By Danielle Castonzo
March means more than a second-semester respite for members of Circle K International. While the only water some university students think about involves a sunny beach, CKI members will be focused on water issues in underdeveloped regions of the world.
During March Water Madness, CKI clubs raise money for and awareness of the WASH Project, an initiative by UNICEF that stands for water, sanitation and hygiene. UNICEF works in more than 100 countries to improve water and sanitation services and hygiene practices.
At the University of Houston in Texas, the CKI club plans to launch a weeklong initiative in collaboration with the University of Houston’s UNICEF chapter. Club members will build on the success they experienced during a similar partnership in 2018.
During one March week last year, club members distributed more than 100 water bottles along with information about WASH and water scarcity, held a fundraising bake sale, screened an informational movie about water scarcity and hosted a social media competition using WASH trivia.
But they didn’t stop there, says Alex Le, the CKI club’s president. They also organized a 6K mini-marathon on campus, which corresponded with a district-wide effort.
“My favorite part of WASH Week was actually an overlapping initiative that our district was promoting,” Le says. “Each day of March, people from around the district challenged each other on social media to run a 6K, or 3.71 miles – which is the average distance that women in developing countries have to walk to obtain access to clean water — in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the WASH Project.”
The club also started a GoFundMe account, which raised US$155. That in turn allowed them to fund enough purification tablets to create more than 100,000 liters of safe water for families in Haiti, a country still recovering from a 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic. Close to 70 percent of the Haitian population lacks direct access to potable water, Le says.
“The GoFundMe aligned with Circle K International’s goal of targeting Haiti’s emergency needs to reach 200,000 people in cholera-affected areas with a complete WASH response package,” he explains.
The club’s efforts don’t lapse the other 11 months of the year. The WASH Project is a five-year CKI signature project, and the University of Houston club stresses year-round service.
“We try to motivate our members by reminding them of the value of giving back,” explains Le.
CKI member Rene Andrade believes in the power of that message.
“We take too many things for granted,” she says. “Something as valuable as water can be treated as plentiful here, but we don’t stop to think about how it’s a luxury for all those people around the world. I want to stay involved, because even if we can’t solve the problem entirely, we can still make a small difference in at least one person’s life, and it’ll be worth it.”
Inspired by the University of Houston’s campaign? Host your own WASH fundraiser. Check out our WASH guide and other helpful documents in our WASH resource section on CKI's website. You’ll also find these awesome WASH water bottle labels and much more. Thank you for supporting WASH!
For many of us, a new year brings new resolutions: eating healthier, working out more, making more time for ourselves, etc. Why not set a resolution for CKI? Here are tips from your peers on how to be a better member of CKI in 2019.
Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember, there are 365 days in a year. If you fall off track, just jump back on. These resolutions can be incorporated into your life at any time. Happy New Year!
From ROTC to grad-school preparation, the U.S. Army helps college students succeed in the classroom and beyond.
When you packed your bags and headed to campus, maybe you had certain goals in mind, a major picked out, graduate school aspirations. Or perhaps you had no idea what you wanted and are still looking for a little inspiration.
The U.S. Army has resources to help.
From March2Success’ free, interactive study programs to opportunities through the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), the Army offers countless ways for college students to learn, train and pursue their education and career interests.
For example, if you’re a student-athlete you’re probably looking for sports scholarships. Through the ROTC program, the U.S. Army has opportunities for physically fit student achievers and offers two- and three-year scholarship opportunities for enrolled college students. ROTC scholarships can pay full tuition and fees, including money for books and supplies, along with a monthly stipend. And you don’t have to be an all-star athlete to apply.
Or if you are interested in medical school, March2Success provides free comprehensive tools, including full-length practice tests for both the MCAT and DAT to help students prepare for health care fields. There’s also an enhanced Nursing Hub that offers prep courses for students interested in a nursing career.
And to help students balance course work and daily obligations with health and fitness, the Army’s Performance Triad provides wellness resources to help sustain healthy behaviors with a student’s sleep, activity and nutrition.
If you are interested in serving and learning important leadership skills through ROTC, chasing your dream career with March2Success’ prep programs or simply finding better ways to take care of your mental and physical health, the U.S. Army has the tools to achieve your goals — in college and in the years that follow.
By: Laura Belmont and Billy Hackett
While it may seem as though you are just one person, YOU have a voice! If you are a citizen in a country with a democratic system of electing leaders, the most basic way that you can exercise this voice is by VOTING! In the United States, there are approximately 46 million young people (ages 18-29) eligible to vote; we comprise 21 percent of the U.S. electorate, but traditionally do not turn out for elections (Civic Youth). The same can be said for Canada, where in the 2015 elections almost half of young people (ages 18-24) did not vote (Elections Canada).
Circle K International recognizes the power of young adults who mobilize. When you think about it, that is everything that we do. Every day in 15 nations across the world, our 12,000-plus members make a difference by mobilizing through service, fellowship and leadership. When we are inspired to act and recognize that we are not observers but key players in what happens every single day, we can create and live in a world that we want to see.
The decisions made by public officials affect every area of our lives, including education, health care, public safety, Internet access and usage, the environment and countless more. On a local level, you’ll find elections for positions that directly impact your community through roles that may be unique to your area. We have direct control over who represents us and makes those decisions on our behalf, and the magnitude of this cannot be overstated. That is why civic engagement is one of the Objects of Circle K International, and we are calling on YOU to not waste your voice. Instead, channel its power and vote.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
The next opportunity to cast a ballot in the United States is on November 6, 2018. Depending on where you live, the ballot will list a slew of amendments, as well as local, state and national races, all to be decided by the people. Will you break the stigma that young people do not care? Will you take your future into your own hands and make your voice heard?
Find out where you can vote in the U.S. by starting here.
Can my CKI club and I be civically engaged in ways beyond voting?
Yes. If you are not a citizen, a registered voter or of voting age but still want to be engaged – or if you’re a voter who wants to go above and beyond – there are many opportunities to engage civically. You even can involve your club, a route that we recommend.
What if I am from an international district or club outside of the United States?
If you live in a democratic country, make your voice heard for all of the reasons above. To learn how to register to vote in your country, search the Internet for “register to vote [country].” Here are a few links in countries where we have clubs:
On Saturday, July 7, 2018 the following awards were presented at the CKIx Awards and Farewell Session at CKIx18 in Chicago.
Distinguished District Governor
Julia Terry, Carolinas District
Distinguished Lieutenant Governor
Bill Truong, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Dylann Lowery, Texas-Oklahoma District
Manuel Santiago, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Mohammed Alharbi, Pacific Northwest District
Sarah Feinberg, Pennsylvania District
Distinguished District Secretary
Stephania Gonzalez Mena, New Jersey District
Julia Dressler, New York District
Katelyn Duch, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Distinguished District Treasurer
Christina Civis, Texas-Oklahoma District
Distinguished District Editor
Marisa Hoenig, Georgia District
Chelsie Higdon, Carolinas District
Anika Faglie, Southwest District
Distinguished District Chairperson
Ana Chavez, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Anika Faglie, Southwest District
Denny Cao, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Jose Leoncio, Capital District
Esther Wang, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Lucy Zheng, Georgia District
Ivan Hoz, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Serena Ranney, Pacific Northwest District
Jennifer Hoang, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Taylor McKay, New Jersey District
Samantha Ruiz, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Xinyue Linda Qiu, Georgia District
Distinguished International Chairperson
Anika Faglie, Southwest District
Donald Franks, California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Garrett Thompson, Florida District
Distinguished Kiwanis Chairperson
Jennifer Hethcox, Carolinas District
John Cano, Texas-Oklahoma District
Distinguished District Administrator
Lori Stillwell, Michigan District
Kristin Holden, New England District
Ruby Division (1-19 members last year that have attained charter strength this year)
Fifth Place- Florida Southwestern State College
Fourth Place- Ohio Wesleyan University
Third Place- Troy University
Second Place- Niagara University and the University of Texas at San Antonio
First Place- Lindenwood University
Sapphire Division (clubs with 20-40 members)
Fifth Place- North Carolina State University
Fourth Place- Johnson & Wales University, George Mason University, Western University, and Michigan State University
Third Place- Western Kentucky University
Second Place- University of Virginia
First Place- DePaul University
Emerald Division (clubs with 41-65 members)
Fifth Place- Irvine Valley College
Fourth Place- University of Aruba
Third Place- University of Texas at Dallas
Second Place- The George Washington University
First Place- Bentley University
Diamond Division (clubs with 65+ members)
Fifth Place- The College of William & Mary
Fourth Place- California State University- Sacramento
Third Place- Saint Martin's University
Second Place- University at Buffalo
First Place- Rider University
Club Achievement Awards
Third Place- Georgia Institute of Technology
Second Place- San Joaquin Delta College
First Place- University of the Pacific
Third Place- University of Central Florida
Second Place- Rutgers University
First Place- Saint Martin's University
Third Place- University of California, Riverside
Second Place- University of California, Irvine
First Place- University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor
University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor
Washington State University
The College of William & Mary
University of California, Riverside
University of Florida
University of the Pacific
Washington State University
Third Place- Saint Martin's University
Second Place- University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor
First Place- Washington State University
Third Place- Virginia Commonwealth University
Second Place- University of Florida
First Place- University of California, Los Angeles
Third Place- Florida District
Second Place- Georgia District
First Place- Alabama District
Third Place- Northwood University (average amount raised per member: US$24)
Second Place- University of Alabama (average amount raised per member: US$44)
First Place- Palm Beach State College (average amount raised per member: US$68)
First Place: Jennifer Que, California State University, Fullerton- California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Second Place: Mohammed Alhabri, Saint Martin's University- Pacific Northwest District
Khalid Altamimi, Saint Martin's University
Adriana Ortiz, North Carolina State University
David Su, Cypress College
Jennifer Que, California State University, Fullerton- California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Emmy Suazo, Saint Martin's University
Are you a current CKI member?
