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How a grant is helping one Kiwanis club reach children every day

Dec 21, 2018

Adams Family Shelter ExteriorEvery December, the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma, Washington, holds a holiday party for homeless families at a local shelter. The Kiwanis members enjoy this annual event, but this year they wanted to do more. Thanks in part to a grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, they are — and their impact will be felt every day. 

The club 
received the grant this fall to build a playground for the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s family shelter. As a result, local children will have a safe place to run, climb, play and spend time with their families.

“Serving kids who are the most vulnerable is the best investment we can make in a community,” said 
Club President Gary Brackett. 

The family shelter was built in 2010 and expanded in 2016. As many as 36 families at a time call the shelter home, said Noah Baskett, senior director of communication engagement. The shelter, which looks like a ski lodge, was designed to be a safe, welcoming place where children and families can heal from traumatic events such as domestic violence and homelessness. The Rescue Mission provides after-school youth programs with mentoring and homework help, a preschool for up to a dozen children and case management support to help parents secure long-term housing and tackle the issues that led to 
their homelessness.

But the shelter lacked a place for the children to play outside. That’s where the Tacoma 
club came in —along with the gifts from Kiwanians that made the Children’s Fund grant possible. 

For security, t
he playground is being built in a fenced-in area next to the shelter’s preschool. Benches around the play structure will also encourage families to spend time together. Even when it rains, kids can play — because of the construction of aadditional covered area.

hildren are best served when they have strong families to grow up with,” said Brackett. “We hope the parents will enjoy sitting together and talk with pride about their hopes for their children.”

The Rescue Mission appreciates the value that the club places on the parent-child relationship. “Tacoma Kiwanis recognizes the importance of upholding the dignity of those they’re serving
,” Baskett said.They put the focus on helping the parents help their kids. “

For t
he Kiwanis Children’s Fund,the project has been a source of pride. 

It’s just one example of how the Children’s Fund takes the goodwill and generosity of Kiwanians and makes a transformational difference in children’s life, in your community and around the world,” said Ann Updegraff Spleth, chief operating officer of the Children’s Fund. 

Is your club interested applying for a 
grant? Application deadlines are February 1, June 1, and September 1. Learn more here