SERVING, WITHOUT BOUNDARIES !
CHANGING THE WORLD, ONE CHILD AT A TIME !
You think you got what it takes to help the children of your community, find out about membership today!
Anyone above age 18 years and living in any city in US can apply.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Cell : 559.639.3084
It's Quiz Time!
So you think you know everything about Kiwanis. Test yourself here and see how many you get right. Leave your answers in the comment and check back for the answers in a few weeks time.
Another year is slipping by, another new year is about to begin. I remember very well when I made that first call in 2009 to enquire about Cyber Kiwanis, and Dr. Marie answered the call. That was the first year of the club too, which I wasn't aware of at that time. Distributing dictionaries to third graders of the Armona school district, doing service projects at Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento and working at the Walking Trail at the Burris Park in Hanford were a few of the earliest service projects performed by Cyber Kiwanis, not forgetting the yearly participation of members in the Miracle Mile of Quarters for the Valley's Children Hospital.
We spend our lives working our jobs waiting around to live. And when that time arrives, we often end up on the porch lamenting about all those things we didn’t do.
The moment, when life offers us the opportunity to experience something new, we usually allow our conditioned thoughts of fear, failure and doubt to get in the way and we continue doing what we know. This is known as the safe route, which at times is a beneficial route, but not if you want to live an enriched life.
I believe that life is all about memories and simply overcoming fear and doubt, in order to experience and create new memories, can make our life a story to tell.
When you think like this, fear tends to take a back seat and life becomes the driver. The philosophy, "Live your life so it's a story to tell" has given me many experiences, and as a result, lots of insightful wisdom I can share with others. This has been a huge builder of courage for me. It helps me step up to the plate and just do whatever it is I am fearful to do, or complacent about.
I’ve also found that it is most empowering, as it helps me to get over challenging times in life. When things go wrong, I often think, “Well, I guess, I’ve now got a story to tell.”
It is so empowering that it allows me to get over things and drop the baggage that I would otherwise carry around with me for years. It helps me to move on, learn from my mistakes and take something positive from the negative.
Enriching my life with a life long commitment to learning and rewarding myself by expanding my contentment is my story to tell.
The next time you are faced with a decision or an opportunity to do something a little different, out of the box, or outside your comfort zone, take control of your fears and doubts by saying, “At least it will be a story to tell!”
Email your story at email@example.com.
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Kiwanians have always been known for their service and dedication to improving the lives of others. We make a difference. We bring about change, and we are the people who change other people’s lives.
The famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead, said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
I believe that each one of us is a powerful instrument of change. I see people are hungry to change their lives, but many people simply don't know where to begin. Life is too overwhelming, and they are told throughout their life that they are failures, and aren't good enough to achieve success and realize their dreams.
And, most people don’t have anyone to believe in them, who can encourage them to take those few hesitant steps forward in the right direction, and start changing their life.
And we, Kiwanians, don’t accept that model of how the world works. We believe in making a difference, and bringing about change, one person at a time.
I am a strong believer in teaching by example, and the power of mentoring. Every one of us needs a strong person in our corner, someone who is our champion, our cheerleader, someone who believes in us, and where we are going.
When I was growing up, throughout my life, I had the benefit of strong, compassionate people. People who believed in me, and believed that I could achieve great things, and realize my dreams. My mentors weren’t Superman, and they didn’t have magical powers. But, they believed in me, and took the time to encourage me, to support me, and to give a nudge now and then, during the times when the going got tough, and the road ahead was rocky.
It is astonishing to me that there is such great power in a few kind words, and some time spent over a cup of coffee, offering the hand of friendship and a little push in the right direction.
I had the benefit of good parents, and growing up in times when there were strong families and vibrant, caring neighborhoods and communities. I grew up with a sense of optimism and hope, in a time when our nation’s leadership challenged us to travel to the Moon, and to “think not what our country can do for you, but what you can do for the country.”
Leaders challenged us to dream, and to declare war on poverty, racism, and ignorance. Our tasks are not easy. It truly takes a village to raise a child.
When we are out in the community, meeting kids and other folks on their own terms, we are out there volunteering and doing service work. People see that, they see our example, and they know that we care. We are people of action, people who are changing the world, one person at a time.
We listen, we encourage, we help them light their candles, so that they can find their way in life. And, they find their way because they know we are there, that we care about them, and that we are willing to spend the time with them that they need.
We are the builders of this community and we are the builders of the men and women of the next generation. I commend all Kiwanians for that, and I congratulate them on doing the hardest job there is to do. We care about someone, and motivate them to feel that they are worthwhile human beings.
In that, we change the world.
Thank you for all that you do.
We would like to thank everyone who came to the CVK Foundation's Fall Social Dinner on 6 November, and making it a very fun and successful night. Special thanks to Past LTG Larry Roberts for installing CVC Kiwanis officers for 2015-16. Also in attendance were Visalia Pride Lions, Kiwanis club of Dinuba, Kiwanis club of Sequoia Visalia and Blind Babies Foundation. Thank you.
By Katie Kellum
After reading an article about how potentially detrimental it can be to have a significant gap in one’s employment history when applying for jobs, I feel inspired to share my story with those who find themselves in this position.
