Detailed Description of Service Projects
Our club manages a wide variety of projects that involve fundraising, community service, and assisting children locally and worldwide. Below are detailed descriptions of all of the projects where we are making a difference in our community.
Our Special 2021 Dogwood Season Project: “May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.”
In place of the annual Dogwood Pancake Breakfast, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville is proud to support Piedmont CASA and The Foster Care and Adoption Awareness Coalition–FCAAC–in this project to raise awareness and to benefit the foster children of our community. Please join us! Click here for details https://conta.cc/3qfwMxh or email firstname.lastname@example.org or better yet visit the new website http://thebluebirdproject.org/
|Our goal is to have one original bluebird artwork to represent each unique child in foster care in our community. Right now, that number is over 200. The Bluebird Parade will be held online in May for National Foster Care Month.|
Your bluebird can be a painting, sculpture, wood, fabric, glass – any medium you like. You can compose a bluebird song – or create a video – or show us your bluebird in a poem or prose. Just get it to us by May 7 and we’ll post it on our Bluebird Project website.
On May 10, when all the bluebird art is posted, the community will be invited to vote for their favorites. So spread the word! Share your bluebird with friends and family because the three bluebirds with the most votes will win prizes!
FOSTER CARE ADOPTION AWARENESS COALITION
The Bluebird Project is a creation of the Foster Care Adoption and Awareness Coalition of these local nonprofits: Community Attention Foster Families (CAFF), the Departments of Social Services in Albemarle and Charlottesville, DePaul Community Resources, Great Expectations, PeoplePlaces, Piedmont CASA, and UMFS.
|PRIZES: FIRST – $200 Amazon Gift Card. SECOND – $100 Amazon Gift Card. THIRD – $50 Amazon Gift Card|
PLUS RAFFLE PRIZES: Everyone who submits a bluebird will have a chance to win one of many raffle prizes. These prizes are possible thanks to our generous sponsor, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville…
|…plus supporters like MarieBette and Gearharts,|
Click here to see the wonderful bluebirds from last year’s Bluebird Parade:
HOW TO ENTER
Send your bluebird to:
Email a photo of your bluebird art in a PNG or JPG format
MUSIC OR VIDEO
Email your file in MP4 format, or send a link to it
POETRY OR PROSE
Attach it as a PDF, or send an audio version in WAV or MP3
Dogwood Pancake Breakfast–2020
CANCELLED–The 16th Annual Kiwanis Dogwood Pancake Breakfast had to be cancelled due to concerns regarding the coronavirus epidemic. We plan to offer an event during the 2021 Dogwood Festival season with the beneficiary remaining — Piedmont CASA
The Dogwood Pancake Breakfast is one of our club’s two annual “signature” projects. For this signature project, individual members of our club advocate for particular beneficiaries by asking them to submit a specially designed questionnaire, and then the decision is made by a vote of the membership. The 16th Annual Kiwanis Dogwood Pancake Breakfast was to have taken place on Saturday, April 25, 2020, at First Baptist Church, 735 Park Street, from 7:30 -11 a.m. CANCELLED–The 16th Annual Kiwanis Dogwood Pancake Breakfast had to be cancelled due to concerns regarding the coronavirus epidemic. We plan to offer this event next year during Dogwood Festival season with the beneficiary remaining — Piedmont CASA
The beneficiary of the 2020 breakfast would have been Piedmont CASA, an amazing organization that trains Court Appointed Special Advocates, who work one-on-one with abused and neglected children to assist the courts in determining the best environment to ensure each child’s safety and well-being. We invite the community to come out next year for a fantastic Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast benefiting a superb children’s charity. We were to hold this event on the Saturday morning of the Dogwood Festival Grand Parade. It will take place in 2021 (conditions permitting) at the same place as the last two years, First Baptist Church, 735 Park Street, where there is plenty of free parking and easy access for all. CANCELLED–The 16th Annual Kiwanis Dogwood Pancake Breakfast was cancelled due to concerns regarding the coronavirus epidemic. We plan to offer this event in 2021 during Dogwood Festival season with the beneficiary remaining — Piedmont CASA
The beneficiary in 2019 was the Ronald McDonald House Charities Charlottesville. The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities Charlottesville is “to offer families a refuge, a place where they can find comfort, as they face one of life’s most unimaginable challenges: caring for a child who is seriously ill.” See rmhcharlottesville.org/ for more information about Ronald McDonald House.
