Ask Kiwanis to help you protect moms and babies
Story by Eileen Dennie
Do you know members of your sponsoring Kiwanis club? If not, you’re missing out—and so are they. Kiwanians and CKI members have more in common than you’d think, the most important of which is a servant’s heart.
One way to get to know Kiwanians in your community is to plan an event for The Eliminate Project together. After all, the entire Kiwanis family is working to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus from the face of the Earth. Why not join forces?
Here are some great ideas that will include—and maybe even excite—members of both clubs.
Focus on food. Everyone likes to eat, right? Sponsor a Dining for Donations event at a favorite hotspot near campus and invite Kiwanians to come. Ask everyone to wear name tags so people can put faces with names. Encourage interaction between your club members and Kiwanians.
Get crafty. Does your community host a holiday bazaar or spring craft fair? Co-sponsor a booth with your Kiwanis club. Get together during the months leading up to the sale to knit, paint and create. Share interests, learn skills and form friendships while filling your booth space with gorgeous wares.
Train toddlers. Plan a family activity for members of your sponsoring Kiwanis club—like the Toddler Olympics hosted by the Queens College, New York, CKI Club. Children ages 2–6 competed in obstacle courses, wore fake tattoos and gold medals and met the school’s mascot. By charging an entry fee and accepting donations for The Eliminate Project, members of the CKI club and their Key Club friends at Bayside High School brought in US$350. Similarly, Liberty University CKI Club in Lynchburg, West Virginia, earned US$500 from its children’s carnival, which entertained children ages 3–11 with bounce houses and carnival games. Besides inviting Kiwanians and faculty members to bring their children and grandchildren, ask area families for game and activity ideas.
This past summer, Kiwanis International, Aktion Club and CKI all held their conventions in New Orleans. And there was a lot of interaction related to The Eliminate Project. In fact, support for The Eliminate Project was “blooming” all over: Aktion Club members made tissue-paper flowers, and CKI members crafted felt flowers to sell to Kiwanis International convention attendees.
The groups also worked together to make a fundraising walk for The Eliminate Project fun—and successful. While Kiwanians walked the 1K route, early risers from the CKI crowd cheered them on with handmade signs and hands a-clapping while Aktion Club members handed out snacks to walkers.
Make perspective count
Working together helps strengthen the relationship between your club and your sponsoring Kiwanis club. Besides strengthening this bond, your clubs have complementary skill sets that strengthen your impact as well.
CKI members often have a different perspective on messaging and fundraising than Kiwanians. You might be more likely to focus on lives saved, breaking the fundraising statistics down to their human impact. For instance: “If we meet our goal with this fundraiser, each person in the club will save or protect 10 lives.”
Kiwanians bring an experience-based perspective. Many Kiwanians are parents and can relate to protecting a child from illness. Consider having a parent, especially a mother, speak about the mother-child connection at an event for The Eliminate Project. Some Kiwanians may also have experienced epidemics and other life-threatening diseases firsthand. When choosing presenters and stories to share, go with people who can relate because of personal experience.
“I’ve had the chance to be part of the planning of many Kiwanis-family projects,” says Rickie Santer, member of Adelphi University CKI Club in Garden City, New York, and representative to The Eliminate Project service-leadership programs subcommittee. “And I can say from experience that events that involve the Kiwanis family, and not just one branch, have been not twice as successful, but at least 10 times as successful.”
Want more ideas how you and the Kiwanis family can help The Eliminate Project—together? Check out The Eliminate Project blog for projects you can do this month. CKI