By Tiffany Chea ‘17 and Clifford Young ‘17
In the interest of full disclosure, Tiffany Chea and Clifford Young are members of Key Club.
Key Club International celebrates another year with it’s annual Kiwanis Family Month.
In conjunction with Kiwanis International and other Kiwanis-sponsored service organizations, the month of November is a special time for bonding through service.
The Kiwanis Family, also known as the ‘K-Family,’ consists of six organizations including members as young as elementary school students to established adults. The high school branch of Kiwanis International, Key Club International, has been serving students for over 90 years. The organization has over 5,300 chapters nationwide with 270,000 members, according to keyclub.org.
Spanning the globe through service, Key Clubs across the world participated in a month-long bonding opportunity with their fellow K-Family members.
“During the month of November, members of Kiwanis and every Kiwanis-sponsored club unite in service, discovery and fellowship,” according to the Kiwanis International website, kiwanis.org. “This is the time to celebrate the work we’re doing to make the world a better place, to share what’s working in our own clubs and learn how other clubs succeed.”
Midwood High School Key Club uses K-Family Month as a period of reflection for member experiences.
“When I first started attending events, I was late to a lot of them,” said Key Club Vice President Najah Thurston ‘16. “I promised myself that I would be on time, which led me to attend more events and eventually see the difference I was making in the lives of everyday people. This made me want to get even more involved.”
Each Key Club region is led by a District Governor and this year the New York District Governor, Hanna Nichols ‘16, has been pushing Kiwanis Family Month across all New York Key Clubs.
“I hope that my Kiwanis Family can really learn from one another and be inspired by each other. We are all in different phases and stages of life, however, we can use this to our advantage by sharing experiences and challenges we have overcome to get to where we are today,” said District Governor Nichols. “I hope that my Kiwanis Family can fulfill the passion of service by supporting and learning one another.”
As common as the Kiwanis Family is in the United States, the organization spans the globe to as far as the island nation of Jamaica. This year, the Key Club Jamaica District has embraced the true values of Key Club and Kiwanis in an effort to improve K-Family Month celebrations.
Likewise with the New York District, the Key Club Jamaica District Governor, Shakira Mills ‘16, has been fostering the ideals of Key Club and Kiwanis for an effective Kiwanis Family Month.
District Governor Mills said, “Without service, there would be no true definition of a Key Club, hence, here in Key Club Jamaica we create that emphasis. Therefore in the month of November several projects are held amongst the K-Family; we invite each other to participate to ensure service is being done as one family.”
The K-Family provides skills to it’s members that last a lifetime. From K-Kids (elementary school version of Key Club) to Kiwanis (adult version of Key Club) each of us can learn different outlooks on life.
“The Kiwanis Family teaches innumerable skills,” stated Key Club International President Rip Livingston ‘16. “I would list the most pertinent as being exercising healthy leadership, developing a heart for service, working well with others, and managing to do all of the above at the same time while having a whole lot of fun.”
It is not only the students of the K-Family who enjoy the experiences of exercising the heart to serve the community, but the Kiwanians, adults members of the K-Family, do too.
“I like working with young adults because I have fun and I believe that I make a difference in their lives,” said New York District Key Club Administrator Mr. John Goldstein. “I believe that this country was founded on volunteerism and I think that it is important to teach the youth of our communities that you must give back to your community to make it a better place for everyone.”
Kiwanis Family Month was an opportunity for K-Family members across the globe to come together under the main goal of serving the communities of the world.