Kiwanis Family House

April President’s Message

Recently I was privileged to represent the Kiwanis Family House at a reception hosted by the U.C. Davis Medical Center.  The reception was to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new and expanded Children’s Surgery Center on the Medical Center Campus and also to acknowledge their certification by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center.  (This designation makes the U.C Davis Medical Center the only Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center on the West Coast and only one of five in the nation.)


At the reception I was able to meet several pediatric nurses and other medical personnel, all of whom complemented the Kiwanis Family House on the services we provide for families during a medical crisis.  Each of these medical professionals views our services as a critical component in the patient’s treatment since each expressed the belief that the entire family is impacted by an accident or serious illness.  By providing temporary housing and a safe respite from the daily stress of having a family member receiving medical care, the family is able to concentrate on the medical and emotional needs of their family member and not worry about their own personal basic daily needs. In short, these medical professionals verified my belief that medical staff saves lives and the Kiwanis Family House helps to save families…   


Upon receiving these unsolicited complements I experienced a true sense of pride at being affiliated with the Kiwanis Family House.  Knowing that the facility is filling an identified need and having a positive and lasting impact on so many people makes choosing the Kiwanis Family House as the recipient of my time as a volunteer and my financial support worth it.


Every supporter of the facility can also smile and take great personal pride in knowing that their contributions impact the lives of over 1,800 families each year.  We do not have a large corporate sponsor to satisfy our financial requirements nor have we ever turned away a family in need of our services for inability to pay our modest nightly fees.  We continue to rely on the contributions of our many individual supporters and sponsoring clubs to keep our doors open and to provide a high level of service to the families who come to us. Thank you for making it all possible; it couldn’t happen without you!  


At the reception I also heard first-hand from the surgical nurses of some of the experiences that take place daily in the pediatric operating theaters.  Hearing these stories gave me the realization of just how fortunate I have been throughout life and that my daily frustrations and problems are trivial.  I felt a sense that I could do more to help worthy causes such as the Kiwanis Family House and those in need.  As Winston Churchill once said “We make a living by what we get; but we make a life by what we give.”    


In the spirit of Mr. Churchill’s quotation, I hope that all of you will consider making a contribution to your favorite cause or causes on May 4, the “Big Day of Giving”.  The Kiwanis Family House is one of 600 non-profit entities in this giving day to raise awareness and funds for service providers throughout the Sacramento region.  All of these organizations are worth or your support.  I hope you will join me in supporting the Kiwanis Family House on May 4.  A link to learn more about the “Big Day of Giving” and to contribute can be found at

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