By Ralph Tweedie, Manotick Kiwanis Club
Happy New Year!
To start the new year off I’d like to tell you about the Kiwanis Club of Manotick’s involvement beyond the borders of Manotick.
In April, we work with others to present the Kiwanis Ottawa Music Festival. Many members volunteer at Petrie Island to celebrate on Canada Day, July 1st. Members also donate time on Special Needs Day at the Capital Fair to ensure disabled children can safely enjoy their day. Throughout the year we support the Kiwanis AKtion Club for developmentally disadvantaged adults.
The Kiwanis family supports community-oriented services throughout the Ottawa region. Kiwanis sponsors Key Clubs to promote youth leadership in community service. Scholarships are provided to many local high schools. We support a number of food cupboards in Ottawa.
At a regional level, we collaborate with other Kiwanis Clubs to sponsor Key Leader camps. High school students learn leadership and communication skills at weekend seminars. Each spring, Key Club members are sent, with chaperones, to conferences where they can share techniques and learn new skills.
At a provincial level, Kiwanis clubs work with Staples Canada on their “Back to School” program. Participating Staples stores collect donations which Kiwanis distributes as Staples Gift cards to help children in need. Kemptville Staples supplied a gift card for the Kemptville Salvation Army to equip needy students with school supplies in the Fall. Barrhaven Staples supplied gift cards given to the Youville Center and to a women’s shelter (The Interval House).
At a national level we provide financial aid to individuals and communities suffering from tragedies. A recent example is financial support provided to Ukrainian refugees coming to Canada.
Internationally, Kiwanis supports UNICEF in their fight against health problems in third world nations. Our first partnership was to eliminate iodine deficiency disorder (IDD). The Kiwanis family raised more than US$100 million to eliminate IDD. Salt iodization is now considered one of the most successful public health achievements of the latter 20th century.
Our second partnership with UNICEF was to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). Since 2010, the number of babies dying from this devastating but preventable disease has been reduced by nearly half.
Kiwanis members affect positive change through volunteering our time to community efforts. At the heart of these efforts is a commitment to children and youth, to individuals and families in need, and to programs that promote youth literacy and service leadership. Our vision: That one day, all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them, and provide the support they need to thrive.