“In my life I’ve learned that true happiness comes from giving. Helping others along the way makes you evaluate who you are. By Marla Gibbs
On August 30th, I will have my annual opportunity to provide a “Friends of Copey” presentation to my Kiwanis Club, Tri-Cities Industry (TCI-Kiwanis).
As a TCI member, this is a special time afforded me to share, honor, and thank the club’s membership for supporting the work of the “Friends of Copey”.
Kiwanis, an international/global organization with a 100 plus year history, is a natural partner for “Friends of Copey”. The organization’s purpose is to improve the world by making lasting and positive differences in the lives of children.
Kiwanis volunteers working in over 7,000 clubs all over the world perform over 150,000 projects and nearly $100 million (US) annually to support communities worldwide serving children, one child and one community at a time. Copey is an international community being served by the “TCI Kiwanis and Friends of Copey” partnership. TCI Kiwanis’ support is important. Nearly 40% of the total TCI Kiwanis’ membership are “Friends” making personal donations to the scholarship fund, the Executive Director salary, and the “Pathway Project”.
At the club level, the TCI Kiwanis Foundation provides quality accounting services for the “Pathway Project” making it very easy for donors to participate and provides full accountability of the funds.
This partnership places TCI Kiwanis among the elite Kiwanis Clubs (in my opinion) in America. Most Kiwanis Clubs limit their support to their own community needs. A fewer number of Kiwanis Clubs in America provide the direct and personal hands-on support of a specific need in another country on an ongoing basis.
TCI Kiwanis voted “Friends of Copey” to be an officially accepted project three years ago. As a TCI Kiwanis Past President and active member, my affiliation with “Friends of Copey” is unique. The involvement of other TCI Kiwanis members and the support of the TCI Foundation are both important elements of this partnership. But, the support from TCI Kiwanis goes even further.
TCI Kiwanis Club supports a local elementary school with the Kiwanis K-Kids Program. This program allows for interaction between Jefferson Elementary students and Copey Learning Center students via Skype technology.
All these forms of TCI Kiwanis activities extend the club beyond the norm according to my personal assessment. I am looking forward to the presentation with great excitement.
“Friends” are spread throughout the USA and in other countries. Support your local Kiwanis Club and please feel free to send a note of thanks to TCI Kiwanis for their support and partnership. I will glady include your message in my TCI Kiwanis presentation.
Want a Vacation?
Go to beautiful Copey, Costa Rica! The Copey Learning Center is eagerly searching for the right candidates to help finish the final three months of this school year. Looking for a “crash course” in a different culture and language? Feeling adventurous and want to just do something just outrageous? Want to make a huge difference in a child’s life or even a huge difference in a community? Here is an opportunity to give…but you may learn that you are the one who is receiving the most.
I began my involvement with the Copey Learning Center by considering a volunteer teaching job in 2011 and 2012. I came very close but something extraordinary happened. The magic of the Copey community will move you to enjoly the love of serving. Think about a 90 day vacation and let me know soon. The need is now and the rewards are waiting.
Thank you for the comments sent regarding the recent loss of home by fire Megan and her family experienced. They are getting a lot of support but they lost a great deal. “Friends” has provided some financial assistance.
Lately, I have realized failing to communicate much about the wonderful E&H College students who have volunteered to go to Copey. I would not have met Megan, or her sister and mother without Megan’s involvement in the “Pathway Project”. Megan volunteered to leave the comforts of her life, her family, and friends. By doing so, she gave much of herself and made a difference in the lives of kids in Copey.
I tend to focus mostly on the Copey students who travel to the US and perhaps not enough focus on the students who go to Copey.
However, each of the E&H College students who have journeyed to Copey have been very special students and have been outstanding representatives of the culture and caliber of students at E&H College. Megan is certainly among this group.
And, we continue to keep a watchful eye on Kara Stewart, a 2018 E&H College student volunteer. Since her return from Copey in 2018, she has continued to be a high spirited superstar. I am just so impressed!