Our 14th Annual Dogwood Pancake Breakfast was held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 and, as usual, it took place the morning of the Charlottesville’s Dogwood Festival Parade. The 2018 beneficiary was the Benjamin Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation, whose mission is “to raise awareness of the need, and to provide the motivation, the systems, and tools to waterproof our community so that all children have basic swimming skills and are safe around water.” After 13 years at First Presbyterian Church, the location of the 2018 event changed. We were at First Baptist Church, 735 Park Street, which is just two blocks north of the former location, has plenty of free and convenient parking, and is still convenient to the parade route for the annual Dogwood Festival Parade (which starts at 10:50 a.m.) Tickets were available from Kiwanis members, from staff and directors of the beneficiary, and at the door. For the fourteenth year, we enjoyed “Kiwanis Pancakes on Parade Day.”
The 2017 Pancake Breakfast benefited The Building Blocks Program of the Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia , “where parents learn and set goals about parenting and healthy pregnancy” while earning points to receive needed items for their babies, including pack’n’plays, baby clothing, extra diapers, and other baby supplies.
Other beneficiaries of the Pancake Breakfast over the years have included, the Journeys Program of Hospice of the Piedmont. Ready Kids (formerly CYFS), the Carson Raymond Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia, the Arc of the Piedmont Infant Development Program, the Salvation Army Child Care Center, and WorkSource Enterprises.
In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, more than two dozen local businesses purchase ads printed on the placemats or give in-kind contributions. One of the fun aspects of the breakfast is the “Celebrity Pancake Flippers,” usually local media personalities or civic officials, who join us in making and serving the pancakes. For several years we’ve had a clown (“Dusty Rusty”) who entertained our younger guests, and also an artist who challenged the kids to a free-hand drawing contest.
K.I.D 5K (Kiwanis Independence Day 5K)–2021
This annual event is held each year on July 4th and has become a staple race in our community. Again this year proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge as we work to support this amazing organization.
The race will start/finish on the grounds of the Hollymead Elementary and Lakeside (formerly Sutherland) Middle School campuses, on Saturday, July 3, 2021 but will use the traditionally course through Forest Lakes..
Watch this page for online registration links coming very soon.
If you would like to partner and sponsor this event please send at email to LtGov@kiwaniscville.org
Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Race–2020
The Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Run/Walk is the other of our club’s two annual “signature” projects. Because of conditions due to the COVID19 outbreak the 37th annual KID5K was a VIRTUAL 5K. See the special WELCOME MESSAGE from Mark Lorenzoni : https://youtu.be/0MHdAGInDlc
Again this year, we will run and walk in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge, whose mission is “to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.” For more about BBBS, see http://www.blueridgebigs.org/about-bbbs .
Instructions for signing up to run/walk, reporting your time, submitting photos, and/or donating are found at http://www.cvilletrackclub.org/july-4.html) or at https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Charlottesville/KiwanisIndependenceDay5K
You can also make a donation to BBBS directly, putting “KID5K” in the notes.
