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A multitude of organizations across Prince Edward Island contributes to their communities and their neighbours by channelling Islanders’ energy for the betterment of society. Some of the many service groups bringing together Island men and women are the Lions and Lionesses, the Women’s Institute, Royal Canadian Legion, Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Catholic Women’s League, Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire (IODE), local museum and library associations, Kinsmen, Kinettes, K-40, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Hospital volunteers, Rotary, United Way, War Amps, Y’Smen, and Zonta.

United Way
This organization builds upon the strength of volunteers and voluntary action, seeking to engage citizens for the benefit of the whole community. The United Way aims to provide leadership and United Wayvolunteers to raise and distribute money for services and programs that help meet the humanitarian needs in Island communities. The United Way in Prince Edward Island raises funds for 23 local agencies.

Lions Club Lions Club
There are 28 Lions and Lioness Clubs across the Island. With the motto “We Serve,” the focus of the Lions Club is to improve the community and help the underprivileged. As an example, some of the community work undertaken by the Malpeque Bay Area Lions Club include: the Prince County Hospital Equipment Fund, golf tournaments, turkey and ham suppers, the Kensington Community Craft Fair, and the Lions Foundation of Canada. With the funds raised, the club sponsors a dog-training school that provides animal companions for people with blindness, deafness, and special needs.

The Kin Family of Clubs
First starting in Prince Edward Island in the 1930s, the Kinsmen currently have two clubs in the province, one each in Summerside and Charlottetown. The Kinsmen Club brings together young men between the ages of 19 and 45 from all walks of life who wish to fulfil the organization’s mandate: “to serve the community’s greatest need.” The Summerside Kinsmen’s biggest annual project is the Christmas Appeal, during which they provide complete Christmas packages for over 125 area families. They also provide free meeting space for non-profit groups and have Kinsmenproudly sponsored many youth sport activities, including the Kinsmen Triple “A” Midgets hockey team. The Kinettes is the Kin women’s organization. They are involved in similar service activities, including awareness and fund raising for Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, and Operation-Go-Home. The K-40 group brings together men over the age of 45.

Women’s Institutes Womens Institute
The Women’s Institute began in Prince Edward Island in 1913 and has a presence today in communities all across the Island. The Women’s Institute deserves credit for our beautiful, litter-free communities, thanks to their famous annual roadside community clean-up. In their local communities, the Women’s Institute supports local schools, hospitals, charities, and youth groups and provide scholarships for local graduates. In addition, the Women’s Institutes are responsible for many of the community history books that recount the development of many localities and their families. The Women’s Institute’s numerous projects are funded by frequent annual activities such as ice cream socials, teas, plays, concerts, and banquets.

Royal Canadian Legion
In the early 1900s, many veterans’ organizations were created to provide returning servicemen with a place to meet and socialize with other veterans and facilitate their reintegration to civilian and family life. The Legion was granted a national charter in 1926 and is built on the ideals of service, comradeship, and unity. At the end of the Second World War, the Legion was instrumental in Legioncreating the Federal Ministry of Veterans Affairs for the dispensing of recognition and services to veterans and their families. Today, the Royal Canadian Legion remains a gathering place for veterans and community members. The Kensington Legion Branch #9, for example, plays host to community events, blood donor clinics, and supports local Scouts Canada groups while making innumerable other contributions to the community.

Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary
In Kensington, when the Legion Home was erected, Legion members’ wives and their friends organized themselves to provide additional energy and input for the growing organization. During the early years, Auxiliary members worked the canteen at the local rink and held card parties and pantry sales to enable the Legion to purchase proper dishes and a propane stove. These purchases supported the catering business that became a regular source of income for the group. The Ladies’ Auxiliary remains a vital organization in Island communities providing support to many local groups and charities.

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