Livingston Kiwanis Club Endures Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Eric Kiefer
·4 min read

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The coronavirus pandemic affected nearly every facet of daily life in Livingston during 2020. And for members of the local Kiwanis Club, last year was no different.

Recently, the Kiwanis Club of Livingston reached out to Patch with a yearly review of challenges – and successes – amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Their replies follow below.

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2021?

If COVID permits: to have our Karnival, to maintain and grow our active and involved membership, and to continue to support all of the organizations in town that have come to depend on our support.

What would you like Livingston to know?

The Kiwanis Club of Livingston exists to support the needs of our community; that we are a coed, non-political, non-denominational, international service organization. We provide the youth of our town opportunities for service, leadership training, and fellowship with students all around the state and country. Community members who are interested in joining their neighbors in the Kiwanis Club or are just curious and want to learn more can contact our membership chair, Gaby Vieira at info@livingstonkiwanis.org, or by visiting our website at https://www.livingstonkiwanis.org.

What are some highlights of the past 10 months? What activities have you continued to support since last March?

Highlights include:

  • Nearly $10,000 in scholarships - including Livingston and other NJ students.

  • Support to St Barnabas Medical Center: Technology (iPads and baby monitors) so those quarantined are able to connect with their loved ones; Purchased and delivered meals to medical workers working the late shift.

  • Provided $1000s to purchase cleaning supplies and PPE in support of the West Essex YMCA’s program to care for the children of first responders.

  • Partnered with Knights of Columbus and Unico to provide Thanksgiving meals for nearly 50 families.

  • Worked with Livingston restaurants to deliver food directly to the local food banks who had no food supply due to COVID.

  • Supplied, assembled and delivered 100s of personal care kits to the local homeless shelters which were put together by members and stored to prevent contamination.

  • Held a successful socially distanced Golf outing in August.

  • Donated the $3000 proceeds of our Golf outing in gift cards to Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

  • Funded $1,300 for publishing street directories for First Responders.

  • Painted a playground map of the USA and New Jersey at the Riker Hill School.

  • Provided financial support to YMCA Pirranhas Swim team

  • Supported Friendship Circle

  • Participated in set up of Comuso Holiday Display at the Oval

Do you continue to meet in person?

No. We meet via weekly Zoom meetings.

Have there been any notable speakers last year?

Guest speakers have included the following:

  • Livingston Historical Society

  • Livingston Public Library

  • East Hanover Train Museum

  • Livingston Boy and Girl Scouts

  • Livingston Chinese Society

  • Local Census committee

  • League of Women Voters

  • Tim Tebow Night to Shine Prom for for special needs citizens

  • West Essex YMCA

  • Neighbors helping Neighbors

  • Livingston Key and Builders clubs

  • Eva's Village shelter and educational center in Paterson

What are some upcoming programs and activities?

MLK Day of Service: January 18th - We will be participating in this event by presenting a virtual slide show in the morning and collecting travel size hygiene supplies in the afternoon at the Livingston Senior and Community Center from 2-6 pm.

Key Club Inductions: January 14th - This year the Livingston Key Club will be hosting their annual Key Club Inductions over Zoom. The details and Zoom link will be sent out once they are available.

We will be making meals for the needy (LNHN and Soup Kitchens) in the coming weeks

Cycle For Survival: May 1-2 and May 15 – The annual event to raise money to cure rare Cancers is being held virtually and in-person. Our club already has a team in place to participate in the virtual event. If you would like to sign-up or donate, you can visit our team page at: http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/L...

What are your priorities now, and have they changed?

Our priority remains serving those in need; Due to the pandemic, this year we donated more money to Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors, YMCA, and St Barnabas

Since we needed to cancel our KARNIVAL, our major fundraising event of 2020, we, like many other organizations, have needed to tap into our emergency funds. As we continue to work to serve our community, we are committed to finding alternate revenue sources or managing cost-saving measures to meet community needs.

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com

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This article originally appeared on the Livingston Patch