Kiwanis clubs around the world are responding to the disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Some are collecting supplies. Others are raising money. Here's how you and your club can help:
Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund. When disaster strikes, the Kiwanis family is there to help. So is the Kiwanis Children’s Fund—with disaster relief grants to help Kiwanis clubs and districts meet crucial, immediate needs. Grants are designed to support Kiwanis-led relief efforts to meet the most urgent needs of victims immediately following natural disasters. Natural disasters include earthquakes, flooding caused by excessive rains, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, wildfires and other similar disasters. Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund by texting "Aid" to 50155, click here or mail a check.
Donate to the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District. The Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District focuses on emergency relief efforts. The organization has distributed more than 2,500 backpacks and hygiene kits since being created in 2013 to respond to the destruction from a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. For this most recent disaster, the district sent hundreds of backpacks to the Houston area and has ordered supplies to fill more. "We will be placing orders for more items to go to the shelters as funds arrive," says Marshall Kregel, chair of the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District relief effort. "We have heard that the shelters across the state of Texas may be accommodating people for several weeks, as many have no home to return to. The Texas-Oklahoma disaster relief effort will continue to serve people in these shelters for the next few weeks." Click here to make a donation.
Buy supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse to have shipped directly to Texas for distribution by Kiwanis members. The Kiwanis Warehouse, powered by Kiwanis partner DollarDays, offers low prices and fast and free shipping for Kiwanis clubs. Individuals and clubs that want to send supplies instead of funds to the disaster zone can purchase their supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse and have them shipped to the Kiwanis Club of Conroe. Club members will then distribute the items to other clubs in the Houston area to make sure supplies are getting to the people who need them. Some of the items available for purchase are batteries, blankets, flashlights and hygiene kits. Clubs and individuals can decide what to purchase by browsing this website and then contacting Frank at +1-877-837-9569 to arrange for shipping.
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Members of Circle K International are known for their dedication to service. Many members give countless hours of service with their clubs and on their own. Because of this dedication, the 2016-17 Circle K International Board is asking each member to Give A Day to Circle K by completing 24 hours of service from now until July 9, 2017. The service hours can come from club service projects or even volunteering on your own. Just keep track of your hours and when you've completed 24 hours of service, post a picture on social media using the hashtage #GiveADay17 and see how other members are serving their 24 hours. If one person can change the world, imagine what the world's largest, student-led service organization can do!
So, how do you commit to Give A Day to Circle K? It's easy
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In Galveston, Texas, community efforts to restore an old shrimp boat have benefitted from the Texas A&M Circle K International club. When the 2016–17 school started, restoration of the 1937 boat became one of the first projects tackled by the club.
Club members got involved in the restoration after Linda Stevens, Texas A&M at Galveston CKI president, met a local woman who volunteered on the project. The two struck up a conversation and the boat restoration was mentioned. Linda quickly got involved and realized it was something other club members would enjoy, too. Work began in August, cleaning the inside and outside, moving equipment and tools and helping local volunteers bring the old vessel back to its 1930s heyday.
Of the 24 club members, 10 have helped with the Santa Maria restoration. The club also has volunteered doing similar work at Seawolf Park with the U.S.S. Cavalla, a World War II submarine, and with the U.S.S. Stewart, a destroyer escort.
“The history of the Santa Maria and the feeling you get being on that boat is all too real,” Linda said. “It’s like the feeling you get when you go to your grandparent’s house. Even if you have never been on that boat before, you can feel all the memories and history.”
A marine biology major, Linda values the historical importance of Galveston and recognizes the shrimp boat is one of the remaining chapters of a rich nautical story.
“What attracted me most was probably all the love and importance shown by those trying to preserve the Santa Maria,” she said.
When beginning college, Linda says she fell in love with “everything CKI stood for” and wanted to introduce that feeling to others. She’s served as secretary and president and said she’s been introduced to wonderful opportunities through service with CKI.
“CKI has allowed me to grow as a leader and a human being,” Linda said. “I have always had a desire to serve others, but this organization has allowed me to go above and beyond what I ever thought I could do, by bringing students together and making our community better, as well as making great friends.”