News

Grants support signature projects

May 24, 2016

With signature projects, Kiwanis clubs  make a lasting impact in their communities. What’s a signature project? A fundraiser or act of service that addresses a specific need while establishing Kiwanis’ reputation in the community.
 
The Foothills Kiwanis Club of Boulder, Colorado, found their signature project in the form of a four-legged companion.
 
“There’s nothing more fun and heartwarming than a child with their dog,” says Linda McMullen, club member.
 
For a child with type-1 diabetes or severe allergies, a dog can be much more than a companion. With the right training, a dog can be a lifesaver—reacting to changes in blood sugar or the presence of allergens, then finding and alerting an adult.
 
However, “alert service” dogs are also expensive. The Foothills club has made it their mission to help more local families get access to service dogs. The club hosts fundraisers throughout the year to sustain the project. A grant from our foundation helped the club extend their impact even further—allowing them to provide more dogs for free.
 
If you are attending the Kiwanis International convention next month, stop by our foundation’s booth in the exhibit hall to learn more. Jerry Gilland, founder of the Foothills Kiwanis Club project, will join the Kiwanis family in Toronto to discuss his club’s signature project and how our foundation helped reach more children.

The Kiwanis International Foundation welcomes grant applications from Kiwanis clubs, districts and district foundations for the important projects they support. If you have a signature project that you would like to see grow, consider applying for a grant.
 
Linda shares more
Check out our discussion of Foothills Kiwanis Club's signature project in the following Q&A with Linda McMullen.



What is the most rewarding thing you will take from this experience?

We are helping families in need and educating the public about these silent disabilities that affect children. But most importantly, we are saving children’s lives! What can be more rewarding than that?
 
What has surprised you most about this project?
Discovering the tremendous stress that having a diabetic child or a child with severe allergies places on a family. For example, we work with families where the parents never sleep at the same time so that one parent is always alert to the possibility of a potentially fatal diabetic coma.
 
Why does your club support the Kiwanis International Foundation?
We have mutual goals—to affect and improve the lives and livelihood of children in our communities. We also respect and appreciate the fact that our foundation extends our club’s impact by providing resources and guidance to projects such as ours.
 
What would you tell someone about donating to our foundation?
They would be helping our club and other local clubs in fulfilling individual community needs. In addition, our foundation can change children’s lives and improve communities in ways that are beyond the resources and capabilities of single clubs and districts. Finally, the Kiwanis legacy and integrity are highly valued and acknowledged, which leads to trust by the donor that their contributions will be wisely invested in our children’s futures.
 
This is one example of a signature project. Get inspired! Find a signature project that best fits your community.