Clubs of all sizes can make a difference for moms and babies. Just ask the Kiwanis Club of Acadiana in Louisiana. In the fall of 2014, the club’s board of directors wholeheartedly supported the challenge to take the club to the next level for The Eliminate Project, upgrading to a Platinum Club commitment. The board then pitched the idea to the entire club membership for a vote.
“We knew we needed everyone involved in order to be successful,” says Bill Penny, multi-division coordinator for the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District.
Platinum Clubs commit to raising US$1,500 per member for The Eliminate Project. Even more outstanding is that each club member will help save or protect 833 lives from maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).
The 32 member club is demonstrating how a few dedicated people can truly make a difference in the lives of others. Read more about what motivates the Acadiana club members to support Kiwanis’ Global Campaign for Children.
1. Why are club members motivated to protect moms and babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus?
Anyone who has knowledge of maternal and neonatal tetanus and the pain and suffering it causes to babies and moms would want to be able to do something to help. We are grateful that Kiwanis International has allowed us to play a part in making such a significant difference in eliminating this disease.
It also helps to have dedicated Kiwanians in leadership and support positions in our club. Through volunteering, individual pledging and attendance at The Eliminate Project functions, they have brought so much knowledge and enthusiasm to our club that efforts to fundraise for this cause have been exemplary.
2. What advice or encouragement would you offer other clubs who might be considering a Platinum Club commitment?
Start small and build upon your success. Be creative. Use matching funds for Walter Zeller Fellowships. Grab the attention of the community. We did not go into this effort thinking we would become a Platinum Club, but knew we wanted to help support the Kiwanis International program. The more we fundraised and spread knowledge about this cause the easier it has been to increase our pledge.
3. How has participation in The Eliminate Project affected member participation and new member recruitment?
We still work on member recruitment. As a small club, each of us is aware that we are all responsible for wearing our Kiwanis hat in our community and working to identify potential new members. And we have grown as a result.
Regarding member participation, we have encouraged our members to become Walter Zeller Fellows. At the board level we have discussed the need to refocus our approach and work more to collectively raise funds. Our goal is measured not in reaching US$46,500 but in saving more than 25,000 women and their future babies. We’re going to do just that, and hopefully more.
4. How does your club plan to raise funds?
We will continue to dedicate funds from our largest fundraiser, our pancake breakfast. We will also do games (bingo, cards, etc.) at meetings.
5. What do you wish other people knew about The Eliminate Project?
I wish everyone knew how serious neonatal tetanus is and how it affects babies. Kiwanians throughout the world are working hard every day to make sure that no more babies have to suffer. To learn more about the Acadiana club, visit their website: www.kiwanisofacadiana.org.