Have you paid your club dues?
Did you know you're eligible for scholarships provided through the Kiwanis Children's Fund?
Each year the Kiwanis Children's Fund proudly assists in the disbursement of select scholarships available through their donor advised fund program to members of Circle K International. This year four scholarship opportunities are available for dues paid members of Circle K:
All scholarship applications are due no later than March 15, 2018. Each scholarship requires a separate application. Click the links above for complete information on each scholarship, the criteria, and application.
For general information about scholarships disbursed by the Kiwanis Children's Fund, including who to contact with questions and award notification dates, visit the Kiwanis Children's Fund FAQ Page.
Kiwanis clubs around the world are responding to the disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Some are collecting supplies. Others are raising money. Here's how you and your club can help:
Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund. When disaster strikes, the Kiwanis family is there to help. So is the Kiwanis Children’s Fund—with disaster relief grants to help Kiwanis clubs and districts meet crucial, immediate needs. Grants are designed to support Kiwanis-led relief efforts to meet the most urgent needs of victims immediately following natural disasters. Natural disasters include earthquakes, flooding caused by excessive rains, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, wildfires and other similar disasters. Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund by texting "Aid" to 50155, click here or mail a check.
Donate to the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District. The Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District focuses on emergency relief efforts. The organization has distributed more than 2,500 backpacks and hygiene kits since being created in 2013 to respond to the destruction from a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. For this most recent disaster, the district sent hundreds of backpacks to the Houston area and has ordered supplies to fill more. "We will be placing orders for more items to go to the shelters as funds arrive," says Marshall Kregel, chair of the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District relief effort. "We have heard that the shelters across the state of Texas may be accommodating people for several weeks, as many have no home to return to. The Texas-Oklahoma disaster relief effort will continue to serve people in these shelters for the next few weeks." Click here to make a donation.
Buy supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse to have shipped directly to Texas for distribution by Kiwanis members. The Kiwanis Warehouse, powered by Kiwanis partner DollarDays, offers low prices and fast and free shipping for Kiwanis clubs. Individuals and clubs that want to send supplies instead of funds to the disaster zone can purchase their supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse and have them shipped to the Kiwanis Club of Conroe. Club members will then distribute the items to other clubs in the Houston area to make sure supplies are getting to the people who need them. Some of the items available for purchase are batteries, blankets, flashlights and hygiene kits. Clubs and individuals can decide what to purchase by browsing this website and then contacting Frank at +1-877-837-9569 to arrange for shipping.
Circle K: making the world a better place, one project, one member at a time. And one new website at a time, too! Our new and improved website is up and ready for you to check out! There's a lot of fun new additions that we think you'll really love. So check it out!
Note: The 2016-17 Give a Day Campaign ended Oct 1st. More information on the 2017-18 Campaign will be released soon.
Members of Circle K International are known for their dedication to service. Many members give countless hours of service with their clubs and on their own. Because of this dedication, the 2016-17 Circle K International Board is asking each member to Give A Day to Circle K by completing 24 hours of service from now until July 9, 2017. The service hours can come from club service projects or even volunteering on your own. Just keep track of your hours and when you've completed 24 hours of service, post a picture on social media using the hashtage #GiveADay17 and see how other members are serving their 24 hours. If one person can change the world, imagine what the world's largest, student-led service organization can do!
So, how do you commit to Give A Day to Circle K? It's easy
In Galveston, Texas, community efforts to restore an old shrimp boat have benefitted from the Texas A&M Circle K International club. When the 2016–17 school started, restoration of the 1937 boat became one of the first projects tackled by the club.
Club members got involved in the restoration after Linda Stevens, Texas A&M at Galveston CKI president, met a local woman who volunteered on the project. The two struck up a conversation and the boat restoration was mentioned. Linda quickly got involved and realized it was something other club members would enjoy, too. Work began in August, cleaning the inside and outside, moving equipment and tools and helping local volunteers bring the old vessel back to its 1930s heyday.
Of the 24 club members, 10 have helped with the Santa Maria restoration. The club also has volunteered doing similar work at Seawolf Park with the U.S.S. Cavalla, a World War II submarine, and with the U.S.S. Stewart, a destroyer escort.
“The history of the Santa Maria and the feeling you get being on that boat is all too real,” Linda said. “It’s like the feeling you get when you go to your grandparent’s house. Even if you have never been on that boat before, you can feel all the memories and history.”
A marine biology major, Linda values the historical importance of Galveston and recognizes the shrimp boat is one of the remaining chapters of a rich nautical story.
“What attracted me most was probably all the love and importance shown by those trying to preserve the Santa Maria,” she said.
When beginning college, Linda says she fell in love with “everything CKI stood for” and wanted to introduce that feeling to others. She’s served as secretary and president and said she’s been introduced to wonderful opportunities through service with CKI.
“CKI has allowed me to grow as a leader and a human being,” Linda said. “I have always had a desire to serve others, but this organization has allowed me to go above and beyond what I ever thought I could do, by bringing students together and making our community better, as well as making great friends.”