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Kiwanis' impact felt worldwide in 2022

Sarah Moreland Byrne | Dec 22, 2022

This year proved the ripples of Kiwanis service can be felt everywhere — in Ukrainian refugee camps across Europe, on a 39-square-mile island in the South Pacific, at the peak of Mount Everest, even on an episode of the hit TV game show "Jeopardy!"  

Before we get carried away into the new year, let’s pause to remember some of Kiwanis' biggest highlights of 2022.  

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Help where it’s needed most. The Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C., U.S., raised US$10,000 to provide food, shelter and medicine to Ukrainian children whose families have sought refuge in Moldova (pictured above). And Josef-Peter Schachermayr, 2021-22 Kiwanis International-Europe president, gave an update on European Kiwanians’ donations of much-needed food, clothing and hygiene products — cumulatively worth more than €500,000 — to refugees along the Ukrainian border.

Mount Everest

Service at its peak. Kiwanis has reached new heights — literally! Members from the Nepal District made a special presentation to 2021-22 Kiwanis President Peter Mancuso: a Kiwanis flag that hikers took to the summit of Mount Everest in May.

Wallis

A new Kiwanis island. On the small island of Wallis in the South Pacific, one very determined woman spent two years during a pandemic to bring 70 people together to form two new Kiwanis clubs.  

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Dedication to hands-on service projects. It wouldn't be a Kiwanis year without service! From building solutions to food insecurity in Indiana, U.S., to making sports opportunities more equitable for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) students in Ontario, Canada, and from empowering women in Vanuatu through sewing to bringing joy back to children affected by heavy flooding in Cologne, Germany, Kiwanians made a meaningful difference. Kiwanis members around the world also multiplied their service impact by volunteering alongside members from Lions Clubs International, Optimist International and Rotary International for the second annual Celebrate Community event in September.  

Speaking of service ... More than 400 clubs representing 38 districts entered the 2022 Kiwanis Signature Project Contest, with projects ranging from hot-air balloon festivals to youth baseball leagues to a greenhouse that produces more than 25,000 pounds of produce annually for a food bank. See the list of finalists and the top winners.  

2023 Signature Project Contest submissions will be accepted January 9-27.  

Bahamas Medical Fair_Kiwanis Childrens Fund_IMG8812_Melissa Alcena Photography

Amplifying the Kiwanis impact. Thanks to gifts from Kiwanians, the Kiwanis Children’s Fund made grants worth almost US$1.4 million in 2022 to improve the lives of children around the world. The Children’s Fund supports club and district projects that create a continuum of impact on children’s lives: back-to-school health and dental clinics in the Bahamas; inclusive playgrounds in California and North Carolina; school supplies for children from New York to Zambia; US$40,000 in scholarships to invest in young people’s leadership skills. These are just a few of the nearly 200 projects supporting the Kiwanis causes of health and nutrition, education and literacy, and youth leadership development that received Kiwanis Children’s Fund grants this year. Together, we made a meaningful difference in the lives of more than half a million children around the world.

Applications for 2023 scholarships are open. Encourage CKI members and graduating Key Club seniors to apply before February 1, 2023.

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Three amazing places to play. Kiwanis teamed up with partner Landscape Structures to award US$100,000 in accessible playground and water play equipment — the biggest annual award package in the partnership's history –— to three deserving communities. The Kiwanis Club of Chisholm, Minnesota, U.S., won US$50,000 toward an AquaSmart™ splash pad in the first Legacy of Play H2O Contest, and Albert Lea Noon Kiwanis Club in Albert Lea, Minnesota, U.S., and the Kiwanis Club of South Lake in Clermont, Florida, U.S., each won US$25,000 of playground equipment from Landscape Structures in the ninth annual Legacy of Play Contest.

2022 convention

A global celebration. More than 2,500 Kiwanis members from about 30 countries celebrated another year of service to kids and communities at the 2022 Kiwanis International Convention, June 8-11 in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. Kiwanians heard from revolutionary speakers in science and education, elected Kiwanis' new leaders and renewed their commitment to help even more kids in their communities, whether they joined the party in person in Indianapolis or from the comfort of their own homes.    

And that's not all! Kiwanis' Service Leadership Programs reached big milestones, too.

CKI 75th Anniversary

Circle K International turned 75! CKI, our program for college and university students, celebrated three-quarters of a century of service to communities near and far with what they do best: helping others. For example, members have raised US$278,226 for safe and clean drinking water in Haiti over the past five years through CKI's WASH project, in partnership with UNICEF USA. And this summer, CKI embarked on a new endeavor: supporting sustainability, education and empowerment for families in the African nation of Côte d’Ivoire through Brick x Brick, also in partnership with UNICEF USA.    

Talipan

Key Club International adds a new district! Our program for high school students is now in the Philippines, Key Club's 33rd district. With more than 200,000 members globally, Key Club makes a big difference in communities everywhere — as students themselves discovered during this year's virtual Global Engagement Rally. Like CKI, Key Club has also teamed up with UNICEF for a new fundraising campaign, Start Strong: Zambia, to support early childhood education in the southeastern African nation.  

Hands reaching toward globe

K-Kids goes global! K-Kids, the Kiwanis program for elementary school students, hosted its first “K-Kids Around the World” — a one-day online event during which members from clubs all over the globe joined together for projects, fellowship and inspiration.

jeopardy

Let's finish with a trivia question: Can you correctly answer this clue from the July 19 episode of "Jeopardy!"? (We think you might know the answer.)

Here's to more service, more smiles and more fun in 2023!

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