Grants provide supplies for school and more

Erin Chandler | Oct 25, 2022
Members of the Kiwanis Club of East Meadow, New Jersey, pose with the backpacks they have packed with school supplies. Backpacks of various colors cover a table and are piled on the floor. Photo courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of East Meadow.

New clothes, shoes and supplies for school. A soft, handmade blanket. A stuffed animal in times of need. These are the kinds of items that can make all the difference in a child’s life. Club grants from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund are helping clubs make that difference while addressing the Kiwanis causes: health and nutrition, education and literacy, and youth leadership development.  

In fact, the Kiwanis Children’s Fund makes grants that improve the lives of children around the world. We do this by identifying the projects that create a continuum of impact in a child’s life — one that spans their entire childhood and sets them up for a bright future. By funding projects that target the Kiwanis causes of health and nutrition, education and literacy, and youth leadership development, whether through a Kiwanis Club’s local service project or through a club’s partner, the Children’s Fund ensures that its grantmaking has the greatest possible impact.  

If you are interested in extending your and your club’s impact beyond your community by giving to the Children’s Fund or applying for a club grant, visit the Kiwanis Children’s Fund page.

Creativity brings comfort  
A Kiwanis Children’s Fund club grant will help the Kiwanis Club of Oakland Park, Florida, U.S., purchase materials for their members and local Key Clubs to make blankets, pillowcases, masks, scarves, hats, stuffed animals and Beads of Courage bags for veterans and critically ill children at local, state and national hospitals. The Ronnie’s Stars project, begun by the late wife of a Kiwanian, continues to expand its reach to meet demand. Finished products are proudly displayed at weekly meetings, in the club’s newsletter and on their webpage before being sent off to bring comfort to thousands.  

Dressed to learn  
A club grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund will help the Kiwanis Club of Sweetwater, California, U.S., make sure National School District students come to school dressed to learn. According to club members, many National City families struggle to purchase school uniforms and shoes for their children. Three times a year, Kiwanians take groups of students selected by school personnel to Walmart to buy shoes, socks and uniform items. The club hopes to use grant funds to double the number of kids they serve.  

Supplies throughout the year  
Each year, the Kiwanis Club of Paintsville, Kentucky, U.S., gives school supplies and shoes to local children whose families struggle to afford them. Now, a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund will help them triple the number of kids they are able to serve to over 400. Family Resource Youth Service Center directors will help the club identify children experiencing the greatest need across nine area schools, and club members will provide supplies throughout the year as well as new shoes during the holiday season. They also will purchase supplies for schools to keep in stock. The club hopes that the Children’s Fund grant will allow them to address more of their community’s needs.  

Full backpacks  
With the help of a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, the Kiwanis Club of East Meadow, New York, U.S., will expand its Pack-A-Backpack program to distribute school supplies to students who need them. Last year, club members and prospective members packed over 200 backpacks full of supplies and delivered them to the East Meadow School District. This year, they hope to purchase and fill even more backpacks so that students are equipped with tools for learning.  

Clothing for winter  
The Kiwanis Club of Lebanon, Missouri, U.S., will help up to 300 kids combat the winter weather this year thanks to a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. The club works with five local school districts to select students whose families struggle to provide new clothing for them. Club members take the kids on a US$100 shopping spree for clothes that will keep them warm and dry throughout the winter months.  

Honoring a past president by helping kids learn  
The Kiwanis Club of St. John’s, Antigua, established its Everett Lake Scholarship Fund five years ago to pay tribute to the club’s charter president. With a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, the club will continue its partnership with three local businesses to award EC$500 vouchers for school supplies — including books, uniforms and shoes — to families of primary school students in the community. Applications will be available at churches, health centers and grocery stores, and club members will select scholarship recipients based on need. The club had to reduce the number of scholarships it gave out last year when its fundraiser was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, grant funds will allow them to assist 35 families.  

A back-to-school shopping day  
A grant from the Kiwanis Children’s fund will help the Kiwanis Club of Carthage, Illinois, U.S., expand its annual Kids Shopping Day program. The club will now provide free school supplies, clothing, shoes, backpacks and haircuts for students whose families are struggling financially. The club plans to reach over 100 children by opening the program to all Hancock County school districts and allowing “walk-ins,” in addition to pre-registered shoppers. Club members hope that Kids Shopping Day will empower more kids to return to school confident in their ability to learn.  

Combating the digital divide  
With the help of a Kiwanis Children’s Fund grant, the Kiwanis Club of Bytown in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is continuing the work that area clubs began during COVID-19 lockdowns: purchasing Chromebooks for students in need. Kiwanis clubs have worked with local school boards to distribute 180 Chromebooks to date. Bytown club members hope that their Kiwanis Computers for Kids (KCOM4KIDS) program will lessen the digital divide in education by giving children of all socioeconomic backgrounds equal access to computers.  


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