A TIME TO SERVE TOGETHER

 

Celebrate CommunityCelebrate Community, a joint initiative of Kiwanis International and three other major volunteer service organizations, will launch this year with a focus on local community service. Events are scheduled for the week of October 10-16, 2021.  

The organizations — Kiwanis, Lions Clubs International, Optimist International and Rotary International —  collaborated during the past 18 months to share ideas for future projects. This first public effort encourages local clubs to reach out to one another for collaboration on projects that improve and benefit their communities.  

“We have so many common goals and objectives,” said Stan Soderstrom, executive director of Kiwanis International. “The Celebrate Community initiative is one way to join together to work on a project that will have a measurable impact on communities around the world.”

Kiwanis clubs are encouraged to reach out to local Lions, Optimist and Rotary clubs using their club locator tools.  

Now that COVID-19 has diminished resources around the world — particularly in areas that were already stretched thin — the organizations’ leaders support the effort, noting collaboration is needed now more than ever.  

“Joint projects allow us to pool resources, join hands and work together to alleviate the stress on local agencies and help get community members the things they need,” said Soderstrom.  

Clubs are encouraged to work together on service projects in the following areas:

Environmental:   

  • Community cleanup (e.g., parks, schools, trails, roads/highways, downtown, etc.).
  • Tree-planting (in parks, schools, or areas identified by community).

Food insecurity/hunger:

  • Collection and donation of non-perishable food for local pantries.
  • Packaging meals for donation (e.g., Meals from the Heartland, food baskets, etc.).
  • Planting/harvesting a community garden.

Health and wellness:

  • Support for local hospitals, Ronald McDonald House, etc. 
  • Organizing or participating in walks or runs for health causes (e.g., cancer, JDRF, autism, etc.)

Education and literacy:

  • Reading to children.
  • Collection of books for a local school or Little Library.

A joint protect allows community members who are serving in different clubs to learn more about each other, their organizations and their combined efforts to help children and adults with environmental or financial difficulties.  

For Kiwanis clubs, October is traditionally the month for Kiwanis One Day. On the fourth Saturday of October, Kiwanis family clubs of all ages work together to improve communities — while showing the organization’s international strength.

“This year, clubs have the option of having a One Day project or working with the other clubs to Celebrate Community — or both,” Soderstrom said. “If your club doesn’t have a One Day project, reach out to local Lions, Optimist or Rotary clubs and determine if there’s a project you can all work on together to make a greater impact on your community.”

No matter which option your club chooses, be sure to take photos and share on social media! If you participate in Celebrate Community, use the hashtag #CelebrateCommunity. Kiwanis Clubs that celebrate One Day can use the hashtag #KiwanisOneDay. 

 

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