Mapped 5K courses, including our familiar course in Forest Lakes and Hollymead, will be provided. See the Charlottesville Track Club race website for the Hollymead course or click here for three alternate courses: variety of courses
For a stirring rendition of our NATIONAL ANTHEM performed virtually by No Fella a Cappella along with the Minutemen from Albemarle High School, see:https://youtu.be/tSvm-vERmcM
The 36th annual running of the “KID5K” took place on Thursday, July 4, 2019. We ran and walked in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge, whose mission is “to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.” See http://www.blueridgebigs.org/about-bbbs . See race results on line at http://www.cvilletrackclub.org/july-4.html and photos at http://kiwaniscville.org/Page/30195
The 35th annual race took place on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, and, as has been the case for the previous twelve years, proceeds went to Camp Holiday Trails. CHT is a summer camp for children with special health needs. It is rustic, but is conveniently located just a few miles from the Fontaine Avenue exit of the Route 250 Bypass. Our partnership with CHT goes back to their founding over 40 years ago and has included many hands-on service projects up at the camp.
The KID5K course runs along Powell Creek Drive and through picturesque Forest Lakes North and South subdivisions, just off Route 29 across from Hollymead Town Centre. The start and finish points are in the parking lot between Hollymead Elementary School and Sutherland Middle School in the Hollymead Subdivision. Better Living has been the major event sponsor for more than a dozen years. In 2019 Magellan Health stepped up as a second major sponsor. In addition, about 20 additional local businesses support our efforts by placing ads on the tee shirts given to all runners and by providing in-kind donations of refreshments and prizes. The meet itself is sanctioned by and managed by the Charlottesville Track Club. See raceresults on line at http://www.cvilletrackclub.org/july-4.html and photos at http://kiwaniscville.org/Page/30195
Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale
Our biggest single project of the year is our annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale. This has been our principal club fundraiser for over 80 years, and we use the proceeds to fund nearly all our community service activities throughout the year. These projects include the Service Leadership Programs we sponsor (Key Clubs at five local high schools, CKI at UVa, K-Kids at Venable Elementary School), the Jefferson Area Aktion Club, the J.T. Graves Key Club Scholarships we award each May, the holiday party for people having disabilities that we host at WorkSource Enterprises each December, and our Kiwanis Central Little League team.
Originally we got our trees by the boxcar from Nova Scotia, but in recent decades we have sold almost exclusively fresh-cut Fraser fir trees shipped directly from a mountaintop in nearby Valley Head, WV. Unlike those sold at many big-box stores, our trees are pruned carefully over their 6-12 years of growth, making them them the fullest trees available anywhere. In addition to the trees, we spend three successive club meetings in late November and early December making and decorating wreaths to be sold alongside the trees. Since many youth from our sponsored youth programs join us at the wreathmaking sessions, these three special meetings help all of us get into the Christmas spirit!
Around Thanksgiving we set up our stand at the Seminole Square Shopping Center on Route 29, and we are in business daily until about the third week of December. A surprisingly large percentage of our purchasers are repeat customers lured by our high-quality trees and who want to support our service efforts in the community. Each member of our club covers multiple shifts at the tree lot, and many Key Clubbers and CKI members come out to help us set up and staff the lot.
Kiwanis Cozy Comforts Backpack Project
Kiwanis Cozy Comforts is a gift of love and support for children and families in transitional and/or difficult situations.The goal is to show these families and children they are warm, safe, and cared for and to inspire them to have fun together as well. Items in each backpack will vary based on need but might include hand-made blankets to surround them with warmth; books and puzzles to share together as a family; nightlights for security and safety; and personal care items to ensure health and well-being. In three years we have presented 200 backpack kits to 6 local agencies. Our hope is that this small gesture and thought will bring a sense of security and comfort to these children and their families as they navigate the challenges of transition and ensure them that they are happy, healthy, safe and loved.
- The first Kiwanis Cozy Comforts event, helping fourteen families identified by Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHiP), took place on April 6, 2017.
- The second event took place on September 21, 2017 where fifteen uniquely designed and individually filled backpacks were given to the staff at People Places for children entering into the foster care/adoptive family situation.
- At the third event, on Feb. 15, 2018, fifteen Cozy Comforts backpacks were given each to Elk Hill School and toDePaul Community Resources.
- We returned to People Places on Aug. 14, 2018 and presented ten “Cozy Comfort Kits.”
