Community Services Rendered
Through annual sports projects, the Club becomes mentors for inner city children. The Basketball League - the first project of the Club dating back to 1976 – has been blessed with the participation of over 4,000 leaguers. On an annual basis, approximately 200 kids come from Overtown and East Little Havana to play with Club members that act as coaches and mentors. The most promising players attend collegiate basketball camp at the University of Florida or Florida State with all expenses paid.
Sports Summer Camp
In 1991, the camp started within the City of Miami at Shenandoah Park for boys and girls, ages 7-13. For eight weeks, over one hundred kids receive free baseball instruction, all day supervision, baseball uniforms, lunch and are taken on field trips. More than one thousand kids have participated during these ten years. On September 2000, the first Soccer Camp started and is held at a local field in the City of Miami to help over 100 kids learn the sport. This year, a tennis clinic was added by USTA Florida which was a tremendous success.
Back to School Project: Since September of 1992, the Kiwanis of Little Havana have been distributing book bags full of school supplies to children in free-lunch area public schools. Each year, the distribution reaches thousands of elementary school children throughout Miami-Dade County. To date, over 55,000 have been distributed.
Future Leaders Through Education Scholarship Program: Recognizing the importance of a higher education, the Club funds a 4-year scholarship program leading to a Bachelor’s degree. There are presently 55 students attending public universities or colleges in the State of Florida. This scholarship project began in 1988 and is part of Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation. It has benefited approximately 200 students from its inception to now. Corporate donations from Daimler-Chrylser, Ronald McDonald’s, Philip Morris USA, Orange Bowl Foundation, Ford Motor Company have helped make this program possible.
A Toy for Every Child: Since 1977, during the Christmas Holidays, Club members have distributed over 60,000 educational toys and over 30,000 new bicycles to children in hospitals, shelters, day care centers and migrant worker camps throughout Miami-Dade County. In addition, the Club has revived the tradition of “Los Reyes Magos”, also distributing toys to ill and low-income children. The Club “adopts” poor families and provides them with traditional holiday meals and gifts for the children.
After School Tutoring Program: The program started in 1999 at Riverside Elementary School to help students with homework. The program has helped over 100 children in two years. The results have been overwhelming and will continue with other schools.
Family Literacy Program: This program also began at Riverside Elementary to teach parents to read and write in English so they in turn could help their kids do homework. The program has helped over 300 low-income Hispanic families with the generous contribution of corporate partners. With generous grants from various corporate partners, we have been able to increase the program and turn the school from an F School to a C School.
SAT Tutoring Program: This is a new program that will take place to help third graders practice for the SAT tests. The coordination of special tutors in designated schools will assist students to be better prepared to take their SAT tests.
Playground Constructions in the City of Miami and Miami Dade County include Douglas Park in 1988 and reconstructed in 2002, AD Barnes Park in 1990, Curtis Park in Allapatah in 1993 and Jose Marti Park in 1995 in memory of Carlos Erdmann, a highly esteemed member of the Club.
Donations to youth charitable organizations such as Kiwanis Horses for the Handicapped, Catholic Home for Children, La Liga Contra el Cancer, Children’s Cancer Clinic, Centro Mater, San Juan Day Care Center, Centro Hispano Catolico, Vecinos en Accion, American Heart Association, Abilities of South Florida, Camillus House, Community Partnership for the Homeless, Abriendo Puertas and many more.
The total number of people helped throughout the 31-year history is immeasurable.
Fundraising & Promotional Activities
The Club’s largest fundraising project, CARNAVAL MIAMI, is funded by corporate sponsors and the revenue generated from the various events are used to provide the community with our annual youth-oriented programs. CALLE OCHO, the marquee event of Carnaval Miami, was held for the first time on March 12, 1978.
Today, the event is a year round effort that attracts worldwide tourism and is estimated to bring $30 million dollars into the Greater Miami area, reported Dr. Antonio Jorge, Economic Professor at Florida International University.