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Volunteers get the job done

Vicki Hermansen | Nov 13, 2020

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Kiwanis club members annually donate more than 19 million hours for service projects, with an economic impact of more than US$516 million, to improve the lives of children around the world.

Dedicated to serving the children of the world, Kiwanis annually raises US$133 million and dedicates more than 19 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and help children.  Kiwanis members improve their communities through service projects and fundraisers, all to help children reach their full potential.

As Kiwanis members observe International Volunteer Day, 2020-21 Kiwanis International President Art Riley says, “We know kids need Kiwanis, and our volunteers are up to the task, providing time, energy and resources to give children a better future. They are to be recognized for their efforts on International Volunteer Day and every day. Thank you to our nearly 490,000 members who know they can make a difference in the life of a child.”

Riley said no effort is too small when the economic impact of volunteering is calculated. From this year’s response to the coronavirus pandemic to traditional fundraisers such as pancake breakfasts and service projects that include literacy and healthy habits, Riley said members’ efforts show how Kiwanis clubs can make a difference in the lives of children.  

According to AmeriCorps, more than 77.4 million Americans volunteer in their communities, serving nearly 7 billion hours. The value of a volunteer hour has been calculated by Independent Sector, a national membership organization, at $27.20.

“We know our members make a difference in their communities, whether they live in the United States, Panama, Germany or Nepal,” Riley said. “I challenge all our members to encourage their friends and family to attend a Kiwanis club service project or meeting if that is possible. If not, invite prospective members to a Zoom club meeting or fundraiser and let them learn about the volunteer opportunities in Kiwanis.”  

Riley said Kiwanis clubs often help communities where budgets have been cut or social services have been reduced. Each Kiwanis club determines the best way to meet the needs of its community. Some give students backpacks with school supplies; others provide gifts and meals during the holidays or organize bike and swimming safety lessons. Clubs raise money to provide these services by selling peanuts, holding pancake breakfasts and sponsoring car washes and dances and more. Kiwanis clubs partner with youth leadership programs including Key Club for high school students and Circle K International for college students, along with programs for youth and disabled adults, all to make their communities a better place to live and work.

Are you ready to make a difference in your community? Kiwanis International is a great place to find volunteer opportunities. Kiwanis volunteers are committed to providing service in their communities, which helps others and teaches valuable leadership skills. Find a club near you and get involved. 


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