Celebrate Community

Celebrate Community, a joint initiative of the four major volunteer service organizations, will launch this year with a focus on local community service during the week of October 10 to 16.

The organizations – Kiwanis International, Lions Clubs International, Optimist International, and Rotary International – have collaborated during the past 18 months to share ideas on future collaborations. This first public effort encourages clubs to reach out to one another to work together on projects that improve and benefit local communities.

“We have so many common goals and objectives,” said Peter Mancuso, 2021-22 Kiwanis International president. “The Celebrate Community initiative is one way to join together to work on a project that will have a measurable impact on communities around the world.”

“We can help the world recover in this time of need when many are still struggling,” said Douglas X. Alexander, International President for Lions Clubs International. “If we let our passion for service shine through, there is absolutely nothing we can’t accomplish together.”

Patsy Garner, 2021-2022 Optimist International President, supports the effort to encourage all service clubs working together to help their communities. “Now, more than ever, collaboration is needed. Resources can be scarce and a joint effort could make a far greater impact in our communities than a single act.”

“All of our organizations serve our communities to change lives. We must ensure that our various clubs identify a local need and work together to provide the service to fulfill that need,” said Shekhar Mehta, President, Rotary International.

Clubs are encouraged to work together on projects such as health and wellness, food insecurity and hunger, education and literacy and environmental projects. Efforts could include community cleanups, food donations and distributions, walks or runs to raise money for specific causes and collecting books to help children build personal libraries. Clubs should follow all local guidelines for meetings and gatherings. Clubs that involve youth participants should follow organizational youth protection guidelines. A full list of ideas can be found here.

All four of the leaders said this initial effort is a springboard to the future — they envision an annual project in which all the clubs around the world collaborate and bring their youth clubs along, too. The joint project also allows community members who are serving in different clubs to learn more about each other, their organizations and their combined efforts to help children and adults who are challenged by environmental or financial difficulties.

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14-18, Builders Club for students age 11-14, K-Kids for students age 6-12 and Aktion Club for adults with disabilities, annually dedicate more than 18.5 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children.

The Kiwanis International family comprises more than 537,000 adult and youth members in 85 nations and geographic areas. Visit kiwanis.org for more information.

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. More than 1.4 million members in over 48,000 clubs are serving in 200 countries and geographic areas around the globe.

Since 1917, Lions have strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects, and we extend our service impact through the generous support of our Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Lions are focused on supporting vision, the environment, childhood cancer, hunger, diabetes, and other pressing humanitarian needs to help address some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit lionsclubs.org.

Optimist International, founded in 1919, is a service organization serving youth and communities around the globe. It has nearly 70,000 adult and youth members in more than 2,500 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and many other nations throughout the world.

Carrying the motto “Bringing Out the Best in Youth, in our Communities, and in Ourselves,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, please call 314-371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at www.optimist.org.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 36,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas.

Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.

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