(*) Did you know that January 21 is the 89th birthday of Kiwanis? On January 21, 1915, the first Kiwanis club was chartered in Detroit, Michigan. It's been 87 years since our organization, which was originally named the Benevolent Order of Brothers, first took shape, but the Kiwanis family has now grown to than 13,000 adult and youth clubs and more than 600,000 members in more than 70 nations.
YMCA Day Care Director, Thea Broughton, thanked the Richmond Kiwanis Club for the support they gave to families with special needs at YMCA-Kiwanis Christmas party at the YMCA. She noted that several of the families would literally have been without Christmas without the help of the Richmond Kiwanis Club.Broughton noted that many of the children in the day care facility are on significantly reduced payments because of the limited resources of the family. She also suggested to Kiwanians of the special children's needs on an on-going basis. At a board meeting, the same evening of her presentaiton, the Kiwanis board approved providing $50 a month for the YMCA Day Care for the special needs of children with the understanding that the day care center would provide a monthly report indicating what was done with the funds during that month
In other YMCA news Dana Sheets noted that the YMCA would
be sponsoring two programs that Kiwanians might consider taking:
Heartsaver CPR to be given from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 31. The cost for this workshop will be $30.
Friends and Family CPR to be given from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 21. The cost for this workshop will be $10.
Certificates of completion will be given to participants of both workshops.
Dana needs a head count if you wish to participate. Contact her at:
Kiwanis Public Awareness Month
Family Fit Lifestyle Month Try for just one month to reduce the fat, sugar, and
salt in your diet. The first month of the New Year is the perfect time to change
your life. For information, contact Family Fit Lifestyle Inc., 15202 N. 50th Place,
Scottsdale, AZ 85254; phone, 866-548-3348; e-mail, Jyl@Americas-
HealthiestMom.com; Web site, www.AmericasHealthiestMom.com.
International Life Balance Month This month is focused on making better
strategic decisions yearlong to get your life in balance. This includes the
importance of balancing time for self, family, and friends. For information, contact
Sheryl Nicholson, The Advisory Team, 23 Citrus Drive, Palm Harbor, FL 34684;
phone, 727-937-3322; Web site, www.theadvisoryteam.com.
National Be On-Purpose Month This is an observance to encourage us to
start the New Year by putting our good intentions into action, personally and
professionally, and to trade confusion for clarity as we balance our lives with
more meaning and purpose. For information, contact Kevin McCarthy, the on-
Purpose School for Leaders, PO Box 1568, Winter Park, FL 32790; phone, 407-
National Hot Tea Month This month celebrates one of nature's most popular,
soothing, and relaxing beverages; the only beverage commonly served hot or
iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. For information, contact Joseph
Simrany, president, the Tea Council of the USA, 420 Lexington Avenue, Suite
825, New York, NY 10170; phone, 212-986-6998.
Oatmeal Month Celebrate oatmeal, a low-fat, sodium-free, whole grain that
when eaten daily as a part of a diet that's low in saturated fat and cholesterol
may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Delicious recipes, helpful hints and
tips from Quaker Oats, the Oat Expert, will make enjoying the heart health
benefits oatmeal has to offer easy, convenient and, above all, delicious. For
information, contact the Oat Expert, 225 W. Washington, Suite 1625, Chicago, IL
60606; phone, 312-629-1234.
National Lose Weight/Feel Great Week This week serves to inspire
individuals to incorporate fitness into their daily routine and make exercise a
priority, whether it be to promote weight loss or maintain overall good health and
physical condition. For information, contact Jana Angelakis, PEX Personalized
Exercise, 924 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10010; phone, 212-254-1915;
e-mail, email@example.com; Web site, www.pexinc.com.
Hunt for Happiness Week Hunt for Happiness Week provides activity
suggestions and ideas for teachers, youth leaders, and parents to encourage
kids and teens to discover more happy moments. It is sponsored by the Secret
Society for Happy People. For information, contact Pam Johnson, 1815
Riverchase Drive, #2316, Coppell, TX 75019; phone, 972-471-1485; e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site, www.sohp.com.
