The Denton Breakfast Kiwanis may only have 42 members, but there’s nothing small about this club.
We commend them for voting to become a “model club” for a nationwide effort to help newborns and their mothers in Third World countries.
You may have seen one of the club’s Eliminate Project donation cans around town. The fundraising campaign will help provide tetanus shots to expectant mothers to prevent their newborns from contracting the disease, said Joe Holland, the project chairman for the club.
“Mothers deliver kids and the umbilical cord is cut with unsterilized instruments, causing the deadly disease,” Holland said.
Holland said each of the club’s 42 members has agreed to contribute $150 per year for the next five years.
According to Kiwanis International and UNICEF, partners in the national campaign, tetanus kills nearly 60,000 babies and a significant number of women each year. Newborns suffering the disease experience repeated, painful convulsions and have extreme sensitivity to light and touch.
Holland said that it takes three inoculations before delivery to protect women and children.
“Each inoculation is just 60 cents each,” he said. “One dollar and 80 cents to protect lives is something I think we can all chip in on.”
Donation cans throughout the county are collected and brought in by members once a week at the group’s Wednesday meetings at El Chaparral Grille on East McKinney Street.
Holland said all money raised from the public goes directly to providing the vaccines.
To eradicate maternal neonatal tetanus worldwide, more than 100 million mothers and their future children need to be immunized, according to the International Kiwanis website.
To learn more about the Eliminate Project, the public is invited to attend the club’s Feb. 19 meeting starting at 6:30 a.m. at El Chaparral Grille. Francine Eikner, chairwoman of the Texas/Oklahoma Kiwanis Eliminate project, will be the guest speaker.
Holland told us the club is committed to serving its local programs, as well as the international effort.
“Boundaries don’t end at the city limit sign,” Holland said. “We are a global community and that person we save with a shot could very well be a future student at Texas Woman’s University or University of North Texas. Nowadays, that’s not a hard reach when seeking education.”
We agree and believe the club is setting a great example by taking on this extra project.
Compassion should have no boundaries.