On Monday night I was able to join the local Santee Kiwanis Club for their bi-monthly meeting at Mimi’s Café. Guest speaking in groups can sometimes be intimidating but I am glad to report, I was greeted kindly, offered a chair at their table, and instantly felt like one of their own. The group is small but mighty, offering annual activities for kids you may already be familiar with such as the Junior Olympics in the Spring and fishing days at Santee Lakes in December. But what I didn’t know was how much more they really do all year long. Their hearts beat strong for youth-related community outreach and support as they offer volunteer hours at all nine of the Santee School District, sponsor Key Clubs at both Santana and West Hills, and are currently looking into partnership opportunities to start Circle K clubs for college-aged students locally and regionally who need their support. Their mission is simple and clear for these kids: provide service, build character and develop leadership. My heart was touched as I saw some familiar faces light up around the room as they spoke about the importance of their club, and the passion in the voices of the new friends I was hearing. It was obvious that my invitation to speak felt more like a calling to help them as they yearn to grow their organization and sustain their goodwill. I encourage you all to take a look at their newly designed website and learn more about their club and see if it’s a fit for you to volunteer, donate or even join and become part of the group!