Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. Our club and our Foundation do that by both community service and financial support. Since 1944 we have been making an impact on the lives of children in our community in many ways:
Community Service Projects:
Parc Independence – Lafayette’s first playground specifically designed and constructed so that all children (with or without physical and/or developmental disabilities) can play together. Working together in a public-private partnership with Lafayette City/Parish Government (LCG) Parks and Recreation Department, the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette help to design and construct this wonderful playground in Girard Park. The Parc has been featured as one of the top 10 Kiwanis projects in the world at the 2011 Kiwanis International Convention in Geneva, Switzerland. Also, the Therapeutic Recreation Symposium for the Southwest (which represents 5 states) bestowed The Outstanding Service award to the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette and LCG Parks & Recreation Department for their outstanding contributions to the development & support of therapeutic recreation.
Bringing Up Grades (BUG) program – A branded Kiwanis Program, this service project focuses on bringing young students’ grades up. The Kiwanis Club partners with local schools on this fun and exciting project. Every time the report cards are issued, children who improve their grade in at least one subject get treated to a fun assembly with snacks, prizes, music, guest speakers who discuss how important a good education is, and more. The Kiwanians love it as much as the kids do. We hope that by reaching children at this young age and instilling in them the motivation to do well in school, they will improve their chances of success later in life.
Kiwanis regional Spelling Bee – Together with the Kiwanis Club of Acadiana, we host a spelling bee open to schools in an 8-parish area. Schools that register for our event first prepare their students for spelling bees in their own school, helping students improve their language and spelling skills. Each school holds a spelling bee, and the champion from every school gets to attend our bee, with the 7-8 grade champion winning an expense-paid trip to Washington DC and the opportunity to compete against the best spellers in the country.
Wheels of Wonder – A Christmas present for foster children. Every year, the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette gets a list from the Louisiana Office of Children’s Services of foster children in our area. We buy bicycles for all of them and deliver them just before Christmas. This year, we delivered 23 bikes to children in Lafayette, New Iberia, Loreauville, Breaux Bridge, Arnaudville, Opelousas, Eunice, Sunset and Church Point.
Operation Magi - A Christmas present for homeless children. Every year the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette hosts Operation Magi. Magi is our favorite service project of the year, bringing a bit of Christmas joy to those less fortunate. We coordinate the event with the Lafayette Parish School System. The School System supplies us with a list of children officially classified as homeless. School buses pick up the children and bring them to the store where dozens of eager Kiwanians and Key Club members are waiting to take them Christmas shopping. Each child is paired up with a Kiwanis and key Club member to go shopping throughout the store. Each year we are humbled and moved by the enormous need, generosity and gratitude that our young shoppers demonstrate.
Financial Support of other organizations doing great work:
Children’s Museum of Acadiana
Myrtle Place Kids
J. W. Faulk Kids
Friends of Music Acadiana
Key Club, Lafayette High
Key Club, Comeaux High
Endowed Scholarship, University of Louisiana
Evangeline Area Boy Scouts
Special Olympics Acadiana
Our Lady of Lourdes Foundation
Lafayette Community Health Clinic
Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana
Christian Youth Theatre