This semester at the University of Hawaii at Manoa I decided to take a course in Developmental Psychology. In this class we have learned not only the different theories of how our minds develop from an infant to an adult but also how we learn (and how we best learn) during each stage of our lives. One of the readings that I read talked about how our social and emotional mindsets change as we get older. And in this article, one of the interesting findings was that “older people who engage in volunteer activities that are either socially or mentally demanding also perform better on cognitive tasks than do older adults engaged in solitary activities with low cognitive demands”. And I don’t have to tell you that the members of Kiwanis are some of the most active people you will ever meet. During my time in Circle K International at Washington State University I was invited to go to the Kiwanis Club of Pullman’s weekly meetings. And I believe that, at that time, their oldest member was about 95 years old! And when she spoke and you talked with her, she was still pretty sharp! Every member of Kiwanis is goal driven towards the well-being of others. And this type of mindset, combined with being active in the community and a leader to our Student Leadership Programs, can help to keep our mind ‘all there’ as we begin to age.
 Charles, S. T. and Carstensen, L. L. Social and Emotional Aging. The Annual Review of Psychology. 2009. 61, 383-409.
The Kiwanis Club of Pearl Harbor inherited a service project started by the Kiwanis Club of West Oahu. West Oahu began making trauma dolls that would be donated to the children’s ward at local hospitals. The completion of these dolls became a service project for our members on April 3. Susie brought the sewing equipment and polyfill to stuff the dolls. It was a great meeting where members were able to work on the dolls while discussing future service projects, current events, and getting to know each other a little better.
We are putting the finishing touches on 38 dolls and they will be donated to Kaiser Permanente’s Child Life Services Dept, along with preemie beanies.
These dolls are used to explain medical procedures that pediatric patients will be receiving. The doll helps the child to better understand what’s ahead and even feel more in control.
Angelita Juan, Child Life Services Coordinator at Kaiser Permanente will be our guest speaker on June 12. Please join us to learn more about what programs they offer our Keiki.
We were given a variety of tasks—replenishing the supplies in the volunteer backpacks and cleaning/dusting/sweeping the Broadway corridor and its adjacent rooms. The battleship is being prepared for their annual inspection by Navsea (Naval Sea Systems Command), the owner of the USS Missouri. Our monthly Missouri workdays provides the opportunity for service for young Daniel (Past Div 22 Key Club LTG Harmony Nakamura’s son) and our Kiwanis Club members.
During the past two summers, another Leilehua band alumnus and I have organized a leadership camp for the band leaders. Some of the lessons that we emphasized during the camp were Service and Fellowship; service in the sense that because they are leaders they have a responsibility to be servants to the band. Because they are leaders, they have to sacrifice more to create a better program. The hard part was getting them to convince themselves that they need to sacrifice more: not because they have to, but because they want to. We wanted to make them feel the same passion and dedications to the program that we had and still have. And once that passion is built it will be easier to create bonds of fellowship in their program.
This is exactly what Kiwanis does for the children of the world. We are building student leaders by engaging them in community projects. We are not hand-feeding them service projects. Rather, we are getting them involved in the process–they are looking for their own projects and organizing them themselves. By engaging them at this level, we hope that they develop a sense of civic responsibility; that in order to make difference in the world, you may have to sacrifice something. But what really matters is that they willing to sacrifice their time, make donations, etc. The world needs to be filled with more people who WANT to serve and give their time to make a difference. And that is what we teach our students.
Oahu Kiwanis Clubs welcomed our CNH District Governor Joni Ackerman and First Dude Greg Ronkainen on March 6 at an Oahu Interclub held at the Aiea Public Library. Gov Joni’s theme is CALL TO ACTION, not a call to discuss. One of her goals for 2017-18 is to charter 20 new clubs in CNH. Currently, there are 14 new clubs. Gov Joni chartered the Redondo Beach Kiwanis Club in January 2018. She encouraged clubs to hold a New Member Guest Day as a means of introducing Kiwanis to the community as well as increase membership in your club. Another goal is to see the CNH membership be +100 on September 30, 2018. Gov Joni is a graduate of the Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve School of Law. First Dude Greg Ronkainen is a member and past president of the Hermosa Beach Kiwanis. His theme is CALL TO AKTION and has personally sponsored three Aktion Clubs in Division 19. His focus is on assisting Kiwanis clubs build more Aktion clubs in Cal-Nev-Ha, encouraging more Aktion club members to attend their convention, and finding ways that encourage greater interaction between Kiwanis, Circle K and Aktion Clubs. Aktion Club is the only service club for adults with disabilities, with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Greg grew up in California and is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.