I am a graduate of CSUF and a Fresno native, who was, until August, unemployed for nearly two years. I sought high and low for employment, in cupboards and under carpets, I’ve bombarded the internet with my resume and made tens upon hundreds of “follow up” phone calls. I cannot express how difficult it was to get up and face another jobless, hopeless day. It was all I could do to conjure the energy to hit up Craigslist for the fiftieth time in three days – but I did it anyways. I began to lose all hope in finding meaningful work amidst my growing desperation. I decided that if I wasn’t going to be making money anyways, I might as well do something other than chase shadows all day. I finally got an interview for a position as a volunteer coordinator at a local non-profit – Reading and Beyond. I have had such a wonderful experience here so far, that I feel both compelled and ashamed to admit that I wished I had really just gotten out and volunteered sooner.
I think it’s worth noting that there are many non-profits in Fresno that need volunteers desperately, in fact, could not exist without them. Volunteering is a great way to ease the pain and stress of being unemployed. The most satisfying work I have done in this arena has been unpaid, oftentimes I have found myself enjoying it more than any job I have ever had – exceeding even my own expectations.
So, to all of the unemployed Fresnan’s reading this: please donate some of your free time to a local non-profit. You will find that it’s really difficult to feel sorry for yourself when you are helping someone whose plight is worse than your own, and you might find that you really enjoy it. Most importantly, it is a great way to gain experience in a new or familiar field that will build your resume and help fill employments gaps.
Non-profits utilize volunteers in many areas beyond direct service; for example, grant writing, clerical, human resources, bookkeeping, research, marketing, public relations and much more. Non-profits come in many different flavors. I guarantee there is one that can use your skills and help you gain new ones. It might even be your chance to do something you actually like, for perhaps the first time.
Volunteering has truly been this for me, and I believe that many can benefit from my testimony. Thankfully, what begins as a volunteer opportunity can sometimes become an employment offer – and one which you will find tremendously rewarding.
There are numerous resources to aid you in this endeavor – “Hands On Central California” (www.handsoncentralcal.org) is a good place to start. In addition, and with full intention of plugging my own organization, places like “Reading and Beyond” (www.readingandbeyond.org) have numerous sites throughout the city, and has a great need for volunteers. You can take a day to distribute food, (www.communityfoodbank.net) or become a mentor for a child who needs it more than you can possibly imagine (www.bbbs.org).
If you find yourself with idle time, make the most of it! Volunteering is really more than picking up trash on the side of Highway 99. It is a very rewarding way to improve your employment outlook.
UCP of Central California houses the Kings County Family Resource Center (FRC) which runs six Parent and Me programs at Avenal, Armona, Lemoore, Hanford, Kettleman City and Corcoran. The Early Intervention Program at Hanford caters children 0-3 years of age, whereas the School Readiness Program is for children 0-5 years of age. Staff includes full time speech pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, behavioral support staff and in-home visits. Once a child enters school, they transition from FRC to Family Empowerment Center (FEC) where advocates are trained in Special Education laws and can provide support and advocacy to parents as they begin new relationships with their local school district and other service agencies.
As UCP-Day approaches this year, I decided to make a visit to the UCP's Adult Center for Arts and Technology in Fresno, and see for myself what goes on in there. I was surprised. Almost 130 students attend the different activities being offered at the center everyday, the oldest being 84 years old Gwen.
September was declared "National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month" by the White House in 2010. Obesity amongst children has become an epidemic, with more than 23 million obese or overweight children in America. That's approximately one in three children. These children can face a lifetime of health issues if measures are not taken to get them healthy. Some of the associated risks include chances of heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, higher risks for cancers, mental health issues and being bullied.
This is not just a personal problem. It's a national crises. And it is costly. Each obese child costs the healthcare system about $19,000 a year, a staggering $14 billion dollars a year in preventable health care costs.
So what can be done about it? Simply telling a child to eat more vegetables and fruits and be more active won't solve the problem. It takes a family and community focus on promoting healthy and active lifestyles to truly see changes.
Here are some ways to make a difference in your family:
1. Know the healthy weight range for your child
Children have growth spurts so their height and weight ratio changes every couple of months. Each child's growth rate is different so knowing the healthy weight range is important. (Here you can find growth charts for your child 1 month to 20 years of age).
2. Know what you are feeding your child
A child typically needs 1000-1800 Kcal per day depending on his activity level. A teenagers need may range from 1400 to 2200 Kcal per day. Limit sugar content, add fruit and vegetables to every meal (home made soups and smoothies are the best ways, use a teaspoon of honey instead of sugar) encourage plain water over sodas and juices. Be cautious of foods that have zero nutrients but are full of calories that end up being stored as fat in the body. These include sugary treats like cakes, donuts, pastries, cookies, candies, energy drinks, sodas, foods high in fructose corn syrup etc.
3. Be an active family
Incorporate an active physical lifestyle, making it a fun and healthy challenge for every member of the family. Activities like Zumba, gymnastics, cycling, swimming, field games like soccer to as simple as walking or jogging together can be a fun way of burning calories.
