What We Do
Every month the club serves the Loudoun County community. Pediatric support at Inova Loudoun Hospital and Key Clubs are just two of the ways. In addition, we occasionally pop up at various places: at Mobile Hope to wrap Christmas presents, on the W&OD Regional Park trail to pick up trash, at JK Community Farm to pick crops for food banks, and National Night Out more. We also include some virtual service projects, including 3rd Annual Virtual Halloween Photo Contest, Trex Recycling, and Got Sneakers (sneaker recycling).
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Pediatric patients at INOVA Loudoun Hospital in Lansdowne, Virginia, can get cold lying in the emergency room or their rooms, on helicopter evacuations to Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC, during an MRI, or while recovering from surgery. Club members braid fleece blankets in colorful children’s patterns every month. Child care specialists and nurses give to their young patients. They become prized possessions–security blankets and something comforting to take home.
When the hospital got a therapy dog, Jeremiah, our club made blankets just for him. We also braid fabric remnants into chew toys for him. Every month when we deliver 24 blankets to the pediatrics ward for distribution, we also take 3 chew toys for him. When he sees us coming in the corridor, he’ll sniff our bags and sometimes take one of his toys!
Key Club Sponsorships
Our Kiwanis club raises funds for Key Club support every year through fundraisers throughout the year. Key Club members help on the larger ones. Our Key Clubs apply for matching grants to help them raise money for local and national charities, to attend Capital District and International Key Club conventions, and more.
It’s hard keeping up in fast growing Loudoun County. Twenty years ago there were maybe 6 high schools; now there are 17, with more under construction. Today we sponsor 9 and are talking with others because our high school students deserve opportunities to learn leadership through community service, and Key Club is the best program around for this important task. We sponsor (with two more chartering)
- Briar Woods HS
- Heritage HS
- Independence HS
- John Champe HS
- Lightridge HS
- Riverside HS
- Rock Ridge HS
- Stone Bridge HS
- Tuscarora HS
Have a student at a Loudoun County high school not listed who is interested in Key Club? Contact us to learn about forming one.
Our club is blessed with fantastic dedicated Key Club faculty advisors. in June, 2021, we recognized one of our longstanding advisors after 16 years of service upon his retirement from teaching at Stone Bridge High School. See his story.
66th Annual Halloween Parade in Leesburg
Every year since 1957, there has been a parade on Halloween in Leesburg. By the early 1960s, mere years after the Kiwanis Club of Leesburg formed, it assumed responsibility for sponsoring the parade. High school bands, civic groups, youth organizations, local businesses, and even politicians get dressed up and decorate floats. The mile-long parade starting at Ida Lee Park attracts thousands, and those who watch get rewarded with lots of candy!
We couldn’t do it without the support of the Town of Leesburg–Public Works, Parks, and Police Departments, and the Mayor and Town Council. Also, Keane Enterprises generously lets the parade end in the Virginia Village shopping center.
This year we are continuing the parade in honor of Bob Wright, longtime Leesburg member, who passed away in May 2022. Bob and Suzanne, his wife and fellow Kiwanian, kept the positive spirit of Halloween going for the past 20 years with enthusiasm for one of their favorite days of the year. Congrats to Tuscarora H.S. Key Club, the 2022 Grand Marshal! The Key Club members completed service projects involving Relay for Life, Head Start, the animal shelter, and more. Join in the parade by registering using the website or call Kim at 301-606-8214.
We’ve developed a sweet relationship with Leesburg’s Ampersand Pantry Project in 2020. It served free lunch 7 days a week since April of 2020. What started as an alternative to passing out candy at our annual Halloween parade has developed into our club passing out sweet treats on special days (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day do far) and more. After 16 months the project ended its free lunch program. It continues with special events to serve the community, and we continue to help out.
Reading is fundamental to success in school and beyond. Opportunities for learning to read are not evenly distributed. If students haven’t learned to read well by the time they enter fourth grade, this complicates their development and potential. In response our Kiwanis club recently began making plans to put more books into the hands of underserved and at-risk children throughout Loudoun County. While we wait for the Covid pandemic to pass, we gave away gently used books through the county Head Start program (100 students at 6 locations) and the Ampersand Pantry Project in Leesburg.
In 2022, we began new service projects involving books. For Read Across America Day in March, we provided books and bookmarks for every child at HeadStart locations in Loudoun County. We also joined the Leesburg Police Dept. and other groups at National Night Out and the 4th Annual Fiesta Latina to celebrate kids and their relationships in the community. We passed out over 200 books to kids excited to choose books of their own, and we provided reading strategies for the parents.
As COVID-19 changed the world, our club evolved to meet the needs of the members and community. Some members and people we serve cannot participate in in-person events. Therefore, we started several ongoing virtual projects to help kids in the community. With the Stork Library Project, Kiwanis members have resupplied about 45 Little Free Libraries with age-appropriate books for kids. Club members deliver the books and ensure that there are enough new ones throughout the seasons; spouses, children, and grandchildren have been called into action to help with projects. We also do Trex Recycling with the help from local grocery stores, the Kiwanis Club of Mt. Airy, MD, Mt. Airy Chamber of Commerce, and others. If you gather 500lbs. of plastic, Trex donates a bench to our club. We are dedicating the bench to Bob and Suzanne Wright; the location will be decided soon. Placing benches in Loudoun County promotes social interaction for kids and their families. K is for Kids. Kids need Kiwanis!
Another service project is GotSneakers.com. Sneakers are filling up landfills in the United States. We are asking people to donate gently used sneakers to us. All parts can be recycled for different purposes, so please reach out if you have any sneakers for us. Each pair can raise up to $7 and fundraise our other service projects.