How grants are helping 13 Kiwanis clubs make a difference

Jan 17, 2019

Kiwanis clubs around the world are making remarkable things happen for kids and communities. Thanks to your generosity, the Kiwanis Children's Fund has awarded grants to these clubs to help them meet the needs of children in their hometowns. Learn more about the Club Grant program

January 2019 grants

Special Olympics Bowling

The Kiwanis Club of the Islips and Bay Shore, New York, received a grant to expand its work with children with severe disabilities at its local school district. This grant will allow them to form a Special Olympics Bowling League, and the Kiwanians will be trained to serve as coaches, assisting students during the 10-week season. The money will be used to pay for lane fees, shoe rental, as well as an award ceremony and celebration at the end of the season. 

Kiwanis Family Safety Day Rodeo

Every year, the Kiwanis Club of Berlin, New Hampshire, holds a Bike Rodeo & Family Safety Day. Members perform bike inspections, make minor repairs and fit children and adults with free bike and all-sports helmets. The club also works with the local police department to make sure bikes are registered. This year, the grant from the Children’s Fund will allow the club to purchase 225 helmets. 

Every Child a Swimmer

A grant from the Children’s Fund will allow the Kiwanis Club of Silverton, Oregon, to fulfill its goal of providing free swimming lessons to all third-graders from area elementary schools. At least 300 students will be bused from their schools to the local YMCA to learn water safety and swimming. The club has been helping kids learn to swim for 12 years. 

Summer Reading Book Bonanza

For 15 years, the Kiwanis Club of Yonkers, New York, has made sure every second-grader has books to read over summer vacation. The grant will help the club continue this tradition at a school where 75 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch.  

Kids at Play 

The Kiwanis Club of Shelby Golden K, Michigan, wants to help children of all ages and abilities play together at the 49-acre Whispering Woods Kiwanis Park. The club will use the grant to purchase and install the Global Motion, a spinning and climbing structure, and the Sway Fun Glider from Landscape Structures. 

Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute of Supplement Nutrition Program

The Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute serves children in a remote and destitute area of Nepal. Children whose families can’t afford transportation fees walk two hours each way to attend school, and many children are malnourished. The school currently provides a lunch nutrition program to 35 of the school’s 87 lower-grade students. The Children’s Fund grant will allow all students to receive ample nutrition and calories during lunch time. 

Center for Hope and Healing

Since 2015, the Kiwanis Club of Los Altos, California, has worked with the Children’s Grief Center to help children who have lost a loved one. The center is building a new facility that will include therapy rooms for dramatic play and music, art and game therapy. The Children’s Fund grant will be matched through Kiwanis club fundraisers to buy therapy equipment — including musical instruments, board games, arcade games and art supplies.  

Accessible play equipment

Thanks to a grant from the Children’s Fund, Kiwanians in Dyersburg, Tennessee, will add two pieces of wheelchair-accessible play equipment to the local Kiwanis Park. Now all children will have access to safe and fun playground structures. The club will also make sure that walking paths are paved for easier wheelchair use.  

The Playground Effect 

Many local pre-schools lack basic playground equipment. The grant will allow the Kiwanis Club of Providence-Montego Bay, Jamaica, to erect swings, monkey bars and slides for children ages three to five. The playground equipment will allow schools to be certified by Jamaica’s Early Childhood Commission. The club plans to hold annual fundraising barbeques to pay for upkeep and improvements. 

October 2018 grants

Kiwanis Lending Library

Three Kiwanis clubs in Pennsylvania are collaborating to establish a lending library for the county’s Early Learning Academy, which provides free preschool and social services to almost 400 children and their families. The Children’s Fund grant will allow the clubs to provide new books and shelving units. Each year, the Kiwanians plan to expand the library and give away books to children and their families as rewards for reaching reading goals.  

Preschool playground

Nearly 50 children ages three to five attend the Pedro Plains school, which is in a remote area and lacks sufficiently safe playground equipment. The Children’s Fund grant will allow the Kiwanis Club of St. Bess, Jamaica, to erect swings, monkey bars and a slide. This improvement will help the school meet certification standards set by Jamaica’s Early Childhood Commission. The club will work to maintain the equipment and work with parents and teachers.  

Playground for family homeless shelter

The Kiwanis Club of Tacoma, Washington, received the grant to build a playground for the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s family shelter. As a result, children whose families are living at the homeless shelter will have a safe place to run, climb, play and spend time with their families. For security, the 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 an additional covered area. Read more.  

Career exploring 

The Quincy Noon Kiwanis Club, Illinois, is partnering with its local Exploring program to help high school and middle school students learn about career opportunities from club members. The grant will subsidize registration costs for students and adults and will cover the cost of insurance, background checks and youth protection training, as well as pay for food and snacks at meetings.