Kiwanis International’s Call to “Aktion” in MooreOct 09, 2017
Community service is one of the few occupations in this world that has no requirement other than a desire to serve, which has led to the creation of countless service organizations across the world. Kiwanis International is one such organization, with smaller "umbrella" organizations that all have a community service mission.
Moore is familiar with Kiwanis clubs. Two of the three high schools Kiwanis clubs – Moore and Westmoore – have a Key Club. Key Club International is a part of the Kiwanis International family of service-leadership programs and is “the oldest and largest service leadership organization for teens.”
“We volunteer at a lot of events,” said Grace Seo, Westmoore Key Club Treasurer. “We do a lot of fundraising to donate to charities.”
At the end of July, Westmoore Key Club held an event to raise money for charity in the form of Olympic games. Different groups would compete in the games, and the winning team’s charity would receive the funds raised.
The event was successful, not only for money raised but also for the involvement of a new organization to Oklahoma: Aktion Club.
Aktion Club stems from Kiwanis and is a “service club where adults living with disabilities can learn leadership skills by participating in a variety of service projects.” Until just over a month ago, there was no Aktion Club in Oklahoma.
“We’re always trying to find ways for the residents to get involved in the community,” said Jessica Smith, quality assurance director at Santa Fe Place Community Homes. “Aktion Club was a perfect way for the residents to get immersed into the community and give back.”
Santa Fe Place Community Homes is an organization dedicated to supporting adults with intellectual disabilities. Through various support services, Santa Fe Place aims to “promote a safe environment, assure dignity and respect, and to provide learning opportunities for the people we support.”
In an effort to fulfill these services and duties, Santa Fe Place hosts social events. It was at one such event where relationships formed that led to the partnership of Santa Fe Place and Aktion Club.
“We had an open house at Santa Fe Place and that is where I met Key Club members,” said Smith. “That’s when I found out about Key Club’s event and I knew how capable the residents of Santa Fe Place are of helping with an event like that. The residents were so excited.”
And excited they were. On the day of the event, the residents from Santa Fe Place were volunteering with large smiles on their faces.
“It makes them feel wonderful about their lives,” said Smith. “Down the road, I see a rise of self-esteem and feeling welcome in the community. That’s what I am excited about.”
Aktion Club is the beginning of an enjoyable new way for more people to get involved in the community. The Kiwanis clubs aim to bridge gaps in the community through their combined service efforts.
“I see Kiwanis in Moore developing a stronger community,” said Journey. “We’re looking for partnerships with other organizations. If you look at something and there’s a gap, that’s where we want to be in the community.”