4. Limit TV / electronic media time
Children and adults sitting in front of some sort of screen for a long period of time can be very hazardous to health in various forms. These devices not only emit radiations that can effect our vision and our hearing abilities but more people seem to be complaining of wrist, finger joint, neck and back pains because of the extended use of these devices and the bad posture we acquire. Not forgetting the long hours we spend just sitting and eating.
5. What to do if you have an overweight child?
If you have determined using the charts here that your child is overweight or crossing the 95th percentile of his height and weight ratio, there are no drastic steps that you need to take. All you need to do is lower the calorie consumption of the child and increase his physical activity so that he burns more. Decreasing 500 Kcal a day will lead to a loss of 1 lb a week. Read labels, replace empty calories with high fibre, chose foods with lower caloric count, shop smart, avoid foods high in fructose corn syrup and take the child out to parks more often so they can run about. Don't panic, be patient, go slow but know there is a problem that needs to be tackled.
Studies and reports indicate that programs to reduce child obesity are not being taken seriously at homes because many children and their parents have a misconception about their weight. A study published in Maternal and Child Nutrition in 2013 reported that 62% of parents with an obese child believed that their child was a healthy weight. The CDC further reports about 30% of obese children and teens in the United States believe their weight was normal. Caregivers need to be better educated about what is truly a healthy weight in order to help their children.
The good news is that all of these health issues are preventable with a change in diet and lifestyle. As with so many things, good habits start in the home, and it's really important that parents take the lead on these programs to make them successful.
Tickets for the Fall Fish Fry Social are available at $20 now. Last Day of purchasing tickets is 15 October. The Governor CNH, Alan Guire has been invited to install officers for 2015-16. For details about the event, visit website. Thank you.
I had a very interesting discussion with a dear friend of mine on whether people are innately evil, or if it is life's bitter experiences that makes them do evil things. The result was interesting, we ALL have the tendency to become cruel human beings, but at the end of the day, we all have a CHOICE.Just because we were abused and neglected as a child doesn't mean we have to become an abuser as an adult, or just because we had a mean mother-in-law doesn't mean we have to be mean to our kids as well. However, it is the responsibility of the adults in the child's life, to nurture his vulnerable mind and show him the better choices.We must also understand that people, especially children and youth, who go through extreme traumatic life experiences, may develop a condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is treatable as well as preventable. We must not shy away from it, but face it, treat it and conquer it.The life experiences that can leave an ever lasting scar include rape, incest, abuse, neglect as a child, violence at home, terrorism and warfare, violent death of loved ones and continuous bullying. However, it is the nurturing by the family first, and then the society at large, that can either make a man or break a man.Research shows that most of the adult abusers, criminals, drug addicts and even murderers have disturbing pasts. Being abused themselves as a child or witnessing violence and crime at a very young age either makes them bitter and vengeful or that's the company they have always lived in so they do not "feel" they have a choice.That is where our intervention comes in, to break the cycle, to remove the vulnerable from the disastrous situation.We usually associate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with combat veterans who go through mental stress, depression and adjustment issues because of the extreme situations they witness and experience as military personnels. However that is not always the case. Anyone of any age, who experiences severe trauma in any form, be it abuse, neglect, kidnapping, torture, sexual assault, murder attempt, natural disaster, war or even as little as bullying or a burglary attempt can be afflicted by PTSD.A PTSD patient has flashbacks, nightmares, re-lives those terrifying moments and may develop depression and paranoia if not treated early. Depression is the feeling of sadness, hopelessness and unworthiness and one starts losing interest in every day activities of life. Paranoia is when distrust, severe anxiety and fear causes them to think negatively about everything, to the point of irrationality and delusion.
PTSD can disrupt one's whole life, the job, relationships, health and enjoyment of everyday activities. Having PTSD also increases the risk of other mental health problems as stated earlier.
After surviving a traumatic event, many people have PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as being unable to stop thinking about what's happened, fear, anxiety, anger, depression or guilt. However, majority of people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.
Getting timely help and support can help you recover and also prevent turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol and drug misuse. This means turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort, seeking out a mental health provider who offers psychotherapy and counseling and even turning to faith community that can be of tremendous help.
We always have a choice to make our lives better, for ourselves and for others. Surrounding ourselves with positive people and helping those who suffer, can not only save one life but it can save the whole of humanity. So next time you see someone suffer, intervene. You may be the only option he has.
1st August, 2015:
CVC Kiwanis members are volunteering as chaperones for Soroptimist Back to School Shopping Spree for Kings County students. If you wish to support the cause, visit here for details.
I find throwing away perfectly edible food quite bothersome. And I wish we could all stop doing that. It all started when I was buying a certain pretzel at a mall and then decided I wanted another kind, so the lady behind the counter, just picked up that unwanted, freshly made, still hot pretzel in front of my eyes, and tossed it into the trash. "What! Why did you do that?", I asked with my mouth open and she stated as a matter of fact, "Because you didn't want it." Yeah, I thought, but if I had known that would be the fate of the pretzel, I would have just bought it anyways. Duh me!