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Kiwanis Kronicle: Kids need Kiwanis, Kiwanis needs you

Kiwanis=Kids and the unofficial motto is "Kids Need Kiwanis, Kiwanis Needs You!" Anyone reading this column is impacted by children in one way or another and our local Kiwanis has spent nearly 100 glorious years supporting our youth. Support doesn't usually happen by accident. It takes cooperation, coordination, time, talent and creativity. Members of Kiwanis network with people from the community to be both proactive for our youth and reactive by offering support based on needs.

Kiwanis partners with several local agencies to get food to children in need. Our community has increasing needs with what we call "food scarcity" and caring for the basic needs of children is very important. Luckily there are several agencies working together to care for children, but it is not easy to keep up with adequate food needs.

Kiwanis also promotes and provides shelter for children. Sometimes it is in the form of tents for Scouts, sometimes it is in the form of building a park shelter, and sometimes it is partnering with agencies to provide actual housing for those in need.

Kiwanis also focuses on the safety of children. Projects include money for crosswalk signs, safe pathways, support with transportation, new bicycles and helmets and the promotion of safe events for children to smile and enjoy themselves. For many years Kiwanis — New Richmond was well known for having clowns to lighten the spirits of children.

Kiwanis also promotes children and their education. StoryWalk, early literacy, the Honors Banquet, FFA, Scouting and Key Club are a few of the many educational connections promoted by Kiwanis. Kiwanis International has youth clubs for high school students (Key Club), Kiwanis Builders Club for middle school students, Kiwanis K-Kids for elementary students, and programs for children including Kiwanis Bring Up Grades, Kiwanis Terrific Kids, and the Key Leader leadership retreat for teens.

Kiwanis promotes health, too. The Kiwanis Children's Fund often is used for improved health of our youth and Kiwanis Eliminate is a maternal/neonatal tetanus fund with UNICEF as a partner. The most recent emphasis of Kiwanis is to cultivate better mental health resources for our children in an age of growing stress, depression, trauma and dysfunction.

Kiwanis=Kids and we are blessed to work together for the needs of our children. Kiwanis' needs are actually the needs of the children we serve.

The Kiwanis Annual Bnaakwii Giizis Fundraiser event is Oct. 19, starting at 5:30 p.m. at R&D Catering Banquet Facility. Tickets are sold at WESTconsin Credit Union and Ready Randy's for $40. After Oct. 1, tickets are $45. All proceeds go back to local youth. Kids Need Kiwanis. Kiwanis Needs ...YOU!