VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) –The Kiwanis Club of Norfolk is donating $50,000 to local organizations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kiwanis Club, which has been in Norfolk for more than 100 years, donates money annually but decided to speed up the process due to the current situation.
“This year, with what’s going on, we know not all the charities are having their fundraisers. There’s a big need. We said we’re going to be happy to put some money out now when they need it,” said Neil Rose, who is the club’s treasurer.
Rose says they donate money to organizations that help children. 19 applied this year.
Normally, all of the organizations would not have been selected.
“Some of them may have gotten zero. We decided we would give each of them a little money to help them,” he said.
One of those recipients is the Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach.
The nonprofit theater provides a variety of programs, including those for kids.
Chairman Mike Zeiders says it’s humbling they were able to receive a donation, especially amid this time of economic uncertainty.
“We’re just very appreciative of it. There’s no shortage of good people doing good work in the community. To be selected to have our programs continue and expand is really special,” he said.
Zeiders says the money will help them broadcast and transmit their children’s program to the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.
“Our goal is to have the live broadcast sent to them because our kids shows are very interactive. The kids in the theater get the chance to ask questions, go ‘oooh’ and ‘aww’ and ‘boo’ and stuff like that going on. We’d like to have it set up so kids in the hospital have the same interactions, reactions, and have the cast hear what’s going on with them,” he said. “We’re excited about that prospect and this support is going to achieve that.”
Along with Zeiders, several other organizations received money including Edmarc, EVMS, First Tee, ForKids Inc, Girls on the Run, Greater Hampton Roads Diaper Bank, Holiday House Portsmouth, Club/Kiwanis Children’s Fund, ODU Circle K Derbyshire Scholarship, Park Place Child Life Center, Ronald McDonald House, Starbase Victory, Tidewater Winds, Tidewater Wooden Boat, Union Mission, the Up Center, Virginia Beach Education Foundation, and the Virginia Zoo.
Rose says most of the money donated was raised through their golf tournament. Applications were due early in March.
While many of the programs are on pause, Zeiders says they are hosting Undiscovered with the Hurrah players next Thursday at 7 p.m. that will be livestreamed.