Many families find that volunteering together provides an extra-special bond.
We’re celebrating Kiwanis moms whose selflessness and passion for service set a lifelong example for their kids. Hear from seven families — from Guadeloupe to the United States to Japan — whose bond is even stronger after volunteering together.
“My father, who was also a Kiwanian, passed away in 2006. Many Kiwanians came to the funeral to reminisce about him. I was impressed to know that my father and mother were doing such great things, so I decided to join the club. I also wanted to help my mother, because her house was the club’s meeting place. Together, we conducted a successful district convention, and we’re working on projects like supporting children with cancers and helping to provide places for abused children. We are proud to be Kiwanians.”
Kiwanis Club of Nishinomiya, Japan
“I have been in Kiwanis since 2015. In 2019, I decided to create a new club: Kiwanis Tiaré Paita. I asked my mother, Elaine, if she wanted to embark on this new adventure with me. She agreed immediately.
The first year I was president, I proposed the “Blankets of the Heart” project. My mother quickly got a group of grannies together to knit blankets for children in New Caledonia.
I am very proud of my mother, and her being in Kiwanis makes sense because she always wants to help her neighbor and she adores children. We often chat about Kiwanis outside of our meetings and projects. She does her best to come to all of our events.
We are very close, since we are together in the same club and working for the same cause. This has brought us even closer.”
Kiwanis Club Tiaré Paita, New Caledonia
*Daniel’s mom, Eliane Pomrenka, says, “I am proud of my son Daniel for everything he does with all our members, helping all these children around the world. He gives 100% and keeps smiling and is always ready to work on new projects. He is my pride.”
“Being a part of Kiwanis was not something I thought I would be able to do with small children at home. I just couldn’t commit to a few hours every couple of weeks.
My mom has been in service clubs ever since I can remember.
Unfortunately, I moved away from my hometown 20 years ago and I didn’t think I would be able to join my mom in her passion. But then she told me about the online clubs that exist and that Past Kiwanis District Governor Serge F. Viau has decided to start an online club. I was immediately completely enthralled. Being a part of a club with her has allowed us to be a part of something incredible and to bond over helping the world’s children.”
Kiwanis Club of North Eastern Ontario
* Tracey and her mom, Janice Davis of the Kiwanis Club of Sault Ste. Marie, aren’t the only Kiwanis volunteers in the family: Janice’s daughter-in-law Angela Dawson is the president of the Kiwanis Club of Sault Ste. Marie, and her granddaughter Charlotte Aelick is a member of the Kiwanis Club of North Eastern Ontario.
“As a child, my grandmother used to tell me that when I was feeling down to go do something nice for someone. It was good advice that I wanted to pass on to my son. So when this incredible opportunity came up to provide the children at Destiny Orphanage (in Uganda) with their first library, it didn’t take much convincing to jump in. I’m not sure who received the bigger gift – those who serve or those who receive. Either way, it is a win-win. To watch the look on my son’s face and see the wheels turning in his mind when the children at Destiny held those books in their hands was something I will never forget. My son learned a lot about what you need, or more importantly don’t, to experience joy. And he learned a lot about gratitude. I think when a child learns these lessons at a young age, it forever changes their perspective. They have a wider view of this world we live in and how one person really can make a big difference. As a parent, we can try and teach these lessons, but to act really brings them to life. Our time at Destiny will forever be one of my most cherished memories I have with my son.”
*For over a decade, Susan Roberts teamed up with Kiwanians in Missoula, Montana, to provide supplies and livestock for the Destiny Orphanage and School in Uganda. Her son Matt, a Key Club alum who accompanied her on two trips to the orphanage as a boy, says, “Despite my young age, she trusted me to be a part of the team and make a difference, something I will never forget. Serving with my mom has taught me humility, appreciation, drive, leadership, love and how a little bit of effort can change people’s lives. My mom is an absolute beast when it comes to service, never putting herself in front of anyone — something we can all strive to model.”
“I’ve been in Kiwanis since 2005 and belong to the same club as my parents. We are founding members.
It’s a great experience to be in the same club as my mom. I was the first president of the club when I was only 24 years old. Having my mom by my side was fortunate because I knew I could count on her support and help.
I would say that we are complementary. I am more IT and communication for the club and mom focuses on activities (sewing for the banner, managing donated clothes, cooking cakes, pancakes and savory dishes that we need for our fundraising … ).
This allows us to share great moments together during service projects and fundraisers. My mom is always there when I need her. Thanks to Kiwanis, we both made beautiful encounters and went on lovely trips …
To thank my mom for everything she does for me, I gave her the special Mother’s Day Zeller medal (for The Eliminate Project). I rewarded her and saved lives.”
Kiwanis Club Ralia Koumac, New Caledonia
“This marks my 20th year being part of Kiwanis with my daughter! What a blessing to serve alongside her all of these years in the Kiwanis family. I feel our experience takes the words ‘Kiwanis family’ to a whole new level. It seems that Victoria actually sponsored me as a Kiwanis member — since I joined Kiwanis so I could start a K-Kids for her — and in return learned so much about service through her. Victoria served as a charter president in K-Kids, Builders Club and Key Club, while I served as her advisor every step of the way. She completed her year as Key Club governor before moving on to serve as Circle K lieutenant governor. And it really hit home for me when I was Kiwanis governor and she served as one of my twenty-four lieutenant governors. She still has her K-Kids membership card and carries it with pride, as she still has the same number as a Kiwanis member that she had as a K-Kids member! We work together on many projects, including our annual Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Fest, which we have worked on together since we started it eight years ago. What an honor being in the Kiwanis family with family while serving others!”
Kiwanis Club of South Central Indiana
“As soon as my son turned 18, he joined my Kiwanis club (Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe). My daughter had been there for two years already. Both were at the origin of the new Baie-Mahault internet club that I created in 2016, and most members of the club are their friends.
My son Bolaji was the president from 2017 to 2019. My daughter, Ando, was the treasurer, then the assistant secretary. Today, my daughter is in Montreal, Canada, and my son is in Guyana. Our club continues to meet via the Internet. Our members are in Guadeloupe, mainland France, Canada, Guyana, Madagascar and Martinique!
During my two years as lieutenant governor, my children helped me in all my projects, all of them. Even when I was not attending a meeting of my club, they went. They also go to meetings of any club in their division, because for them, it is Kiwanis that counts above all. The notion of club is not their priority. As soon as they travel, each in turn tries to find a club in the region where they can participate in a meeting.
We are very close, very close-knit, very Kiwanian. This experience of Kiwanis brought us even closer together.”
Kiwanis Internet Club of Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe