By Luna Alaowad, Michigan District UNICEF champion 

Hello, Key Club! Are you ready to “spring” forward with UNICEF? Well, May is Start Strong: Zambia Month — and it’s dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help young children in the southeastern African nation of Zambia.  

Three out of four first-grade students in Zambia aren’t ready for school because they haven’t received proper nutrition, health care and learning opportunities. In May, we’re asking Key Club members around the world to support this UNICEF USA initiative. And we have a couple of fundraising ideas to get you started! 

If you have a lot of sports-loving members in your club/division, consider hosting a community “sport-a-thon.” Organize teams to compete for a friendly competition in basketball, soccer, volleyball or another sport. Participants pay a playing fee, and spectators pay an entry fee. 

If it’s hard to coordinate a physical fundraiser among clubs, host a virtual one instead. A trivia contest appeals to a wide variety of people. To start, choose an easy online platform that tracks points and time. Next, select your trivia topics (you might want to include some related to Key Club) and create questions for each one. 

Whatever type of fundraiser you choose: 

  • Send out a form to all participating clubs asking for convenient dates and times for the event — and then schedule accordingly.  
  • Determine an entrance fee for players and spectators.  
  • Promote the event on your social media channels and ask other members and clubs to do the same. 

After the event 

Be sure to recognize the winners. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Post a shout-out on your district’s website and/or social media, hand out a free Key Club district shirt or create a virtual hall of fame. 

When donating the funds raised, do so through the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, not directly through UNICEF USA. It’s easy — go to You can click the “Donate Now” button to give online, or the Resources button to access the link for a gift form that you can print and mail with a check. 

Remember: When you’re engaging your community and making a positive impact, every little bit counts. Let’s make a difference in the lives of children worldwide — and make May memorable for UNICEF!