On Saturday April 11th, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Key Clubbers, Circle K’ers, and Kiwanians at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. I participated in the indoor service projects: counting donated books and decorating lunch paper bags for the children of Ronald McDonald House. My favorite project, though, was creating monster bookmarks. From a template, we created bookmarks with googly eyes and sharp teeth. A handful of us got really creative and made iconic characters from TV shows, movies, and books. My favorites include Winnie the Pooh, Charmander, Boo from Super Mario Bros, Dobby from Harry Potter, and Mike Wazowski! The bookmarks will go to Better World Books, in hopes that the children who receive them are encouraged (and excited) to read. Those that did service outdoors beautified the landscape of the Ranch and cleaned out one of their new buildings.
During lunch, our member Brandon cooked hamburgers and hotdogs alongside another Kiwanian. Kiwanis invited the families of St. Jude for lunch, so there were many adults and kids eating and getting to know each other. After that, one of the leaders of St. Jude spoke to us about how they help children who need a guardian figure and financial/ emotional support in their lives. They work to keep siblings together who do not have a parent to care for them.
Being a part of the Kiwanis Family for four years, I attended Kiwanis One Day for the first time, and I truly enjoyed it. I got to meet ambitious Key Clubbers and dedicated Kiwanians. Several of us LVYP members received a thank you card from the children – one of the most memorable parts of the day was when a parent thanked St. Jude and Kiwanis for our help and then the kids shouted “THANK YOU!”
From books to bookmarks to cute lunch bags to renovated buildings, we Kiwanis Family members strived to make a difference for the children. As Las Vegas Young Professionals, we served with passion, and we hope to make an even bigger impact in the future.