|Posted by New York Young Professionals on February 12, 2014 at 11:45 PM|
So many times I've been asked "why are you a Kiwanian?" I've been asked what I'm doing in an "old man club" or why I'd pay to do service. I always jump at the chance to share my reasons, because ultimately, Kiwanis is so much more than most people realize. When faced with these questions, I like to drive home a few points that are important to me.
Yes, you can always volunteer for free and often you can see a direct impact of your work. I often do that as part of Kiwanis. What I also do with Kiwanis is see my small direct impact become a part of something larger than I could ever accomplish on my own. One or two people alone cannot eradicate disease, save the lives of thousands of women and children, sponsor thousands of young people in their pursuit to becoming servant leaders... Alone, I can mentor a few children. I can hopefully inspire them to serve, to be good citizens of the world, and make an impact in their community. But my club? My club can sponsor many SLPs, each with dozens of members. I can be a small part of a big mentorship effort and I can see these young people serve and lead.
When I make a donation, I feel like I've made an impact. But when my donation is added to my club's, and my club's is added to my district's and so on, over $46 million is raised to eliminate MNT. That is why I "pay to serve."
I also pay to be a part of a network of an incredibly diverse, knowledgeable, and experienced Kiwanians across the globe. I pay for the opportunity to become a better leader through workshops and conferences, learning through the perspective of my local community and state, of my country, and, most interesting for me, my peers around the globe. While some may view Kiwanians as old business men, that perception couldn't be farther from the truth. Kiwanians are young, old, and somewhere in between. They are men and women. They are educators, lawyers, business owners, medical professionals, caregivers, and public servants. They come from all walks of life. They meet for lunch or dinner, or maybe the meet online. They fundraise and write checks and they do hands on service, too. Kiwanis is not a one-size-fits-all organization. There is something different for everyone and the options continue to grow.
I've been a member of the Kiwanis family for nearly half of my life. Through Key Club, Circle K, and Kiwanis, I have made some of the most wonderful friends and formed relationships with a unique group of individuals over a shared passion. For me, Kiwanis is so much more than service, but it is service at its heart, and as a global organization, that service can make a much, much bigger impact.
--Kadie Mullins, Club President