3 nations, 4 Key Clubs, 1 mission: to serve others
Story by Jamie Moore
It doesn’t matter whether you’re part of a tiny club in the countryside, a club of 200 members in an urban cityscape or something in between. As Key Clubbers, we’re all working to make the world a better place—starting with our own schools and communities.
to see how four clubs across North America—in places ranging from the mountains of Calgary, Alberta, to the island beaches of Oranjestad, Aruba—are fulfilling Key Club’s mission in their own neighborhoods.
Colegio Arubano Key Club Founded in 1976 — 70 members
Every two months the club organizes a beach cleanup. Members want to help keep the community’s beaches clean so tourists get a good impression.
The club hands out the school’s Best Teacher Awards each year. Students vote for their favorite teachers in various categories, and the winners receive gifts donated to Key Club. In December, club members brought snacks and gifts to a seniors home where they played bingo and danced to live Aruban music with the residents.
Kiwanis members often attend meetings, chaperone events and join the club for Kiwanis One Day and Christmas projects.
Club members set aside their differences to work together and learn from one another to make whatever they’re working on successful.
“At the end of the day we are family! You learn to work with so many different personalities. Being in Key Club has taught me to speak my mind, to think about others and to be humble and grateful for what I have.”
—Alexandra, 2013–14 president, Colegio Arubano Key Club
Centennial High School Key Club Founded in 2012 — 62 members
Since starting two years ago, the club has quickly built up membership by recruiting through social media.
During its Spread the Warmth winter clothing drive, the club gathered 64 jackets to donate to Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. The group also raised US$1,300 for 700 tetanus vaccinations for The Eliminate Project by organizing a bake sale, silent auction, guessing contest (with a jar of sour keys as the prize) and a hilarious whip-cream-your-teacher-in-the-face stand.
The Centennial Key Club assists with the Northmount Kiwanis Club’s Toy Project, giving underprivileged kids the chance to go Christmas shopping. Members hand out hygiene care packages, paint faces and help kids shop.
Early on, the club formed a tight-knit group and created close connections, which helped members work efficiently as a team.
“I love the dynamic in our club. When we reach our goals we really feel like a team. The excitement and passion within the room is inspiring, and it always motivates us to do better.”
—Sophia, 2013–14 editor, Centennial High School Key Club
Southwest Georgia Home School Association Key Club Founded in 2003 — 55 members
Because they’re part of a home schooling group, the students are all different—their backgrounds, their religions and even the curriculum they’re learning. Those differences bring fresh ideas and out-of-the-box solutions.
The club’s advisor is the division coordinator for The Eliminate Project. Her husband, a 19-year member of the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County, had the idea to start the home school-based Key Club.
Each year the club prepares 100 sack lunches for the Albany Rescue Mission. The club’s teens also organize the citywide Light the Night walk for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Last year, members arranged a walking event at the local community college to raise funds and awareness about The Eliminate Project.
The home-based students aren’t worried about peer pressure. They’ve been taught by their parents to respect others, help those in need and work hard.
“The club has been a place where I can really be myself. I love our community and what we as a Key Club do.”
—Sara, 2013–14 member, Southwest Georgia Home School Association Key Club
West coast chill
Newbury Park, California
Newbury Park High School Key Club Rechartered in 2001 — 52 members
Despite the swank SoCal zip code (a hot spot among celebrities), many residents in the area need assistance, and this Key Club has earned a reputation for its unselfishness and enthusiasm in lending a hand.
Last Christmas the club adopted a local family living below the poverty line and raised US$700 for gifts and essential needs. At a Wheels to Sea race, club members spent half a day personally getting to know a person in a wheelchair as they helped push him or her to the finish line. The club is also planning its second Stud Pageant, an all-male beauty contest to raise funds for The Eliminate Project.
Kiwanians attend Key Club meetings, and Key Clubbers attend Kiwanis meetings.
The students take ownership and do everything: plan the events, raise the funds, carry out the events and search out opportunities for service.
“I love how genuine everybody is in Key Club. We all really love serving the community. There is huge Key Club spirit here. It’s made me motivated to be involved with the community in ways I wasn’t before.”
—Andrea, 2013–14 member, Newbury Park High School Key Club