“In 38 months, since the inception of the Idiots Club on June 14, 2014, it has provided children living in poverty items or services worth over $215,807.76,” co-founder Danna Hiner said.

Youth living in poverty comprise 65 percent of all children in the lake area. With a crazy name, the Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club has a serious mission: The Jesters of Goodwill dedicated to helping these youth in-need.

“In 38 months, since the inception of the Idiots Club on June 14, 2014, it has provided children living in poverty items or services worth over $215,807.76,” co-founder Danna Hiner said.

As a result of some donated and many discounted items from local retailers, the Idiots Club has actually spent $128,187.19. These numbers increase daily as the requests come in.

An Idiots Club goal is to improve the self-esteem of a child living in poverty.

“In a community of haves and have-nots such as our community, ‘fitting-in’ is very important,” says co-founder Denny Hiner. “Self-esteem betterment can be achieved by providing children in-need the opportunity to participate in school activities such as sports, band, cheerleading, clubs, choir, and others.” Denny says, “They all require equipment, special outfits or clothes, and money.”

Another way the Idiots Club helps kids fit-in is by providing new, name-brand clothes and shoes for children living in poverty. The club bought a new wardrobe for a girl in 10th grade that never had a piece of new clothes in her life, only hand-me-down and thrift store items.

“Just imagine 15 years old and never having one piece of new clothing. The counselors tell us the look on their face when they are given these new clothes or shoes is priceless,” Dana said.

The club has provided more than 400 pairs of shoes and boots, tons of clothes, food, Buddy Packs, school trip money, hearing aid batteries, eyeglasses, private counseling, band instruments, car parts and tires, dental care, sports equipment and fees, a horse for summer 4-H club, contact lenses, maternity clothes, bed bug eradication, hygiene products, head lice abatement (chemical treatments and hair dryers), alarm clocks, school supplies and shop fees, dual-credit tuition, test fees, graduation caps and gowns, school activities’ clothing, supplies and fees, and more.

The Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club is a 501(c)3 charity founded by retired educators, Denny and Danna Hiner. It is all-volunteer and serves children in-need in the Camdenton, Climax Springs, Macks Creek and School of the Osage school districts.

Counselors and nurses identify a child’s need and email their requests to the Charity. The Idiots Club takes requests from community social agency personnel, as well. The club does not work directly with parents or children due to confidentiality issues.

The Idiots Club has numerous retail business partners..

For additional information on how to join the Idiots Club or donate, look at the Idiots Club’s website www.LakeOfTheOzarksIdiotsClub.org

Like their Facebook Page at Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club or contact them at lotoidiotsclub@gmail.com.