If you haven’t heard of Kiwanis International, you’re missing out on one of the most beneficial and impactful organizations of the 21st century. Established globally with branches in a quarter of the world’s countries, Kiwanis is a club dedicated to improving the lives of children in all communities.
What each particular branch includes is dependent on the specific needs and requirements of a given community. In Yakima, we’re lucky enough to have a Kiwanis Club specializing in creating and modifying public parks and sports complexes, which includes even the new YMCA Aquatics Center located on River Road, just off of Fruitvale Boulevard.
Yakima has had affiliations with the Kiwanis Club for just short of a century, almost as long as the organization itself has been established. While small community branches tend to the needs of their local kids, the larger stems of Kiwanis International fight more significant issues like poverty, hunger, and disease.
The Kiwanis have garnered help from worldwide to challenge the problems children and adults face every day. One of the programs, the Key Club, is a student-led organization to help high school students learn the uses and grandness of leadership skills. There is also a program equipped for adults with disabilities, designed to help people find confidence and resolution through community events and public communication. These experiences provide well-rounding and essential contact for individuals with disabilities and open them up to countless opportunities.
Internationally, Kiwanis Club has taken it upon themselves to fight maternal and neonatal tetanus as one of the many diseases they attempt to eliminate. Maternal and neonatal tetanus is a devastating but preventable disease that continues to take lives in many countries in the world. Central African and Asian countries still suffer from this disease when wealthier parts of the world have successfully eliminated it. Starting their fight back in 2010, Kiwanis Club has fundraised to provide vaccines, public health education courses, and safe birthing practices.
Kiwanis International insists that while they have gone to great efforts to help save the lives of many newborns and their families, they have made it clear that they intend to continue their efforts until the threat has successfully been eliminated in its entirety.
International and local strands of the Kiwanis depend endlessly on their volunteers, the generous donations from community members and the partnering businesses that help keep their organization alive. The Kiwanis Club of Yakima conducts rather large-scale fundraisers to support our local kids, ranging in size, cost, and service.
Most recently, early in April of 2022, the latest fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club involved picking up a drive-thru crab dinner and various other goodies hosted at Single Hill Brewing with the help of other sponsors. With the purchase of one $70 ticket, you were permitted to pick up your crab dinner with the choice of inside dining or take out. The dinner was nothing to snub, either. In your order, participants would receive a pound and a half of Dungeness crab, sides of coleslaw and bread, and even a hearty dessert. In addition to their meals, participants also were given exclusive coupons and wardrobe items.
If you’re bummed about missing this event, nobody could blame you. But the bright side is that The Kiwanis Club frequently hosts fundraisers and community events like the Rock the Crab Feed. You can become a part of the team or a part of the supporters by visiting the Kiwanis Facebook or Instagram pages. Stay up to date on all of their new shows and volunteer opportunities.
The Kiwanis Club would love you to join them at any of their weekly meetings, where they discuss what new events they can coordinate to make Yakima a safer and happier place for kids and adults alike. You are welcome to email the local coordinator for the Kiwanis Club of Yakima to be informed of the location for the specific meeting you would like to participate in. Joining the Kiwanis Club has also never been easier. After visiting their website or going through their social media page, you will be redirected to a site where you can fill out an application and start your journey to better your town and better the world.