“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”
Robert H. Goddard
This is the week that Kiwanis International will celebrate 100 years of worldwide service at its annual convention which will be held here in Indianapolis. Thousands of Kiwanis family members have started to arrive from all over the world. The activities will take place day and night until the weekend. Many events will be open to the public so they can participate in our celebration.
I will be attending what I can. Tomorrow I have a mid-morning seminar that I have to attend but then I will go down to the convention center and register. I hope to get to see old friends and colleagues that I met when I was the staff director of Kiwanis’ first Worldwide Service Project years ago. While my limitations will keep my from much of the activities I do hope to attend a number of presentations on Thursday. Friday I will be getting my weekly Iron Infusion at the hospital so I am not sure what I will be able to do that day.
I do have some other obligations as well but many of my fellow club members will be working at the convention as well as attending the functions and workshops, so our club’s interests will be in good hands. I do plan on publishing the Daily the rest of the week unless I get bogged down.
In case you are not aware of what Kiwanis is doing these days here is a short piece to bring you up to date.
Kiwanis 100 History
Our global impact
As Kiwanis grew during its first century, so did its reach and its capacity to affect massive change. The transformation has been staggering. In 1916, a year after its founding, Kiwanis boasted only three clubs and roughly 500 members. Today there are some 600,000 members in our Kiwanis family, with clubs in 80 nations.
Those clubs and members address the unique concerns of their own areas, while tackling global issues as well. Kiwanians annually stage roughly 150,000 service projects, raise approximately US$100 million and contribute more than 6 million service hours. But those numbers become even more impressive when combined with the work of Kiwanis affiliate organizations. For instance, Key Club kicks in 12 million hours of service yearly, Circle K 500,000 and Aktion Club members another 92,000.
Over the decades, the old Kiwanis motto “We Build” aptly described the organization’s charity efforts, from providing vital assistance during the Great Depression to combating voter apathy in the 1950s. Today, under a new motto, “Serving the Children of the World,” Kiwanians help the planet’s youngest residents on an unprecedented scale. Working with UNICEF, Kiwanis helped establish programs to battle iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), one of the leading causes of preventable mental retardation. Members and clubs contributed and generated some US$100 million to this project, playing a key role in eliminating the disorders.
Today Kiwanians have set their sights even higher, via The Eliminate Project—a program, again in conjunction with UNICEF, to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. By raising US$110 million, Kiwanis aims to end this painful and deadly disease by the end of our anniversary year of 2015, potentially saving some 129 million mothers and babies.
What will the next century bring? No one can say for sure. But if the last 100 years is any measure, the ensuing decades will be filled with acts of kindness and charity both small and large. Some will alter the trajectory of a single young life. Others that will change the fate of millions.
The Kiwanis does worldwide community service and our little local club decided to do our share. We started collecting food and clothing and other nonperishables and we took it upon ourselves to find a driver and rent a truck.
A man traveling by train asks the ticket collector what time the train stops at Victoria. “Sir, we don’t stop at Victoria.”
“But I have to get off there!”
“Sorry sir, we don’t stop at Victoria”
“But you don’t understand, I have a VERY important meeting in Victoria. I *MUST* get off there!”
“Well, there might be one thing I can do. I might be able to get the engineer to slow down the train a little. Then I can dangle you out the door and lower you onto the platform.”
“Will that work?”
“It’s worth a try.”
As they approached the platform, the train is slowing from 50 MPH. The collector hangs the man in mid-air out the door. The man starts running in mid-air. “Run faster! Faster!” He lowers the man and the man’s feet touch the platform. His shoes start to smoke! His heel comes off! He’s running at 30 MPH. He’s made it! He starts to slow down! The other passengers stare in amazement. As the last car goes by, a hand grabs the man by the shirt collar and lifts him right back into the train! As he’s helped back on the train the gent who picked him up says, “Man you’re lucky I was here to help! This train doesn’t even STOP in Victoria!”
“It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.”
The helicopter lost power while flying over a remote Scottish island and was forced to make an emergency landing. Luckily the pilot saw a small cottage nearby. He walked to it and knocked on the door. “Is there a mechanic in the area?” he asked the woman who answered the door.
She scratched her head and thought for a few seconds.
“No,” she finally said, pointing down the road, “but we do have a McArdle and a McKay.”
My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that’s what she said.
The new family in the neighborhood overslept, and their six-year-old daughter missed her school bus. The father, though already late for work, had to drive her himself, but he told her she’d have to direct him to the school. They rode several blocks before she told him to turn the first time, and then several more blocks before she indicated another turn. This went on for 20 minutes – but when they finally reached the school, it proved to be only a short distance from their home. The father, much annoyed, asked his daughter why she’d led him around in such a big circle. The child explained,
“That’s the way the school bus goes, daddy. It’s the only way I know how to get to my school.”
I live in my own little world. But it’s OK. They know me here.
No matter which girls he brought home, the young man found disapproval from his mother. A friend gave him advice. “Find a girl just like your mother — then, she’s bound to like her.” So the young man searched and searched, and finally found the girl. He told his friendly adviser:
“Just like you said, I found a girl who looked, talked, dressed, and even cooked like my mother; and just as you said, my mother liked her”.
“So,” asked the friend, “what happened?”
“Nothing,” said the young man. “My father hates her.”
Find new ways to get to know people in your community. Connect with others—and get involved in projects that change lives. Kiwanis is all about making friends—and making an impact—in your local community so you’ve come to the right place.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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