The Kinsmen Organization
What is Kin Canada?
Kin Canada is an all-Canadian service organization made up of active community volunteers. Working together, members are enhancing the quality of life in their communities by promoting service, fellowship, positive values and national pride. Kin clubs support cystic fibrosis (CF) research and fund local projects across the country.
History of the Association
The Association was founded on Feb. 20, 1920 in Hamilton, Ontario by Harold A. Rogers O.C., O.B.E. (1899-1994). Rogers was 21 and had just returned from the trenches of the First World War when his father, a prominent Rotarian, encouraged him to get together a few young men his own age. However, when Rogers decided to join the same Rotary club as his father, his application was rejected. It was the policy of the Rotary not to have two members from the same business establishment. As a result of this rejection, Rogers and a small group of men gathered for a dinner meeting and became the first Kinsmen Club – the Kinsmen Club of Hamilton, Ontario.
“Kin Canada is a dynamic volunteer organization enriching our communities through service while embracing national pride, positive values, personal development and lasting friendships.”
“Serving the Community’s Greatest Need”
More than 8,100 members belong to 623 Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin clubs from coast to coast. Kinsmen clubs are predominantly male-only while Kinette clubs are predominantly female-only. Kin clubs have a mixed membership of men and women. The Association was founded in Canada and there are no clubs outside of Canada.
Kin clubs undertake a wide variety of local fundraising and service projects. Its motto – “Serving the Community’s Greatest Need” – means that each club determines how it will raise funds and how those funds will be spent in the community. The Association encourages the autonomy of its clubs so that as many decisions as possible are made by its members at the club level.
Since 1964, the Kinsmen and Kinettes’ national fundraising project involves supporting the work of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF). This year the Association’s total contributions are expected to reach $32 million for CF research and treatment. Kin are also active from coast to coast promoting a variety of national pride initiatives designed to give Canadians the opportunity to demonstrate that they are proud of their country. For example, Kinsmen and Kinettes annually spearhead ‘Raise the Flag!’ Day, a patriotic event encouraging Canadians everywhere to raise and fly the Canadian flag. This annual national event takes place in hundreds of communities on the Saturday before the Victoria Day weekend in May.
Every year, Kin clubs contribute millions of dollars to Canadian communities with all monies raised in the community, staying in the community. Last year, more than $25 million was raised; to say nothing of the countless hours spent planning and carrying out the many fundraising and service projects. The national Association does not receive money raised in the community. Kin Headquarters and its programs and services are financed through the members’ annual dues along with some revenue from such activities as the internal sales division.
Kin Canada raises on average $1 million for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, making Kin the largest single fundraising organization for CF research in the world. Since 1964, Kinsmen and Kinettes have donated more than $31 million towards CF research.
In 2002, Kinsmen and Kinettes donated more than $73,000 to the Hay West project. This project brought hay from Central and Eastern Canada to western farmers whose fields were suffering from drought conditions. Kinsmen and Kinettes in Alberta also assisted with a benefit concert to raise funds and awareness to the plight of farmers in Western Canada.
August 2003 saw devastating fires rip through British Columbia leaving many homeless or living in shelters. In less than a day, Kin pledged more than $50,000 and 30,000 pounds of beef to help feed firefighters and those in shelters.
In 2003, BBQ Canada, an initiative of Kinsmen and Kinettes, supported the ailing beef industry in Canada. On Labour Day, Kin clubs and groups across the country, hosted free barbecues to show the world that Canadian beef is safe and that they support the Canadian Beef Industry. This one-day event set a new Guinness Book of World Records by serving more than 280,000 individuals a beef product.
Kin Canada is located at 1920 Hal Rogers Dr., in Cambridge, Ontario, about 100 kilometres west of Toronto on Hwy. 401. Staff is made up of seven full time workers who provide administrative services to more than 623 Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin clubs. The chief administrative officer is Executive Director Ric McDonald.
To contact Kin National, or visit their website at: http://www.kincanada.ca/ .