Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: Community Foundation of South Puget Sound


Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Karen Schoessel and Wendy Fraser, president of the North Thurston Kiwanis Club, to talk about their work.

Regional Kiwanis Clubs are part of the global Kiwanis organization that are, “dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time.” The local clubs are able to take care of the specific needs of that community, including fighting important issues that children are facing such as hunger and illiteracy while offering guidance to parents and other organizations working toward the same mission.

The North Thurston Kiwanis Club follows this same mission with the vision of being a positive influence in the community so children are surrounded by individuals and organizations that will “nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive.”

Members participate in three hours a month of service projects in the community, two hours per month of social activity and one hour per month for board meetings. “It’s one of the few organizations that sponsor people to be involved at multiple levels,” explains Wendy. “So we have adults that are both in Kiwanis clubs and Action Clubs, which are for adults with special abilities and disabilities, that’s also at the adult level. We sponsor the college level and we call that Circle K International and then we have Key Club and that’s again in about 30 countries around the world, it’s the world’s largest college and high school service organizations. We sponsor middle and also elementary level.”

The North Thurston Kiwanis Club as been in action since 1964. “We are just happy to be a part of this community and providing service,” shares Wendy. The different clubs help with scholarships for kids as well as lots of volunteer hours for them with many local organizations including the Lacey Food Bank, South Sound Reading Foundation, City of Lacey Parks and Recreation and more. Many seasonal projects including things like bell ringing for the Salvation Army and helping with food drives.

Annually, the North Thurston Kiwanis Club puts on the Day of Champions event. “The Day of Champions is a very, very special event for the challenge students within Thurston County and beyond,” shares Karen. Since it’s first event in 2003, the Day of Champions has given special needs children through all seven school districts in Thurston County plus Shelton, a day of sporting fun where they get to participate in 19 modified track and field events with cheerleaders from the different schools cheering them on as well as over 400 volunteers from Kiwanis and military personnel. The success of the event has led other counties to start working on creating their own Day of Champions in their area.

Anyone in the community can help the Kiwanis through monetary donations. You can designate your gift for their different programs, including Little Free Library, Day of Champions, Scholarship Fund, or their youth leadership programs.

For more information, watch the full video above and visit the North Thurston Kiwanis Club website.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.



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