From Vicki Hermansen, Public Relations Manager, Kiwanis International (March 13, 2020)
Plans have been made, event space has been secured and volunteers have signed up and are ready to go. But should your Kiwanis club have an event — or even a meeting — while the Coronavirus is spreading?
Kiwanis International is closely monitoring the situation around the world. The 2020 Kiwanis International Convention is still set for June in Indianapolis, but some official Kiwanis-family events have been postponed or canceled.
So how do you know the right thing to do?
It can be a difficult question to answer because so many club projects are designed to help kids — and kids need Kiwanis. In fact, many kids need our help now more than ever as schools and other programs close, leaving many wondering where they will get their breakfast and lunch, or when they will be able to return to school.
At this time of uncertainty, it’s important to follow the guidelines of your local health department. Most communities are working with their state health departments to determine how to best manage gatherings and events. In some areas, authorities are suggesting crowds smaller than 250; others are advising self-distancing, meaning staying home and out of public places. So while fundraisers such as pancake breakfasts, car washes or talent shows have been planned and are ready to go, it might be best to postpone or cancel.
Here are some ideas on how Kiwanis clubs can remain active while still following health department guidelines:
- Go online. Instead of meeting in person, gather over Skype, Facebook or in a chat. You can even move fundraisers online.
- Consider partnering with schools, a Boys and Girls Club or a local nonprofit with similar goals to raise money for supplemental meals or distance learning materials if schools in your area are closed.
- Try a conference call for a regular meeting or to brainstorm ideas for ways to connect while being unable to meet.
The health and safety of our members is Kiwanis International’s top priority. We will continue to closely monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and assess its potential impact on upcoming events.