- On October 4, 2018 Kiwanians delivered fifteen uniquely packed “”Cozy Comfort Kits” to the children who are victims of domestic violence and who are currently being cared for by the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE).
- People Places received fifteen Kiwanis Cozy Comforts backpacks on Feb. 22, 2019. These treasures will be handed out to children immediately as they enter the foster care system in the coming months.
- In a special collaboration with the Charlottesville Dogwood Foundation, forty-one unique Cozy Comfort Kits filled with notebooks, knitted hats, toys, mints and so much more to help parents and siblings during the stay in the NICU, were delivered by Dogwood Festival Queen Loren Black to the University of VIrginia Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on April 4, 2019.
- People Places received fifteen Kiwanis Cozy Comforts backpacks on August 2, 2019. These treasures will be kept on hand, ready to be given to children immediately as they enter the foster care system in the coming months.
- On September 20, 2019 the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE) received fifteen uniquely packed “”Cozy Comfort Kits.” SHE staff will present them to children who are victims of domestic violence and who are currently being cared for by this agency.
- On July 30, 2020 forty -five “Cozy Comforts Kits” were presented to representatives of Ready Kids, Elk Hill, and SHE.
- People Places received fifteen Kiwanis Cozy Comforts backpacks on February 4, 2021.
Gifts to the Foundation can be designated specifically for “Kiwanis Cozy Comforts.”
In November, 2018 the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation became the new donation distribution arm for Walmart Store #1780 in Charlottesville. Non-perishable items like clothing, small electronics, toys, school supplies, sports equipment, household items of all types, lawn and garden items, and more are made available to Kiwanis on a weekly basis for distribution to community agencies in need of gifts-in-kind. The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville has reached out to more than a dozen such community agencies since this partnership has been in effect and now has distributed more than $200,000 worth of gifts-in-kind.
Agencies benefitted include: The Salvation Army, The Haven, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia, Boy Scouts of America, Ready Kids, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Shelter for Help in Emergency, SARA, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Ronald McDonald House Charities, People Places, Love in the Name of Christ, Ben Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation, FBC Soup Kitchen, Region Ten CSB.
Kiwanis Family projects, such as Cozy Comforts, Key Club, CKI at UVA, Dogwood Pancake Breakfast, Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Race, Kiwanis Christmas Trees, etc., also benefit from this collaboration
Holiday Party for Persons with Disabilities
Each December the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville hosts a holiday party for people with intellectual disabilities at WorkSource Enterprises on Carlton Avenue. We usually have 110+ guests, including folks having disabilities and, in some cases, their caregivers. We serve a catered dinner of barbeque and fixings. We follow that up with a popular show by “Mr. Magic” (one of whose specialties is creating balloon sculptures) and a visit by Santa and an elf or two. In addition to the annual Christmas Party, we return to WorkSource Enterprises at least once a year for a Dick Fowler Service Work Night where we usually do general painting, repairs and cleanup. For many years the management of WorkSource has graciously allowed us to use their workshop facilities for three successive Monday evening wreathmaking sessions.
Dick Fowler Memorial Service Work Nights
Fifteen years ago we decided to replace one regular club meeting a month (with an outside speaker, published agenda, etc.) with a service night on the premises of a local non-profit. Ever since, we have put on our old clothes on the fourth and occasional fifth Monday of the month, gathered up our tools and gone to work on a list of tasks provided by the agency. In honor of a long time member and champion of community service, we call these projects “Dick Fowler Memorial Service Work Nights.” We work from 6:00 pm to 7:30 and then convene for a light dinner and brief meeting. Oftentimes the liaison from the agency gives us a 5-10 minute overview of their mission and operations. With 20 – 25 members typically participating, we get a lot of small projects done, including painting, pruning, cleaning, assembling and mailing. Members of our SLP’s (frequently a group from CKI at UVa) join us on our projects. Many of our local Service Partners are local agencies that we’ve helped in this way in recent years.
