Kaitlin McCann, senior elementary education and English major, was recently elected vice president of Circle K International, an international service club sponsored by Kiwanis International with over 13,000 members.
McCann, who has been active in volunteer organizations since high school, said her position will include many new responsibilities. In addition to serving on the club’s Board of Trustees, she will create a newsletter for Circle K presidents, International Speaking, and various other newsletters for other club leaders.
Districts of Circle K across the country can also request McCann’s help with presentations and other special events.
“I love being vice president,” she said. “It is much different than the other positions I have held in the past.”
As vice president, McCann is currently helping to organize a fundraising effort for Six Cents Initiative. Alongside UNICEF, Circle K International is collecting money to bring clean, safe drinking water to children in Africa.
“For only six cents, you can buy a sachet of salt, which helps to make the water clean to drink for these kids,” McCann said. “This is such a worthwhile project, because you can really see how your contribution makes a positive difference and that every little bit helps. As an international officer, I get to spread the word about this great project.”
McCann was chosen as vice president after attending a Circle K convention in Portland, Ore. There, she made a series of speeches and answered panel and audience questions. McCann first became involved with Kiwanis International in high school. She served as secretary for the club, then ran for the position of district editor of New Jersey and won.
“I joined Key Club because I always liked volunteering and my best friend was going to a meeting and dragged me along,” she said. “It was a lot of fun, so I stuck around.”
According to McCann, joining Circle K was the natural step for her upon coming to the College. She said Circle K at the College participates in many volunteer events, particularly in Trenton. Her past activities include working at a library for the blind, helping with after-school programs and volunteering at nursing homes.
With Circle K International, the College’s district has helped to build a library, construct a playground for a nursery school and tutor children in Boston.
“The most rewarding part of volunteering is seeing the look on the children’s faces or that of their parents,” McCann said. “I read at a doctor’s office in Trenton. You read a book to the child and let them keep it. They are always amazed to learn they get to keep the book. For some of these children, it is the first book they have ever got.”
Last year, McCann was selected to serve as governor for the state’s district of Circle K. She represented New Jersey at the annual Circle K International convention and worked to design workshops to train officers of Circle K districts.
“It was an amazing honor to serve as Governor,” she said. “It was also a great deal of work. I got to meet a lot of people and learn about all the clubs in New Jersey and the great things they do.”
Now, much like her friend in high school did when she brought McCann to her first Key Club meeting, McCann works to increase membership of the College’s Circle K.
“I try to convince them to attend just one project with me,” she said. “If they do, they are usually hooked. Why? Because they see the look in the eyes of the people they are helping and know that they have made a positive difference. It really makes us all more grateful for what we have.”