Jeff Ketner: Kids need Kiwanis, and you can help

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2017

By Jeff Ketner

Special to the Salisbury Post

It’s no secret that our community, as well as thousands of communities across the country, is struggling with a number of serious issues today. We pick up the paper far too often and learn some young child or adult has been needlessly killed. Race relations are deteriorating. People are unwilling to accept the result of an election or anything else that doesn’t go their way. Some school systems are mandating every child be awarded 60 points on a test even if what they actually earned was a zero!

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. We believe that solving problems like these can best be achieved by actions, not words. We believe that part of the long-term solution necessary to bring about real change in our community, and throughout the world, is for people to band together — not as black, brown or white men and women, but as men and women working together with a common vision and a common goal.

We need people who understand that in real life there are no safe zones, and that we’ve got to work very hard to accomplish things. We believe that the best long term solution to our problems is to begin with the youngest generation and start working to change attitudes and to educate them.

Right now, Kiwanis is working very hard to bring in new members because, quite frankly, we don’t have nearly enough workers to fill the needs in our community. But Kiwanis is not for everyone. If you’re looking for a resume-builder, this is not the club for you. If you love kids and are looking for ways to help them, then this may be the club for you. Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone to help a child?

There are so many needs and so few workers. How can you help?

You can consider joining the Kiwanis team. As a member of Kiwanis, you can help young children in so many ways: You can actually mentor a young child, help raise money to support Kiwanis projects like our Prevent Child Abuse Rowan work and provide recognition for citizenship in children through our “Terrific Kids” program and for kids who bring up their grades through our “BUG” program. You can help develop future leaders by partnering with our Key club and Crosby Scholars to provide volunteer opportunities, such as fundraising or providing 1,000 books to Smart Start, just to name a few opportunities!

Intrigued? Come see why we’re No. 1 in North and South Carolina for the fourth quarter of 2016 and why, at 20 new members and counting, we plan to be No. 1 every quarter in 2017.

We meet at the Country Club of Salisbury on Fridays from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you like what you see, apply for membership.

Even if you are not able to join Kiwanis, you can help with your generous contributions. When someone from Kiwanis approaches you and asks that you buy a ticket or become a sponsor for our Pancake Festival of March 17-18, say yes and give generously. Remember, now, more than ever, kids need Kiwanis!

Jeff Ketner is president of the Salisbury Kiwanis Club.

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