We’ve been told that America is “graying,” and that is starting to affect volunteer organizations as younger folks aren’t stepping in to pick up the slack causing many service organizations to fold. But that is not the case with Kiwanis International.
Kiwanis looks out for kids in every corner of the globe with more than 550,000 volunteers serving their individual communities. Kiwanis International, a service club founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, is now active in more than 80 nations and geographic areas. Kiwanians can be found volunteering at the famous Albuquerque balloon fiesta, outfitting young Japanese children in refitted kimonos as they come of age, giving a notable past member award to a famous NFL player, providing a home to Syrian refugees in Ontario, Canada, and hosting Easter Egg Hunts in towns as small as Genoa, Ohio.
One kid, one community at a time
The Club’s point of pride is caring for one kid at a time in one community at a time. “Not only are we able to help the kids in our local schools, we naturally make the community surrounding us better,” says Robert Krichbaum, Secretary of the Genoa Area Kiwanis Club. “The Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Parade we host in Genoa are highly anticipated events for participants. I’ve had one of our 60 something members tell me that she remembered winning a silver half dollar with a costume her mother made for her back in the day. It’s good to know the work we do, here and now, will be remembered for years to come.”
Providing service to others
Every Kiwanis Club has a student-member club, a Key Club, at the high school level and also a club called Circle K at the college level. Founded in 1925, there are over 270,000+ students currently involved in the Club in 38 different countries.
“Our goal with the Circle K at the University of Toledo is to promote caring for others as a way of life. Our members make the world a better place by providing service to others, be it helping us bag over 38 Thanksgiving baskets for Mom’s House, helping kids fish at our annual fishing derby, or filling goodie bags with a new book and snacks for the kids at Toledo’s Sherman Elementary,” said Allison Hammons, Kiwanis Club of Toledo President 2018-2019.
There are eight Kiwanis Clubs within 25 miles of Toledo. Clubs typically meet two times a month. Each club is autonomous and decides which service projects they will pursue each year.
For more information contact Kiwanis Club of Toledo
at toledokiwanis.org or Kiwanis International at Kiwanis.org.