Kiwanis Family House

Director’s Letter – January 2017

Each day for several recent months, the campus shuttle picked up Lorraine Ancic at Kiwanis Family House (KFH), delivered her to nearby UC Davis Medical Center for her cancer treatments, and then completed the loop.  She became very familiar with that circular route that returned her to the comfort and support of her temporary home.  Prior to the recent holidays, Lorraine checked out of KFH for her eventual hospice care.  When her son called us to report her passing, he reinforced how much Lorraine valued our services during her stay here.

Speaking of circles, one of my favorite annual Kiwanis Family House fundraisers – the March in March – is rapidly approaching.  This year’s date is Saturday, March 11.  We depend on this event as much as we depend on any revenue source to keep our doors open and continue serving patients like Lorraine and their families.

The pre-march “Hands Around the House” celebration, where we completely encircle Kiwanis Family House with a human chain, is among the most notable activities of the day.  It requires more than 250 people to complete an unbroken chain.  The primary activity of the day, of course, is the march itself, a two-hour time period in which participants walk laps around the building in order to fulfill their commitment to individuals who have pledged their financial support.  For these reasons, we could almost call the event Circle Day.

Why do we find circles so fascinating?  Throughout human history, many have answered this question in a multitude of ways.  Not surprisingly, the various reflections have shared some of these common themes.

Circles have no start or end.  Their completeness suggests infinity and harmony.  When we venture out, circles always bring us home.  They are inclusive, warm, comforting, and give a sense of love.  Circles protect – they shield what’s inside and keep things out.  They offer safety and connection.  Circles suggest community, integrity, and perfection.

In cruising the internet, I learned that musicians employ what they call the “circles of fourths” and the “circles of fifths” to ensure harmony in their compositions.  I learned that farmers employ circle irrigation to achieve efficiency in water usage.  Corporate executives organize quality circles to identify, analyze, and resolve work-related problems.  Students and avid readers enhance their appreciation through literature circles.  Then there is baseball, in which the home run allows you to circle the bases and return home safely.

We see concepts here that are so fundamentally Kiwanis.  So fundamentally Kiwanis Family House.  We value continuous service to others, infinite hard work and compassion, a world in harmony.  We value inclusiveness, safety, and security. 

Please consider lining up pledges and marching with us on March 11.  You can come early for the free (circular) pancake breakfast.  If you are unable to join us that day, please consider sponsoring someone (like me) who will be marching.  I’d be happy to accept your $10 pledge. You can be assured that your contribution will allow us to fulfill our charitable mission.

Circle K members from Sacramento State University are again serving as organizers and hosts for March in March.  Fitting.

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