing people together socially, but also to help the community at the same time.

The club hopes to support local non-profit organizations by collecting in-kind donations, volunteering at special events, and organizing “acts of kindness” within the community. Other projects it plans on spearheading include making meals for people in need, coordinating pick-up and delivery times for the donations, and helping to collect and distribute clothing to non-profit agencies. Each month the group plans to help a non-profit for a month.

Bethany DeMark Zimpel started the group because she wanted to help the community and she likes making people happy.

“A few years ago a friend of mine started a group where women would get together for dinner, someone would host it at their house instead of going out. They would then collect the money they would have spent going out and the women would choose a cause to support in a third world country, but the money was going to third world countries. I’d prefer to put that money into the community,” she said. “It’s not just about getting together. We’re looking at doing these random acts of kindness.”

DeMark Zimpel also said getting together socially is more fun in the context of helping others. The group started meeting in January and plans to hold monthly meetings where attendees will bring donations. At the first meeting, members brought donations for the Wisconsin Humane Society. In February, they plan to bake cookies for area police departments, and collect school supplies for teachers at Case High School to give to students in need. In March, the group plans to focus on helping the Racine County Food Bank.

“People can take part through our Facebook page or come to the meetings,” DeMark Zimpel said. “They can participate as little or as much as they want. There’s no obligation. They can be part of page if they want and if they see a project and want help with that, they can. The club members are even willing to pick up donations.”

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.