National Parents as Teachers Day To pay tribute to the more than 2,600
Parents as Teachers programs located in 50 states and six countries. These
programs give parents support and guidance to be their children's best first
teacher in the critical early years. For information: Parents as Teachers National
Center, 10176 Corporate Square Drive, Suite 230, St. Louis, Missouri 63132;
phone, 314-432-4330, e-mail, email@example.com; Web site, www.patnc.org.
Kiwanis International: Anniversary The first Kiwanis club was chartered in
National Compliment Day This day is set aside to compliment at least five
people. Giving compliments forges bonds, dispels loneliness, and just plain feels
good. For information, contact Debby Hoffman, Positive Results Seminars, PO
Box 3478, Concord, NH 03303; phone, 603-225-0991; e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Kathy Chamberlin, Respectful
Communication, 724 Park Avenue, Contoocook, NH 03229; phone, 603-746-
6227; e-mail, KathChamberlin@aol.com; Web site, www.complimentday.com.
By Jeff Jones
Forget Millard Fuller's many accomplishments -- helping to
build more than 150,000 homes worldwide in an attempt to erase
the blight and
humiliation of poverty housing, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and his ability to combine compassion with tremendous marketing skills.
Perhaps the most stunning of all the 68-year-old's achievements
is fitting them on a one-page resume. Talk about an innate ability
to narrow one's
focus and deliver the goods.
The co-founder of Americus, Ga.-based Habitat for Humanity
International has received so many prominent awards that thesauruses
his name under "yearly prestigious award recipient."
Add another line. The NonProfit Times has selected Fuller as its 2003 Executive of the Year.
At a time when charities nationwide are struggling to make
ends meet, Fuller's innovation and success with such a vast and
is noteworthy. His progressive ideas and marketing know-how keep the 27-year-old movement relevant.
"I'm always thinking up creative ways to promote the work,"
Fuller said in an interview with The NonProfit Times at a friend's
home in White
Plains, N.Y., in between speaking engagements.
Doubt his marketing ability? Try selling a ghetto village to your board members as a plausible theme park and destination spot.
Fuller did, and some 6,500 people have visited the Global Village and Discovery Center in Americus since it opened this past June.
The attraction provides visitors a firsthand view of ghettos
abroad along with models of homes Habitat builds in those areas.
hands-on training in such things as brick and tile making.
"It's proven to be very successful," Fuller said,
adding that the state put a train stop adjacent to the village,
which also stops at former President
Jimmy Carter's boyhood home in nearby Plains, Ga.
The Discovery Village is the latest in a line of seemingly
curious decisions Fuller has made that leave skeptics scratching
their heads and him
proving them wrong.
The village has already paved the road for at least one lucrative
partnership, Fuller said. He explained that he walked a man who
was teetering as
to whether to enter a $2 million partnership with Habitat through the village. "He was visibly touched," Fuller said. "He was saying 'No, no, no,
I'm not going to do this partnership and then he walks in and says Yes, yes, yes.' It was part of the equation of selling him."
A visitor from England was so touched after visiting the village
that she agreed to pay for a house in Africa and wrote a check
on the spot, Fuller
"That's the idea, that you will motivate people" Fuller said. "We bring the slums to the affluent."
Fuller estimated that the Global Village will average 70,000
visitors a year. That's not a stretch, considering roughly 60,000
people visit the Jimmy
Carter National Historic Site each year. Still more arrive to hear former President Carter teach Sunday school at a local church.
Entrepreneurial savvy has been a part of Fuller's life since his dad bought him a pig and set him up with a bookkeeping system.
"He was a terrific salesperson, still is," said Morris Dees, Fuller's first business partner and founder of the
Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. "He's an exhaustively dedicated and a driven individual."
"I love to promote things," Fuller said. "I love to make things grow."
Fuller was a millionaire by age 29 because of the company he
founded with Dees. The two college students met at a Young Democrats
After a long talk that finished around 3 a.m., they were business and law partners with a simple mission statement, to "get rich," Fuller said.
