As a young professional in the Marietta and Parkersburg communities, you have many choices of civic organizations in which to become involved. These worthy organizations hold a plethora of possibilities for each new member. Not only will you be serving the good of your community and those around you, but it gives you a sense of perspective you may not have considered before.

kiwanis park clean upA “community service” organization does just that; it provides service to your local community. By joining, you can be a part of giving back in many unique ways to those around you. If you already have a hobby or passion about something, look around at the local service options and you might be surprised to find ways in which to help these organizations succeed by simply doing something you already love to do.

Do you love animals? Look into helping the Humane Society. They are in constant need of dog walkers and someone to hang out with the shelter cats. Do you enjoy crocheting? A service club would love to have you as a member where your skills might be invaluable to supplying a retirement home or hospital unit with warm scarves or hats. Do you like to build things with your own two hands? Many clubs have projects that involve building things from picnic shelters to benches. Or maybe you like to support the military troops? You could volunteer to head up the collection of items to send boxes or cards to them overseas. Whatever your passion, there’s probably a service organization that would fit your interests.

For example, if you like working with children, the Kiwanis Club’s international motto is “Serving the Children of the World.” The Marietta Kiwanis Club is a unique community service group, because no matter your age or ability, there is a Kiwanis family sponsored group for you!

You can be a “K-Family” member as young as grade school in either Kiwanis’ Bringing Up Grades (BUG) Program or Terrific Kids. Currently, the Marietta Kiwanis Club sponsors a BUG program at Philips Elementary and a Terrific Kids at Harmar Elementary in Marietta.

Next, as a middle school student, you can become a Kiwanis Builder. Marietta Kiwanis sponsors a Builders Club at Marietta Middle School where students can get their first true taste of what community service is really all about.

As a high school student at Marietta H.S., Frontier H.S. or Waterford H.S., you can become a Kiwanis Key Club member and continue with service in your community through the Kiwanis family.

Once you graduate high school, the Kiwanis Circle K Clubs at both Marietta College and Washington State Community College welcome you. And finally, as a young adult member of society, you can join the Kiwanis family as an actual Kiwanian.

pancake days

How does all of this equate with being a young professional? Local clubs are finding that more and more young professionals want to give back to their communities in ways that truly make a difference. The Marietta Kiwanis Club has recently shifted their membership to include a younger demographic whereas just 10 years ago, the majority of the club was over 50.

When asked about this paradigm shift, President of the Marietta Club, Chad Gardner (Age 26) said, “The club is attracting younger members by doing more hands on service. The club has also made it easier for younger folks to join by having an evening meeting each month and a variety of service projects that appeal to a wider range of ages. We also created a softball team a few years ago and play every summer in the Marietta City coed league.”


When asked about why he joined Kiwanis, Gardner said, “I joined because I had a great experience in the Kiwanis family. While in 7th grade, I joined Builders Club then continued on to Key Club in high school and Circle K in college! Each organization is unique in their own ways, but service brings us all together.”

Being together as part of a welcoming group is also a good feeling. It helps restore mind and body when you know you’ve done something good for someone else. As a young professional, you can also provide a good role model to others by joining an organization. Additionally, while you are serving the greater good in your local community, service organizations are also great networking opportunities. Many members come from all walks of life including schools, hospitals, local businesses, nonprofits and more, plus you may just make a new life-long friend.

Whether you’ve never been in a civic organization and are looking for one to join or you’ve been a life-long member, your membership in our community is appreciated. As a young professional, you’re in your prime to serve the community while making life-long connections.