Volume I - October/November
2020-2021 Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais

Hello my friends,

As I look forward to being your District Governor, I look back at my years as a Kiwanian. I would like for all of us to be Kiwanians and not just members of Kiwanis. I believe in our friendship and mission. I have been reminiscing about all of the meaningful service, good friends and great times I have had as a Kiwanian, which led me to pick this great name for my year’s District Newsletter, THE KIWANIAN. The Kiwanian will be sent to every Kiwanian on a bimonthly basis. Make sure that your club secretary has entered everyone’s email correctly in order to receive all of our news.

Here are some thoughts for the beginning of the new Kiwanis year:

I highly recommend that you “like” the Florida Kiwanis Facebook page and the Kiwanis International Facebook page. I get the best Kiwanis information from those two social media pages. Our social media committee is doing a great job spreading the word.

KIWANIS ONE DAY IS OCTOBER 24! Now is a great time to set up a service project for your club and division. The Key Clubs in your area would love to work on a project with you. Kiwanis International has a great One Day Toolkit to inspire your club. This is a great opportunity for an outside project with social distancing, to reconnect with your club members and meet your awesome Key Club and CKI members. Have I mentioned membership yet? A service project is a great way to introduce your club to a potential new member.

Please think about meeting with a Title I elementary school this month to discuss a new BUG (Bring Up Grades) program at that school. This is a program that can reenergize your club where you can feel the tangible results to improve the life of many elementary school children. This program is one of my “Kiwanis Moments” and I know that it will become one of your favorites as well.

I am available to attend many Division Council Meetings (DCM) through the magic of Zoom. The LTG liaison is Terri Davis; she is phenomenal and schedules my calendar. We are evaluating with our LTGs setting up the Governor visits in person, which we hope can start in January.

KI just sent out a newsletter talking about the orientation for incoming officers and board members, referring to their three official duties. I took the liberty of amending some of the language (I call it Florida style) as follows:

The duty of care: The leader should always act in the best interest of the organization, acting as a steward of the organization’s members, finances and programs.

The duty of loyalty: The leader should always demonstrate putting our mission ahead of personal wants or benefits.

The duty of integrity: The leader’s faithfulness to the mission should always lead to act ethically and with integrity under all circumstances.

These duties seem instinctive and natural, but are helpful to remember. When a club is struggling with a void in leadership or personality conflicts, it is good to remind ourselves of our duties. It helps us to find our center core beliefs.

I am looking forward to serving as your Governor and following those duties to Kiwanis every single day.

Go Kiwanis!

Mary-Lynn Desjarlais
Governor - Florida District of Kiwanis International 
#KidsNeedKiwanis #HelpKiwanisHelpChildren
News From Your District Chairs
Young Children: Priority One
You’ve heard about it, read about it, and understand it, “Wearing face masks is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” BUT, are you familiar with the potential harm to young children in early learning environments all day when the adults that interact with them, teach them, and nurture them have their faces covered with face masks?

How can you help? Educate your club on the benefits and necessity of clear masks and assist your club with taking on this project for your community. Through minimal financial contributions the child care professionals in your community can receive a ClearMask and the long term benefits for the children in their care support the mission and vision of Kiwanis.

The Driving Force for Kiwanis Service
The pandemic has greatly affected us all - Kiwanis International, Kiwanis Districts, Divisions, Clubs and Service Leadership Programs. However, this is not the time to discontinue our service to the children in our communities. Our inability to meet in person, share ideas, raise funds, perform our regular service projects and enjoy the comradery of each other has not diminished our Kiwanis mission. Our children, schools, and the community need us now, more than ever. I implore all Kiwanians to stay connected with their respective clubs.

Each year, several clubs fold or disband for one reason or another. This creates a void for the children the club served and takes away opportunities for the remaining members to give back to their community. Those members are valuable resources and should be recruited to merge as a group with another club or be invited to individually join other clubs in the Division. By doing so, we continue to meet our mission to serve the most vulnerable in our communities and we get the added benefit of keeping members with a passion for service.