"We launched into a whole lot of business ventures --
almost all of which worked," Fuller said. They sold tractor
cushions through Future
Farmers of America -- 20 train carloads in three months at one point. They sold cookbooks, rat poison, candy, toothbrushes, and "all of it just
made money," Fuller said.
An early idea of selling mistletoe failed after they couldn't get it down from the trees, even after shooting at it with rifles, Fuller recounted.
"Back then we always tried to come up with a name that
quickly said what we were doing," said Dees. "It's important
to sum up what you're
doing in a brand name so people can identify with it."
A knack for promotion never left Fuller. He still pumps out
catchphrases that simplify complex thoughts and give Habitat an
recognizable identity. It's well known that Habitat's home-building mission is founded on hard work, ("sweat equity"), and employs the
"theology of the hammer" with emphasis on action.
After Fuller's business success nearly wrecked his marriage,
he recommitted himself to his wife, and gave his fortune mostly
From there, he said that he followed God's will. "I was
looking for a way in my life to please God," Fuller told
a crowd at the Princeton Club in
New York City, during yet another stop on his tireless tour of spreading Habitat's mission. "Somebody once said, when the student is ready to
learn, the teacher shows up."
Fuller widely credits Clarence Jordan, who ran Koinonia Farm,
a Christian Community near Americus, for giving him the seed for
what was to
"My dad was a very successful small businessman, and he
did teach me about the basics of business. He always was encouraging
to me about
business ventures," Fuller said. "But he was not the deep thinker that Clarence Jordan was about spiritual matters."
Fuller's house building initiative had its philosophical start
during the late 1960s. Habitat held its first organizing meeting
in an abandoned
chicken barn in 1976.
Now, Habitat's total revenue has nearly doubled since 1996
to $747.9 million in 2002, the latest figures available. Public
support sprang from
roughly $196.8 million to $416.6 million during the same time.
Habitat's international headquarters anticipates a 7.9 percent
increase in total revenue in fiscal year 2004 ($190.2 million),
not including affiliates,
said Dennis Bender, senior vice president communications, Habitat for Humanity International.
Public support, however, experienced a roughly $4.8 million
drop in 2002 compared with the previous year. Habitat figures
for the fiscal year
ended June 30, 2003 were not available as of press time.
The group is making adjustments. It's attempting to reduce
its reliance on direct marketing -- roughly one-third of the international
projected total revenue -- because that area is maturing, Bender said. Projections do not include affiliates.
Fuller said the group, which mails more than 50 million letters
a year, isn't moving away from direct marketing, but it will become
percentage of revenue as it increases. Each Habitat mortgage payment goes into the organization as revenue.
While total revenue consistently climbs, the average cost of
a Habitat house in the United States does too, swelling to $53,309
this year up from
$46,647 in 1999.
The group is following advice Fuller gave in a published collection of essays, Building Materials for Life, "don't fight problems -- solve them."
Planned giving, especially bequests, is becoming increasingly
important, Fuller said. Habitat has strengthened the planned giving
additional hires, Bender said.
Habitat also is raising more money overseas, Fuller said.
Corporate sponsorships are a source of potential revenue enhancements,
as well. Habitat has been successful in that area and has inked
gifts-in-kind deals. For instance, Whirlpool donates a stove and refrigerator for every Habitat house built in the United States; and Hunter
Douglas provides privacy blinds to every domestically built house.
Some 6,000 Citigroup employees have volunteered roughly 64,000
hours in 20 states since 2001. Habitat has ongoing partnerships
Systems, and Lions Club International Foundation. The latter has committed $12 million since 2000 to a home-building initiative with people
living with serious physical and mental disabilities.
It was a busy year. Another Fuller idea, Habitat for Humanity
University, launched this past summer. The university is a global
that will share Habitat's knowledge, and officials hope, serve as a catalyst for other like-minded organizations and individuals.
