The Kiwanis Club of Wetumpka is holding a diaper drive through Jan. 17 to benefit clients of the Elmore County Food Pantry.

“We felt that was the quickest way we could have impact with the community with little funds because we are still a fledgling organization,” club president Anna Chappelle said. “This is something that is very simple for us.”

Items needed include diapers sized 1, 2 and 3; unscented baby wipes; and Similac and Enfamil infant formula.

Food donations including oatmeal, green beans and cake ingredients are also requested.

All donations may be dropped off at the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce, Mark Shaw Allstate and Trinity Episcopal Church.

The local club held its first meeting late September. According to Chappelle, the club currently has about 27 members.

She said the local club has established its charter, formed committees and determined its meeting location and dates, but the members are trying to nail down the club’s identity and figure out what children in the community need most.

“Having a strategic plan is what we really need,” Chappelle said. “We have a very energetic fundraising and service committee. They have a lot of big ideas and a lot of those big ideas do require people to help and funding to be able to source. We’re also looking for people to come speak during our meetings so we have a better sense of needs in the community.”

She said the club will be present with an information table at Christmas on the Coosa Dec. 14 and its members have discussed a variety of ideas to raise funds and awareness.

“We’ve had discussions about having maybe a run or a bingo night,” Chappelle said. “We have to come up with a service project that benefits children in the area. I know food is a big need for children especially children who may not have food when they come home from school.

“Each club has a special project. Is our going to be literacy, food assistance, that sort of thing (is what we’re trying to nail down). Having guest speakers will help identify that as well.”

Chappelle said the club will host a membership drive as the new year begins, but anyone is welcome to join anytime by reaching out to her at annaschappelle@gmail.com or any other Kiwanis member. 

“Another great way to find out what the club is up to is find Kiwanis Club of Wetumpka’s Facebook page,” Chappell said. She has previous experience with nonprofit work. She said was the director of Marble Springs, a historic site in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“It is a 35-acre property with historic log structures,” she said. “I worked there for seven years. Before that, I was assistant director of a nonprofit museum. I have a wide and varying background.”

At first, she said she had no intention of becoming president and it was the recommendation of her church pastor that put Kiwanis International recruiters in touch with Chappelle.

“I found out about Kiwanis coming to Wetumpka due to a Facebook post I saw,” she said. “I didn’t really think anything else of it. Two individuals from Kiwanis showed up to talk to Shellie Whitfield (chamber president) to find out who she knew would be interested in being part of the organization. 

“They came back a second day,” she said. “It turned out they were looking for me. Father Bob (Henderson) at Trinity Episcopal Church gave my name as a person to reach out to. Of course, when your pastor calls you to service you kind of listen.”

The club meets at noon on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at Hampton Inn located in Wetumpka.