The Key Club at Highland High School in Indiana, U.S., wanted to strengthen ties with the Kiwanis family during the 2023-24 school year. The club’s officers, led by President Tristan Slaven, regularly attended meetings of the local K-Kids, Builders Club and Kiwanis club throughout the year, keeping them aware of upcoming projects. This laid the foundation for an initiative that left a lasting mark on their community. 

The Kiwanis family worked together on various projects, including crafting decorations for a local nursing home during the holiday season. However, it was the Key Club Toy Drive that showcased the power of collaboration. 

Driven by a shared commitment to making a difference, the Builders Club, K-Kids clubs and the Kiwanis Club of St. John, Indiana, rallied behind the toy drive. Donation boxes were placed throughout middle and elementary schools, giving students and teachers the opportunity to contribute. Three K-Kids clubs organized a raffle to incentivize donations, further igniting excitement and participation. 

The Kiwanis club, led by President Lisa Marie Aumend, mobilized friends and families to support the cause. Their efforts yielded remarkable results, with over 100 toys collected solely through their outreach. With contributions pouring in from all corners of the community, over 700 toys were collected to donate to hospitals, churches, an orphanage and to other kids in need. 

Reflecting on the project, Key Club members emphasized the importance of reaching out to advisors, particularly their Kiwanis advisor, for support and guidance. Their collaboration fostered a sense of unity and purpose within the community. 

The Highland High School Key Club said the most rewarding part of the toy drive was seeing the enthusiasm and generosity of young participants. The sight of children giving back to their peers served as a reminder of the compassion that exists within the younger generation. 

Despite its success, the project was not without its challenges. Time constraints posed a significant hurdle, requiring swift action and mobilization. However, with the backing of schools and the wider community, the Key Club navigated these obstacles. 

Looking ahead, the Key Club at Highland High School remains dedicated to making a difference in its community, embodying the spirit of service that defines Key Club International.