Today, Fuller uses the same skill set he developed as a successful businessman.
"When I had the goal of making a lot of money I was a
hard-charging, creative, entrepreneurial type person. I'm still
that same kind of person,
but I've got different goals in life," Fuller said. "Now, my goal is to build a house for everybody in the world."
Increasingly, Habitat looks to its Restores to generate revenue.
Habitat affiliates run some 118 ReStores in the United States
and 26 in Canada,
which sell used and surplus building materials at a fraction of retail prices.
Virtually everything gets donated, and when sold it's nearly all profit, Fuller said.
Several stores generate income of $1 million a year, Fuller said.
ReStore sales along with other revenue such as conference fees,
royalties, list rental, merchandise sales, annuities, interest
accounted for $37.2 million in 2002, according to Habitat's consolidated numbers.
Habitat is developing another creative program in Asia called
"Build in Stages." At times it's difficult collecting
payments from some families in
developing countries once a house is built, Fuller said. So Habitat is testing a system of building houses one room at a time. When the family
pays off the first room, they build another until a full house is done, Fuller explained.
Fuller, who will turn 69 in January, said he doesn't have plans
to retire any time soon. When the time comes, Habitat's chief
operating officer will
become acting CEO and the 30-member board will appoint a search committee to find a replacement, Fuller said.
They'll be hard-pressed to find such a dedicated and low-priced
leader. Fuller earns only $79,500 a year, and takes credit for
a 40-hour work
week though that seems an underestimate given the time he spends traveling and promoting the group's mission.
Fuller isn't concerned that Habitat's movement would falter without him.
"I wanted to set in motion something that will outlive
my lifetime that will become an institution in the world,"
Fuller said. Habitat operates in 92
Despite Fuller's tireless travels, many people still think former President Carter founded Habitat.
Fuller said Habitat's fundraising won't suffer if Carter reduced
his high-profile role. As proof, he said Habitat has transitioned
away from using
Carter's signature on prospect mailings during the past five years. Fuller signs them now.
"I think the name Habitat for Humanity is thought of so
well that anybody could sign letters and, I think, we would get
a good result," Fuller
Carter wasn't available for comment.
Christine Letts, the Rita E. Hauser Lecturer in the Practice
of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Harvard University,
Habitat's success is a result of the strong relationship between Habitat staff, supporters, and clients. The group has a commonality between those
three constituencies with the Christian faith mission underlying everything they do, Letts said.
Fuller still possess a lot of the face-to-face salesmanship
that his old business partner Dees said was one of his strengths
when he first went into
He commands a room.
It doesn't matter whether he talks at a small gathering, such
as a recent Ethical Cultural Society event in White Plains, N.Y.,
or a Manhattan
Institute social entrepreneurship award dinner at the Princeton Club in New York City.
Fuller keeps pumping out challenges, inspiration and energy as dinner hour wears into primetime.
His off-the-cuff style without notes resembles a sermon. He
raises his voice as a preacher would and weaves anecdotes and
jokes into an
inspiring message that pushes his mission to the front of the crowd's minds.
There's the Romanian boy who lived in a house black from mold.
Habitat built his family a new home. And then there's Cookie,
a young girl who
moved into Habitat's first house, who today writes mortgages as a lawyer.
And of course Fuller's standing joke that he travels so much it's like he's on a political campaign without an election always gets a snicker.
Underneath Fuller's disarming style is a simple, but serious,
vision: to plant the idea in every nation and every city on earth
"that everybody who
lives there should have at minimum a simple, decent place to live, so that every child will be able fulfill his or her highest potential."
Don't underestimate a man on a mission.
"He's basically a preacher at heart," Dees said. "He used his passion to help other people."
The Wellness on Wheels Wagon (WOW), one of the many projects supported by the Richmond Kiwanis, distributes health information to youth and schools in the Madison County Area. See here is Phyllis Adams, Richmond Kiwanis member, who is seen providing information at the Berea Spoonbread Festival. The wagon was also provided information to youth at the Kiwanis Carnival.