The Willmar Kiwanis Club was established in January of 1923. For 100 years, your friends and neighbors have helped kids in Kandiyohi County—as members of the Kiwanis Club of Willmar. Each year our club raises money to donate to non-profit organizations that benefit children. We focus on children and youth services, community outreach programs, medical and emotional health of children and youth, education and schools, new businesses to the region, and community service projects.
The name Kiwanis came from a native American phrase “NunKeewan-is”. That translates to “We have a good time – we make noise.” The Kiwanis motto is, “Serving the Children of the World” to emphasize the primary focus of Kiwanis.
To celebrate our anniversary, our Willmar club plans to do 100 acts of kindness each month throughout 2023. In January, we will be donating 100 cans of soup to the food shelf. Our club is also planning a community event for children in conjunction with Willmar Fests in June 2023!
100 Acts of Kindness – the start of the soup cans being collected for our local food shelf.
In our 100th anniversary year, our club hopes to increase our club membership. The more members we have, the more kids we can help, because kids need Kiwanis in many ways. Some need mentors, some need books or school supplies, or academic help, or simple access to the fun other kids take for granted. Some kids do not even have dinner at home after school or coats or shoes to wear.
The Willmar Kiwanis Club also started a Key Club at the Willmar High School which is thriving and doing many service projects to help fellow students in school and kids in our community. Their latest project is a “Cardinal Cabinet” where students have free access to necessary items.
Imagine what we could achieve with even more hearts and hands. And imagine the fellowship you could enjoy by helping us make it happen. Our members enjoy banding together — and seeing the smiles of kids we have helped. In fact, studies show that volunteering gives people a greater sense of purpose: Life is enriched by opportunities for personal growth and acts of empathy, according to Encore.org, a nonprofit that helps individuals find and develop second careers as volunteers.
Volunteering even provides health benefits such as lower blood pressure, reduced stress, and better cardiovascular health, according to a study by Harvard University.
As a Kiwanis volunteer, you will have the power to solve problems, strengthen communities and improve the lives of others — while connecting to others who are doing the same. Ultimately, you will be helping kids grow up happy, healthy, safe, and loved.
The Kiwanis Club of Willmar is making a difference to help change children’s lives — and maybe even your own. Come find out more at our next meeting. We meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at noon at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society.