The Florida Kiwanis District staff are available to help employs many strategies, technologies and tools to promote club and division sustainability and growth. The staff in the District and at International are willing to share their expertise, strategies, technologies and tools and are available to provide to offer assistance, advice and training to ensure our clubs succeed. Do not hesitate to reach out to them and take advantage of their expertise so our clubs can remain strong and vibrant in our service to the children of our great District.

Let’s remain passionate about serving the children of this State, but let us be just as passionate about bringing in new members and starting new clubs to ensure the future success of our clubs, divisions and the District. For many years, Kiwanis has been known as one of the greatest service organizations in the world and we have weathered many challenges. The challenges we have faced this year have created opportunities to “think outside the box” so we can become better servants. So, even in this pandemic, let us be determined to go through it and come out of it stronger, more focused and greater servants. Remember, membership is the driving force for Kiwanis Service.
Youth Protection
Youth Protection Week is Oct 5th - 9th
Bring Up Grades (BUG)
Bring Up Grades (BUG) is a Kiwanis-branded program for elementary students that empowers them in their academic success by recognizing students who raise their grades from one grading period to the next, which helps them set goals and participate in peer mentoring.

Consider asking school principal to start a BUG program this school year and participate in their regular awards assemblies throughout the school term.
News from Your Clubs
Division 7 - Daytona Beach
Lending a Hand for Back to School
The Daytona Beach Kiwanis club helped children of needy families go shopping for back to school clothing. The club has partnered with JC Penney for over 70 years to help needy families shop for new clothing to start the school year. Daytona Beach Kiwanis will be celebrating 100 years of service to the community next May! Congratulations!
Division 19 - San Carlos Park-Estero
All in for Mask Making
Members of the Kiwanis Club of San Carlos Park-Estero have been making masks for Hope Hospice of Bonita Springs. They started working together in April and so far have delivered over 400 masks! This will be an ongoing service project, however, they are expanding that project by making small Christmas stockings for that same Hope Hospice.
Division 4 - Santa Fe
Providing Masks to Teachers
Once the pandemic arrived the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe no longer could help children in school. Many other projects and fundraisers also had to be cancelled. But that didn’t stop the club from pursuing its primary focus: young children. It has been proven that young children learn better when they can see their teacher’s mouth as he/she speaks. The ability to see them speak helps the children with making the correct letter and word sounds and to understand what is said to them. With teachers (and others) required to wear a mask, this was a serious problem for those younger children.

Since the club had to cancel its primary fundraiser (a Murder Mystery dinner) due to the pandemic, they were short of funds for what they wanted to do. The club was awarded a mini grant from the Florida Kiwanis Foundation to be able to purchase the masks. They ordered clear masks for each of the educators of Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders in Irby and High Springs Community Schools. Those masks were delivered to the schools in September, and the teachers and principals were so excited to receive them. By providing clear masks to these educators, one such need of the children has been met.
Division 19 - Lehigh Acres
Community UNITY event held by Kiwanis
Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres held a new event this week titled: “The Power of WE-Grow Together, Lead Together." The program for the day centered around the theme of unity.

Building our CommUNITY One Step at a Time Through The 4 Cs: 
CARE AND CONCERN-Coaching and Mentoring;
COMMUNICATION-Effective Communication;
COOPERATION-Creating Collaboration.

Attended by Governor Mary-Lynn, the club had an excellent evening discussing the topic of community unity and how to best be a champion for unity for their neighbors.
Division 18
Joint Kiwanis One Day Project in the Works
On Kiwanis One Day, the clubs of Division 18 have started a tradition to come together for a joint project to clean their local park, better known as the Larry Taylor Kiwanis Park. All of the clubs invite their Key Club students too, as well as any other SLP members who want to join in! They are currently planning and anticipating another hugely successful Kiwanis One Day together

We all urge you and your club to start planning a project today to celebrate Kiwanis One Day on October 24th!
Remember to check out the Kiwanis One Day Toolkit online.