Did you know that by going to The Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra™, you are helping raise money for the children of our community?

Can’t come to Zozobra on Friday, September 02, 2022? We’ll miss you but don’t feel gloomy –– you can still watch the Burning of Zozobra live for free on KOAT-7 ABC and streamed on the web at But we’re asking you to help our historic tradition survive!

Your “I’m Not Coming So I’m Pitching In” $15 donation in place of a ticket purchase helps the Santa Fe Kiwanis keep this cherished event alive and funds programs that help our youth. That’s right! After Zozobra pays all its bills, the net proceeds go to fund nonprofits that help our kids. And that $15 you donate –– the same amount as a movie or a two lattes –– means that our Kiwanis mission of helping kids dream, learn, grow, and thrive can continue.

Please consider pitching in at We’re counting on you. You’ll make your life less gloomy knowing that you made a child’s life brighter!


By supporting us in monetary ways other than ticket sales, you will help us continue to bring Zozobra to you in your home for free.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. For more than a century, Kiwanis has created opportunities for children to be curious, safe and healthy regardless of the community in which they live. The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe donated the net proceeds of the 2020 Burn My Gloom campaign to area nonprofits that help make life better for children, with 20% of the proceeds earmarked to help fund The Eliminate Project.


  • Through The Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus—a deadly disease that steals the lives of nearly 31,000 innocent babies and a significant number of women each year.

The Santa Fe Kiwanis faced the 2020 pandemic with a renewed commitment to make something good come out of something bad.

In view of the safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, the 96th Burning of Zozobra took place live with no crowd and was instead televised and streamed live on the web for free, making the event equally accessible to grandparents who watched on TV with loved ones and millenials who tuned in on their phones as they texted each other.

With no ticket sales, the Santa Fe Kiwanis created a new way to raise funds and continue to help our community’s kids –– the Burn My Gloom campaign!

For a nominal fee, thousands of people rid themselves of 2020’s sorrows by submitting their gloomy thoughts online, which Kiwanis printed on paper and stuffed inside Zozobra to burn. Many shared the moment by making a gift of gloom release to others –– family members who needed to let go of anxieties, friends who lost a job, or first responders who deserved a break.

Everyone who participated in our gloom program made a difference for children and you can continue that good work by joining your local Kiwanis Club or making a deeply appreciated donation to the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe.

Despite the 2020 challenges of the pandemic, Kiwanis was able to transfer $44,000 in hard-won net proceeds from the 96th Burning of Zozobra to the Santa Fe Downtown Kiwanis Foundation to help make a difference in the lives of local youth.

In March 2021, our Foundation made grants of $4,000 each to the following area nonprofits that mirror the Kiwanis mission –– helping children learn, experience, dream, grow, succeed and thrive.
  • Esperanza Shelter: Funding will be used to create welcome backpacks and purchase pack-and-play cribs and combo car seat/strollers for children who enter the emergency shelter.
  • Cooking with Kids: This award-winning program will help students explore, prepare and taste fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural traditions in a fun, supportive setting to positively change eating behaviors, increase home cooking practices, and help engage students in creative and cross-disciplinary ways.
  • The Sky Center/Suicide Intervention Project: Funds will be used to support an 8-month training program for Natural Helpers at local Santa Fe schools, creating a diversified group of students trained as catalysts of change in their school communities by working in a resiliency enhancement and suicide prevention program for middle school youth.
  • St. Elizabeth’s Shelter/Casa Familia: Funds will support Casa Familia services for children whose low-income families have become homeless and require immediate emergency shelter, and who are at serious risk for developmental, physical and behavioral health problems.
  • Girls, Inc. of Santa Fe: Funding will allow Girls, Inc. to continue to respond to requests for services by maintaining their staff and adapt programming to an online format, create new curricula to address the girls’ changing needs, deliver programs to a diverse population, and find additional resources for girls and their families.
  • El Rancho de Las Golondrinas: Funds will be used to support the ongoing Spanish Colonial Days and other Education and Outreach opportunities for New Mexico children and teens.
  • Gerard’s House: Funding will assist the “You Are Not Alone” program, a weekly, ongoing peer grief support group for youth ages 12-18 temporarily staying in emergency housing in safe, creative and welcoming environments that encourage dialogue for teens experiencing homelessness.
  • Solace Crisis Treatment Center: Funds will be used to help make advocates available to locate and facilitate support services for families in dangerous circumstances
  • YouthWorks: Funds will be used to assist the Culinary Training program with additional expenses due to COVID-19 and address safety measures, food requirements and additional staffing for an invaluable program serving thousands of children, youth and families.
  • Reading Quest: Funds will help support a two-week “Reading is Magic” summer camp to be held in July 2021, celebrating the 10th year of this successful camp program, which will be offered in person or online as during last summer.
  • Youth Shelters and Family Services: Funds will support the purchase of cell phones and Chromebooks for young clients to further their case management, education, and employment opportunities.