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Kiwanis Club of Tattnall County invests in the citizens of tomorrow
2022 Tattnall Kiwanis members
2022 Tattnall Kiwanis members. Sitting: Brian Strickland. Front row: Bebi Curl, Hailey Duke, Danielle Shaff (South GA Bank), Michelle Parker, Becky Anderson (Tattnall Family Connections), Susan Thomas, Brianna Hill, and Lynette Clark (Renasant Bank). Back Row: Reika Strickland, Angie Saggus, Tammy Wilds, Amanda Loyed, and Todd Padgett (Todd Padgett Housing). Not pictured: Amber Jones, Charles Wood, Debbie Tatum, Donna Boyett, Amy Bratcher, John Bratcher, Jennifer Smiley, Tattnall Printing, Low Country Cremation and Burial, Reidsville Family Dentistry, Jail Break Bonding, Tattnall Trio, and Collins Insurance Agency.

Kiwanis helps kids around the world through local clubs, just like the Kiwanis Club of Tattnall County, Georgia. Tattnall Kiwanis looks out for the community, provides for those struggling with disease or poverty, and makes a difference while having fun along the way.

Tattnall Kiwanis was chartered in 2015, and several of the first members are still involved today. Currently, 27 members are in the club, which meets biweekly. 

The meetings, which are held every first and third Thursday at 6 p.m., are fun, productive, and full of fellowship. 

“We spend a lot of time serving others, but we make it fun and enjoyable for our members,” Kiwanis Member Brianna Hill said. “I love the service that Kiwanis provides to our community, and we have fun doing it.”

Tattnall Kiwanis raises money to hold several educational, fun, and exciting events for the kids in the county. They also participate in other events in the community:

•National Read Across America Day

•Fundraising for local animal shelter

•Wiregrass Festival and Parade

•Tattnall County Schools Back-to-School Extravaganza

•Prom Scholarship to area high school students

One of Tattnall’s most anticipated events of the year, however, is Kiwanis Kids Kamp. This camp is primarily held at Jack Hill State Park in Reidsville. The children stay at the park overnight and participate in several outdoor and indoor activities. 

The kids are chaperoned by Kiwanis members and volunteers who make it their priority to have a blast. The 2021-22 Tattnall Kiwanis President, Tammy Wilds, loves the Kiwanis Kids Kamp because of the connections she makes with the children in her hometown. 

“Spending a week in a cabin full of boys, riding for a couple of hours on a bus full of children and really getting to know them, sitting down to dinner with them every night for a week and letting them talk to you, learning about their life and what makes them happy… it brings a whole new light to this world,” Wilds said. “Our kids camp is my favorite part of the year, and I look forward to meeting my camp kids and enjoying a week full of love like only children can give! My heart breaks every week when it’s over.”

Second to Kiwanis Kids Kamp is Christmas at Home. Tattnall Kiwanis partners with the Toys for Tots program every year to bring Christmas to children in Tattnall who are less fortunate. 

Kiwanis members raise money and gather toy donations each year. In 2021, 152 homes (over 600 children) were visited with Christmas presents. This total does not include deliveries to foster children.

“The past year with Kiwanis has been a struggle, as the world was only beginning to ‘open up’ from COVID. We started rebuilding events that had been dormant for the past couple of years and venturing out into the community more. We added new members to our club and focused on growing in the direction of service in Tattnall County. We added new events to our calendar. All in all, the past year has been one of giving back to the community that we hold so dear,” Wilds said. 

Tattnall Kiwanis members were aided by Tattnall Shriners, Tattnall County Sheriff Office personnel, Reidsville Police Department personnel, Georgia State Patrol Post 18 personnel, and the staff of Todd Padgett Housing Center. 

To help fund Christmas at Home, the Kiwanis Club of Tattnall County raised $2,200 at their Celebrity Chili Cook-off on Friday, December 2, 2021. The previous year, Kiwanis raised $1,400 at the 2020 Chili Cook-off.

Contestants set up their taste-testing areas on the Courthouse lawn around lunchtime for citizens of Tattnall to place their votes on the best chili. Votes were cast through money submissions.

In addition, Spaghetti Lunch Fundraiser Dinners were sold for $8 each, with all proceeds going to the Tattnall Kiwanis Christmas at Home Program.

The Kiwanis Club of Tattnall County is well supported by the community. Just this year, they have received donations from Canoochee EMC Round Up Program ($1,000), Tattnall County High School (TCHS) Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA )(600 books to be donated to Christmas at Home program), the Tattnall County School System, and several other businesses and organizations. 

“Being a member of an international organization like Kiwanis opens doors to so many organizations that support local nonprofits.  Being in a small community, there are only so many businesses and individuals from which to pull resources. Being a member of Kiwanis International allows us to pull from both State and International resources for funding, grants, donations, and other sources to bring money and items into our community to help our local children in need,” Wilds said. “With our local club, we get to enjoy the fellowship of like-minded people while performing services for the children of our community. We have made some amazing friends both in our Tattnall club and other clubs in our district. There are so many opportunities with Kiwanis to learn new and better ways to support your community, grow your community, and be involved in an organization that truly supports the children of the world.”