The Waycross Kiwanis Club is a civic organization that provides service to the community. They are also a networking system for business and professional community members. The club has 60 active members, and the Board of Directors and Committee Chairpersons provide leadership for the community projects that they select.
One of the highly successful programs is the Bring A Book/ Read To A Kid Program. For the past four years, The Young Children: Priority One Committee members have worked with the local Head Start Program in three areas: Bring A Book, Donation of Money and Read Aloud To A Child. Last year, the Club also participated in Christmas in April, they collected trash along their adopted mile of the South Georgia Parkway, and they delivered ice cream and carnations to the local nursing home residents.
The Club has partnered in the Bring A Book Program. The club members have donated more than 823 books for children. The Club has also donated more than $1,500 to the Head Start Reading Is Fundamental Program. This aided the program in meeting its 25% local match required by the federal criteria. This match has allowed 1,144 low-income children to receive three free books to take home. It is intended for the initial three books to become the foundation of what one-day will be the children’s home library. For many of the children, these were their very first books.
In addition to this, The Club partners with the Head Start center and read to the children. Approximately 12 to 15 members schedule volunteer time to donate 20 minutes to read to a child. The Kiwanis Club also partners with Head Start last year, and they participated in the National TV-Turnoff Week from April 24th through the 30th. This effort works to encourage reading and other past-times. Many children now focus on TV as a hobby and lose opportunities to participate in sports, talk, think about other things, and be creative. The purpose of the week is to take an extended break from a medium, which consumes so much of our time.
The Waycross Kiwanis Club has been recognized throughout the State for their work in the community. They serve many groups in the community but particularly work to improve the needs of hundreds of children in the Ware County area. The community is very supportive of the Kiwanis. Many non-profits may have concerns about volunteers; however, they are fortunate in that they get an abundance of volunteer support. They are planning to have a workshop to allow other programs to duplicate this effort.