Service Leadership Programs
As Kiwanians we take great pride in the “K-Family”, the worldwide network of Kiwanians and Kiwanis-sponsored programs for service-minded people of all ages. The latter include Key Clubs at the high school level, Circle K (CKI) at the collegiate level, Builders Clubs for middle-schoolers, K-Kids at the elementary school level and Aktion Clubs for adults with disabilities. In March of 2017, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville board approved the establishment of two Aktion Clubs in Charlottesville, The Jefferson Area Aktion Club held its organizational meeting on August 28 at the Va Institute of Autism (VIA) in cooperation with Innisfree Village. The Jefferson Area Aktion Club with members from Innisfree Village and from Virginia Institute of Autism’s Adult Academy meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m. at the Church of Our Saviour community outreach center called “The Mission.” For more info see https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonAreaAktionClub/ All of these SLP organizations provide opportunities for their members to lead, to grow and to belong through community service.
Over 400 local youth belong to the “SLP’s” sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville. We sponsor an active CKI club at the University of Virginia, and CKI members in turn help us support a K-Kids club at Venable Elementary School. The latter is located only a few blocks from the UVa grounds. We support Key Clubs at four area high schools: Charlottesville High School, Albemarle High School, Western Albemarle High School, and Monticello High School The Service Leadership Programs committee provides Kiwanis club advisors for each sponsored SLP club (and each club has a faculty advisor appointed by the school principal). We provide financial support for each club. For instance, this spring our club will pay for two charter buses to take Key Clubbers from the four clubs to their annual Capital District Convention taking place March 20-22 in Baltimore. (The Key Club Capital District, like ours, includes clubs from VA, DE, MD and DC.) Our club and Kiwanis International provide training for advisors and leaders and guidance in event and meeting planning. Each May we give the J.T. Graves Scholarship to a graduating senior at each of the four high schools who best exemplifies the values of Key Club. We often support their community service events, and they reciprocate by lending a hand at ours.
The Key Leader Program
Key Leader is a leadership development weekend for high school students ages 14-18 and is open to all high school students, not just Key Club members. The goal is to give each student participant an opportunity to experience personal development, growth and fellowship. They learn about achieving excellence and becoming a true leader in all aspects of their lives. For many, it is a life changing program.
Due to COVID-19, the Capital District had to postpone the Spring Key Leader Weekend at Jamestown 4H Camp in Williamsburg, VA to be held on April 24-26, 2020. The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation financially supports the attendance of two students from each of the four high schools where Kiwanis sponsors Key Clubs. Tax-deductible gifts may be made to the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation to help defray the cost of sending a local student to Key Leader.
Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus is a deadly disease that steals the lives of nearly 60,000 innocent babies and many of their mothers each year. The disease is contracted during childbirth under non-sterile conditions. Its effects are devasting. Tiny newborns suffer painful convulsions and extreme sensitiviy to light and touch. Death within a week or ten days is inevitable. The Eliminate Project is Kiwanis International’s current campaign to help eliminate MNT from the face of the earth. A series of three shots costing a total of $1.80 protects a woman and her future babies. Working closely with UNICEF, the worldwide Kiwanis family has met its goal to raise a total of $110 million to provide these shots. As of August, 2018 we have have eliminated MNT in 45 of the 59 priority countries. The majority of the latter are in Africa, a few are in the Middle East. Learn the latest: bit.ly/3f4KhuN
The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville has raised $21,183.80 as of March, 2021, and the members of the Service Leadership Programs we sponsor (Key Clubs at five area high schools and CKI at the University of Virginia) have raised an additional $13,627.
The Eliminate Project is the second world-wide service project undertaken by the Kiwanis. Earlier the members of Kiwanis International raised $80 million to eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD). IDD is the most common form of preventable intellectual disablity and can be eliminated completely with just $.05 worth of iodine per child. Small scale salt iodization plants were built all over the world, especially in areas remote from the oceans. (Eating salt water fish provides the miniscule amount of iodine needed for normal development naturally.)
Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive and Annual Telethon
The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville staff traditionally staffs two Red Kettles all day on the Saturday before Christmas. A few yearas ago we rang from 10 until 7 at Kroger at Rio Hill and from 10 until 5 at Giant at Rivanna Ridge. In all, 13 Kiwanians rang the bell, several including President Bill Reusing pulling multi-hour shifts, and two Kiwanians brought family members and guests to help ring. Pictured are Division 9 Lt Gov Barb Ritter with Salvation Army Capt Sue Shiels at the Kroger location. When you add the Kiwanis Key Clubs ringing at five different sites that year, and the donations made to the Kiwanis Red Kettle on-line, the K-Family helped raise $3,320 for the Salvation Army in Charlottesville. For the past six years, Kiwanis issued a challenge to other service clubs in the area to support the Salvation Army at their annual telethon in mid-September hosted by CBS-19 NewsPlex and WCHV NewsRadio 1260.
Kiwanis and Baseball
For many years we have sponsored a team in the Central Little League. We usually host a picnic toward the end of the season for the players, their parents and the coaches.
We also support the Carson Raymond Foundation, which builds fields and provides equipment, instruction and transportation to allow school children to “GO PLAY” in their own neighborhood. In addition our club supports UVA baseball as well as the Charlottesville Tom Sox.
Need to Read Program
Kiwanis values the benefit to children and young adults of having access to their very own books. Through the generosity of a local book retailer we have been able to arrange for the donation of hundreds of books to the Book Baskets organization. They, in turn, will distribute these books to those who have expressed a need. Pictured at right is Bob Ribando, Immediate Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville, whose inspiration to provide books to children was the beginning of our project. To Bob’s right are Jenny Grayson of Book Baskets; Don Foss, current President of Kiwanis Charlottesville,and Joyce Lesich, Kiwanis Service Chair. For further information on Book Baskets see their website. (bookbaskets.org)
‘Tis the Season Pancake Breakfast
Kiwanis President Bill Reusing and First Lady Janet Reusing welcomed guests to the first ever Kiwanis ‘Tis the Season Pancake Breakfast at Hilton Garden Inn in the Pantops area on December 12, 2015. The second Kiwanis ‘Tis the Season Pancake Breakfast took place on December 12, 2016. Beneficiaries included Ronald McDonald House Charities, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital CATCH Program for Child Health, the Piedmont Family YMCA Child Care Program, and University of Virginia Children’s Hospital Safety Store. Nearly 300 pancake breakfasts were served. Kids and their families enjoyed meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus and “the Elf-ettes” while others participated in arts and crafts and fun and games organized by the YMCA and by Ronald McDonald House. Each of the four beneficiaries received checks for $750 as a result of this project. The three beneficiaries designated as this year’s beneficiaries are Ronald McDonald House Charities, University of Virginia Children’s Hospital Safety Store, and People Places Inc.
“Sweet Dreams in A Bag”
In December, 2015, eighteen children and their families who are in difficult circumstances and who are being assisted by Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHiP) were presented with unique, portable bags of bedding assembled by volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville in a project entitled “Sweet Dreams in a Bag.” Lt. Gov. Barb Ritter and fellow Kiwanians, Ronda Guill, Heather Mott, Joyce Lesich, and Karen Dowell, campaign among their fellow Kiwanians to raise money, search out the best deals from local stores, and solicited outright gifts of items that go into filling these large, sturdy, yet portable, clear plastic “Sweet Dreams” bags, that resemble over-sized suitcases rather than bags. Each bag contains a child-themed coverlet, a fleece blanket, a set of sheets, a pillow and pillowcase, toothbrush and toothpaste, a small toy, and an age appropriate book. The Kiwanis Club held an assembling workshop on a recent Monday service work night held at WorkSource Enterprises, where the collected contents of the bags were sorted according to particular ages and sex of the individual children who were being served and packed neatly into the cases. Smaller gift packages have also been prepared especially for the parents.