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Giving time to impact the youth Kiwanis Club comes to Jessamine County

By Evan Cook

evan.cook@jessaminejournal.com

Kiwanis International, a civic organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in the communities they serve, is coming to Jessamine County this year.

Holding an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19th at the Jessamine County Public Library, located at 600 S. Main St., Kiwanis International is dedicated to changing communities by changing the life of a child.

“Kiwanis has decided to come to Jessamine County due to its successful presence in all surrounding communities,” said Kendra Skidmore, club opening specialist for Kiwanis Club International. “Highly engaged and active clubs in Anderson County, three in Fayette County, Woodford County, Bourbon County, Winchester and Mt. Sterling all seeing huge impacts for their efforts. There is a high ratio of students on free or reduced lunch in the school systems within Jessamine County and that is where our club’s partner really well in support of students and youth in the communities.”

Skidmore said anyone over the age of 18 can enroll by submitting a membership application. Members of Kiwanis International host approximately 150,000 service projects and complete more than 18 million service hours a year raising more than 100 million dollars to support different causes.

“This will be a new service club for the area,”Skidmore said. “We support existing projects, create new projects, support children charities, develop leadership programs for youth and a variety of other things the community needs.”

Skidmore said the program has a strong focus on the children of communities all over the world.

“The defining mission of Kiwanis is changing communities one child at a time,” Skidmore said. “To be honest, that is a pretty profound statement. When you see how much the generations have changed and the current need, you can’t help but want to become involved. Today’s children are faced with more external pressures that are many times out of their control. You’re changing the direction for some of these kids. It is significant.”

The club, Skidmore said, sponsors programs from all school levels. K-Kids Club is directed towards elementary students, Builders Club towards middle school, Key Club towards high school, Aktion Club for adults with disabilities, and Circle K for college students.

“The informational meeting is to expose interested people to the potential that Kiwanis can be for this area. Discussion of fundamental structure and opportunity as well as learn from them identified needs,” said Skidmore. “I hope that this new club will provide another layering support system to enhance existing programs and implement what the community identifies as a need that needs to be boosted, that is determined by the members enrolling in the club.”

Skidmore believes it is important to be a part of a solution for children. By serving local communities the organization stays committed to providing opportunities for children to succeed.

“The more we have from the ground up the stronger foundation we can set to move forward,” Skidmore said. “No one can participate 100 percent of the time and it is not expected, but if we all can give a little of our time when we can the impact is amplified.”

For more information contact 740-357-5720 or kskidmore@kiwanis.org.