Kiwanis is an international organization with over 600,000 members, which annually raises over $100 million dollars and contributes over 18.5 million volunteer hours doing charitable and fundraising activities to help strengthen communities and assist children worldwide.
The organization was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1915 and now extends to over 80 nations. Their goal is simple: “Dedicated to changing the world ONE child and ONE community at a time.”
Marco Island has a very active Kiwanis Club that meets every Thursday morning at 7:30 AM at Stonewalls, located at 551 South Collier Boulevard.
When one of its members, Kathleen Reynolds heard of an effort to help children who were battling cancer and the results of aggressive chemo treatment, it was natural that she brought the program forward to the local club for their involvement.
Reynolds worked with two other groups on the island that came together each week to knit caps for the children to help keep their heads warm. This was necessary due to the children’s loss of hair while undergoing the treatment regimen and the subsequent changes that their bodies would go through.
One of those groups meet on Wednesday mornings as part of the programs offered by the Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department and the other meets on Thursday afternoons at 1 PM at the San Marco Catholic Church Parish Hall. Between them they have donated over 100 knitted caps and are about to deliver another 60, as the busy knitters continue to work on more for this great cause.
Reynolds assembles their completed work on a regular basis and delivers it to the Naples office of the Golisano Children’s Hospital on Pine Ridge Road, as part of the Kiwanis efforts to provide these children with much needed comfort during their time of need.
Kiwanis is also involved in a number of literacy programs, providing scholarships for local children going on to higher education, along with many other charitable programs within the community.
For more information regarding Kiwanis and how you might become involved please visit their website at www.kiwanisclubofmarcoisland.org or call 239-394-0459.