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

Fall Rally 2018 in Review

Sara Pinkowski

On October 7, 2018, Key Clubs from across the Carolinas met at the Avenue of the Carolinas in the Carowinds Palladium to share service stories and make connections with fellow servant leaders. Kiwanis representation, Circle K leaders, Preferred Charity speakers, and District Project representatives joined the festivities, too.

Little did many of these attendees know that by the time our district parted ways in the evening, our Carolinas Key Clubs would have pledged over $5,000 for Hurricane Relief for the Boys and Girls Homes and several thousand for the Christmas for Children campaign for the Homes, too! Even more unexpected was a $20,000 one-time donation from the Carolinas Key Club District to the Boys and Girls Homes to contribute to Hurricane Florence Relief. With an $80,000 deficit looming after Florence ravaged the Carolinas coast, the donations made by the district will provide for over a quarter of the recovery at our District Project in Lake Waccamaw.

These pledges and donations capture the spirit of giving that energized each Kiwanis Family member in attendance at Fall Rally. Love for Key Club was also reflected in handwritten notes from members who visited the membership development committee both prior to the Fall Rally programming. Members were prompted to share what Key Club has done for them. Responses included “Key Club has given me confidence” to "Key Club has made me a leader.”

After the rally concluded, members entered the park with a new perspective on how our District positively impacts the lives of children and families. They also had a new appreciation for how Key Club can change their lives. By the time each club departed from the park that afternoon, there was undoubtedly a vigor for service that will follow each member all the way to District Convention in March and beyond.

M.N.T.: Scarier than Halloween!

Sara Pinkowski

Each year, 34,000 babies and countless more women are killed by an easily preventable disease: maternal and neonatal tetanus. That’s once every fifteen minutes. Through the Eliminate Project, UNICEF plans to drop this statistic down to 0.

Maternal and neonatal tetanus, also referred to as MNT, cause severe light sensitivity and painful convulsions. If untreated, there is little to no chance of survival. But even with hospital treatment, the chance of survival is desperately low. Since the disease is caused by exposure to highly prevalent tetanus spores, the only way to eliminate it is through prevention. A $1.20 vaccine can prevent a mother and her future children from having this horrible disease.

While most of us view $1.20 as pocket change, this amount is simply too high for those in developing nations. As part of their global initiative, UNICEF provides this vaccine for free. Through countless donations and the efforts of thousands of workers, the Eliminate Project has decreased the number of countries impacted by MNT from 57 down to 15. However, UNICEF will not stop until MNT is eliminated from each of the remaining countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen. Our goal as Key Clubbers is to help them accomplish this feat.

Take part in the initiative by providing money, promoting the Eliminate Project, and educating others about the hard reality of MNT. Host fundraisers such as a Halloween themed dance or a Trick or Treat event, distribute flyers throughout your school, and post to social media using the hashtag #mycarolinaskey. For countries suffering from this disease, every cent counts. Donations can be collected in boxes available on the Kiwanis Store through this link:

Why Should Your Club Pledge at Fall Rally?

Sara Pinkowski

Last year at Fall Rally, through the generous donations of Key Clubs from across the Carolinas, we raised $7,400 in pledges for the Christmas for Children campaign for our District Project - The Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina at Lake Waccamaw. These pledges went tremendously far in bringing bright smiles to children’s’ faces on Christmas morning at the Boys and Girls Homes. Through your pledges, precious memories were made and Christmas joy was shared among children who may have never had such a blessing during the holidays.

This year, we ask your clubs to come to Fall Rally with the same mission: to pledge to support the Boys and Girls Homes in their efforts to nurture children.

However, the pledges your club will contribute this year have an additional purpose. As a result of the impacts of the recent Hurricane Florence, the Boys and Girls Home is facing an $80,000 deficit to recover from damages. Therefore, your club can choose to contribute to relieving the Homes of this deficit through your pledges this year.

In your clubs’ email confirmation are two pledge forms: one for Christmas for Children, and another for The Hurricane Relief initiative. Your club has the option to pledge to one or both if so inclined. This year, our goal is to raise $10,000 for each initiative. Each dollar your club pledges goes a long way in not only bringing Christmas cheer to children, but also relieving the Homes of their damages.

As we have done in the past, we will also be collecting new school supplies for the Boys and Girls Homes at Fall Rally. Your donations will help these students start off the year strong and confident!

If you have any questions about the pledge drive or school supply drive, contact District Administrator J. Scott Johnson at, Governor Isabelle Salzmann at, or your Lieutenant Governor listed under “District Officers” in the “About Us” tab.

Hurricane Florence Relief Initiative

Sara Pinkowski

Over the past week, the Carolinas District has been severely and unfortunately impacted by Hurricane Florence. Some areas within our own district have seen devastating damage due to this storm, including the Carolinas District Project, the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina at Lake Waccamaw.

This is why the Carolinas District Key Club is looking for your club’s help to contribute to the disaster relief efforts across North and South Carolina. We encourage your clubs to direct your efforts throughout the upcoming weeks towards fundraising for those throughout our district who are in desperate need of help. If your club is interested in submitting fundraising donations towards the cause, checks can be made out to Carolinas District Key Club and sent to the following address:

Hurricane Florence Relief

C/O J. Scott Johnson, Administrator

Carolinas District Key Club

2008 Pinecrest Drive

Greenville, NC 27858

During this trying time, any amount your club can give is more than appreciated by those who need it most. While donations will be appropriated across the district to areas impacted by the hurricane, if your club would like to collect and donate physical donations for the District Project, The Boys and Girls Homes, such donations are being received and can be brought with your club to Fall Rally on October 7.

Happiness and Hospitals: September Partner Spotlight

Sara Pinkowski

Have you ever wondered how to reach out or open up to loved ones, how to provide support and advice to others, or how to get the mental health conversation started and tear down stigmas about mental health in your community?

This month, the Carolinas District Partners and Sponsors Committee has decided to showcase two Key Club International Partners, the first of which is Project Happiness.

Project Happiness is a nonprofit organization that revolves around helping others find happiness within themselves and in others. Key Club works with this positive organization to bring awareness to issues within high schools and local communities regarding mental health, such as fear of embarrassment, bullying, and misunderstanding. Project Happiness is essentially an initiative Key Clubs can take to start the conversation about mental health and provide the necessary resources to help accommodate these often unaddressed needs.

So, how can your Key Club get involved? There are many different ways to participate in promoting Project Happiness. For instance, your Key Club could hold a fundraiser or assembly to spread awareness about the cause and fundraise for the project. Another simple way to get in on the project is by posting adhesive notes with positive messages around your school, such as on lockers. You can also contribute to the happiness effort by simply beginning the conversation at your school, opening up to others about your experiences, and promoting the importance of mental health.

Do you want to create a physical difference in millions of children’s lives by supporting their health through research and facilities? The second Partner that will be showcased this month is the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), which is a nonprofit organization that provides facilities, funding, and treatment for families who cannot afford health care for their children.

How does this impact you? Well, over 10 million children are admitted into CMNH every year, and full treatments and support are given to the children and their families at no cost. This is only made possible through donations from large partners such as Key Club.

By supporting your local CMNH by donating uplifting cards, clothing, toys, or by fundraising, you could save a child’s life in more ways than one.

Be sure to check the blog next month for information about more of Key Club’s Partners and Sponsors!