Circle K Georgia, Kiwanis International's college arm, held its fall membership retreat Nov. 5 at the FFA-FCCLA Center.
Around 45 Circle K members attended the retreat, which provides an opportunity for the Circle K leadership to reach out to new members. The members participate in workshops and other activities. Circle K blends community service and leadership training, and, as with all Kiwanis organizations, aims to serve the children of the world.
Circle K President Kevin Barnes also spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Covington Nov. 3, focusing on this year's mission to help the Georgia Sheriff's Youth Homes.
Barnes himself grew up in a youth home, and he's become devoted to Kiwanis because of a visit one fall day by Key Club members in Coffee County. The visit means a lot of children who don't understand why their parents don't want them, Barnes said.
"The next year at high school, I joined the Key Club because of the time they had spent with us," Barnes said.
Now he's hoping to pay it forward.
"What if there's a child like me that doesn't get the support I got? My theme this year is to reach out," Barnes said.
In particular, the children need band-aids, school supplies (backpacks, calculators, notebooks), socks and toiletries, including body wash, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
People can donate online at georgiasheriffs.org or in person by giving items to any local Kiwanis members or by attending Kiwanis' regularly scheduled meetings at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church.
Georgia sheriffs partnered together in 1960 to open a boys' ranch to aid in the development of abandoned, neglected and abused children. There are now five homes in Georgia. The organization helps children mainly between the ages of 6 and 16, and Barnes said the group helped him buy his first car and even gave him money for dates.
"If you put in the work, they will work to support you," Barnes said, who is a student at Truett-McConnell College.