Kiwanis Family House

Paying It Forward







Over the weekend, we received the following message on our Kiwanis Family House Facebook page:


Hi! A little over seven years ago, my mom and I spent a night at the Kiwanis House. We spent the night because the next morning I had a doctor’s appointment at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California!   I was abruptly diagnosed with extremely sever scoliosis at twelve years old. At Shriners Hospital I underwent two extensive operations a week apart to correct my curvature as much as possible. They brought my 107 degree curvature down to just 35 degrees.

Looking back at my first appointment with Shriners in Sacramento, I always think of the night I spent at the Kiwanis House with my mom. It really did feel like a home away from home! I will never forget my mom and I watching The Sound of Music while we were there.

Today, I am nineteen years old. My senior year I got to play basketball and soccer for my school! Last summer I even went paddle boarding! I am currently in college studying public relations.

About two years ago, my mom got an idea. During my hospital stay seven years ago my hair got very tangled. It took my mom hours to detangle it all! Once detangled my mom styled my hair into two braids. I didn’t like it, so my favorite nurse said, “every little girl needs braids!” Two years ago my mom thought it’d be super fun to send packages of hair ties to the hospitals I stayed at. Now, I own an upcoming nonprofit which collects and delivers hair accessories to children’s hospitals across North America!

I wanted to say thank you for all you have done for my family, and could I please send some hair accessories if they could be useful?


Kaitlyn Hawkins

Las Vegas, NV


In corresponding with Kaitlyn further,  we discovered that she founded her nonprofit, Every Little Girl Needs Braids, because of her experience at Shriners Hospital.  And, her organization now supplies hair accessories to childrens’ hospitals across the country.  What an awesome way to turn a difficult childhood experience into a positive for other children.  Kaitlyn is an inspiration to us, and we hope to you as well.  If you’d like to find out more about Every Little Girl Needs Braids, check them out on Facebook.

If you’d like to help families like Kaitlyn’s, donate here.

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