Another year is slipping by, another new year is about to begin. I remember very well when I made that first call in 2009 to enquire about Cyber Kiwanis, and Dr. Marie answered the call. That was the first year of the club too, which I wasn't aware of at that time. Distributing dictionaries to third graders of the Armona school district, doing service projects at Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento and working at the Walking Trail at the Burris Park in Hanford were a few of the earliest service projects performed by Cyber Kiwanis, not forgetting the yearly participation of members in the Miracle Mile of Quarters for the Valley's Children Hospital.
Over the years, there has been a steady rise in fundraising and volunteering efforts by the club. Our concession at the annual Tulare Ag Expo and the Christmas Day and Veterans Day Parade are a few of the many fundraising opportunities we get each year. This holiday season only, the club was able to raise over $1,100 for the scholarships of graduates who will pass out next year. Thanks to our dedicated board and the hardworking members and key clubbers, we have been able to come so far.
With the addition of this blog to our website, our outreach to the public has increased tremendously. Now people all over the world know Cyber Kiwanis and want to learn more about Kiwanis. We've had people from foreign countries hear about Kiwanis through us. And that is a big achievement in itself. The more people learn, the more they want to know.
I know I have been lagging behind on this blog, but my personal life has become busier than ever. And that is what a meaningful life is all about. Trying to balance the many venues of life where one can enjoy his family life, get some work done, make friends and not forget the neighbors in the process.
And that's what this season is all about. Being there, taking out the time to show loved ones you care. There are many out there who do not get to feel this feeling, this energy, this love that is in the air. May be because they haven't eaten well in days, or slept under a warm blanket or been hugged by someone.
This particular year, I am very thankful for the many friends I made. They are not just smiling faces, but also have hearts that feel and hands that reach out. These are people who make a difference, who keep others in their hearts and mind. Lives matter to them.
Remember not only to give but be there too. Make your presence felt. Whether it's in your thoughts and prayers, in your kind words or a small gesture. Whoever you are trying to reach, be it someone in your own town, someone on another continent, someone you just don't know, make sure to tell them you are thinking of them. In the moment of despair, sometimes that's all that matters.
Wishing you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!