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What is Kiwanis?
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing
the world one child and one community at a time. --Kiwanis
defining statement, adopted October 2004.
The Objects of
"Service with a Smile"
"Young Children Priority 1 – Seniors 2"
Founded in 1915 in
Detroit and with headquarters now in Indianapolis, Kiwanis
International is a thriving organization of service- and
community-minded individuals who support children and young adults
around the world. More than 600,000 Kiwanis-family members in 96
countries make their mark by responding to the needs of their
communities and pooling their resources to address worldwide issues.
Through these efforts, Kiwanis International truly is "Serving the
Children of the World."
Guided by six permanent Objects, Kiwanis clubs view their role within their respective
communities with a great deal of foresight. Key aspects to operating
an effective club include:
Evaluating both children’s issues and community needs on an
Conducting service projects to respond to those identified
Maintaining an active membership roster of professional
business people who have both the desire and the ability to
serve their community
Club meetings traditionally are conducted once a week and offer
an atmosphere of fun, learning, and fellowship. In addition to
attending the meetings, the typical Kiwanian volunteers each month
to assist with club service projects.
Service projects often are linked to the Kiwanis program, “Young
Children: Priority One.” This initiative places continuing focus on
the needs of children in pediatric trauma, safety, child care, early
development, infant health, nutrition, and parenting skills.
Service projects also can address other needs within the
community, such as working to stop substance abuse, helping the
elderly, promoting literacy, supporting youth sports and recreation,
responding to disasters, and supporting specific persons in need.
Kiwanis also plays a special role in developing future
generations of leaders. K-Kids clubs at the elementary school level,
Builders Clubs in middle school and junior highs, Key Clubs in high
schools, and Circle K clubs at the collegiate level all are Kiwanis
organizations that teach community service and leadership skills to
young people. In addition, Aktion Clubs are made up of adults with
mental and physical disabilities who enthusiastically perform
service to help others.
Worldwide, the entire Kiwanis family is committed to eliminating
the devastating effects of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the
world’s leading preventable cause of mental retardation. More than
1.5 billion people are at risk of suffering IDD because they do not
receive enough iodine in their diet. But, because of Kiwanis’
efforts, many parents who have been affected by IDD are able to
watch their children grow up healthy and reach their full physical
and mental potential. The results of the IDD program will benefit
every future generation.
A typical Kiwanis club is a snapshot of its community, with
members from all walks of life and at every step of the career
ladder. They are unified in their belief that children and their
communities benefit from the efforts of a proficient group of caring
and involved volunteers. In a typical year, Kiwanis clubs invest
more than 6.2 million hours and US$100 million in communities around
the world. Through these efforts, the Kiwanis organization truly
leaves a lasting impression on future generations.
What a New
Member Can Expect From a Kiwanis Club:
An opportunity for you to share your
experience, your knowledge, your time and
your love in service to your community and
your fellow man. A chance to belong to a
group of similarly dedicated persons, and to
share with them the fun and fellowship of
meeting once a week and hearing interesting,
stimulating programs and to work together
for the good of the community.
What We Expect
of a New Member:
To attend regularly, and
participate in our club
To commit some time to
our community service and
fundraising projects, two or
three times a year.
To sponsor one new member
To accept the
responsibility of leadership
in any office or assignment
to which you are elected or
What Is The
We are a group of men and women of
diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
What we share in common perhaps can best be
summarized in the Kiwanis motto: We Build.
Kiwanis is a verb. It is something you do