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Keep up with the latest news and excitement from around the Carolinas!

November Partner Spotlight: March of Dimes and Up With People

Sara Pinkowski

Every day, babies around the world are born premature. March of Dimes directly serves the babies and their families affected by prematurity.  March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies by preventing, treating, and providing education about birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Key Club works with this non profit to help moms and babies around the United States.  Premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and its complications are the #1 cause of death of babies in the United States.  In the United States, about 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year. The preterm birth rate (the percent of babies born before 37 weeks each year) is 9.8 percent in the United States. This means 1 in 10 babies is born too soon. The U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of high-resource nations.  Just imagine breathing through a tiny straw 24 hours a day. That’s what it’s like for a premature baby born with underdeveloped lungs. One way to fundraise for March of Dimes would be having an adorable baby contest at your school. Staff can bring in their baby pictures and students can pay a quarter to guess who they belong to.  The money you raise for the March of Dimes funds vital research to help find a cure for premature birth.

How can you get involved?  November is Prematurity Awareness Month and November 17th is Prematurity Awareness Day.  This is a perfect way to work with your Key Club to raise awareness about March of Dimes and their mission.  Remember to wear purple!

The Up With People mission statement states, “Through music and action, we empower young people to be positive agents of change for a more hopeful, trusting and peaceful world.” This mission statement reflects similar values to that which the Kiwanis family upholds.

The Kiwanis International and Up With People partnership is fairly new, having been founded in 2014. However, we have been able to make a grand impact within the past four years. Together with Up With People, we have been able to introduce a new understanding of intercultural values and service. Some simple ways to express this understanding include leadership or cultural workshops and service and travel experiences for youth. Up With People and Kiwanis have collectively inspired youth, served the community, and expanded the impact of intercultural values across the globe.

Together, we have logged 9,513 hours of service, impacted 33,578 local teens, touched 17,750 audience members by performances, impacted 88 service organizations, hosted 376 families, created 1 new Satellite Kiwanis Club, and expanded our partnership to Europe and Asia.

You can get your club involved with Up With People in so many ways! Here are a few examples:

Sponsor a visit – UWP makes a great fundraiser and friend-raiser for your club.

Host a cast member or volunteer with the cast.

Invite the Up With People cast to be entertainment or workshop leaders for conferences or club gatherings.

For more information about Up With People or the March of Dimes, visit their respective websites or check them out under the “Partners” tab at