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Kiwanis 50th Anniversary

Kiwanis Facts

Kiwanis Club


What Is Kiwanis
Kiwanis is a worldwide service organization of local clubs, comprised of men and women who share the challenge of improving their community and the world. Kiwanians are devoted to the principle of service; to the advancement of individual, community, and national welfare; and to the strengthening of international goodwill.

The first Kiwanis Club was organized in Detroit, Michigan, USA on January 21, 1915. A year later the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was chartered, and Kiwanis International grew rapidly into a leading service club in these two founding nations. In 1962, worldwide expansion was approved, and today Kiwanis Clubs are active in every part of the world.

The Name
The name "Kiwanis" stems from an Indian phrase "Nun Keewanis", which roughly translated, means "to express one’s self".

Our Motto
"We Build"

Our Theme
"Serving the Children of the World" Kiwanis’ continuing service emphasis is called "Young Children: Priority One," which focuses on the special needs of children from pre-natal development to age 5.

Our Purpose
To improve the quality of life for children and families worldwide. In 1994, Kiwanis launched its first Worldwide Service Project, a $75 million campaign in partnership with UNICEF to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders by the year 2000. Iodine deficiency is rare in areas where iodized salt is used, but in other parts of the world, IDD is the leading cause of preventable mental and physical retardation. As many as 1.5 billion people are at risk, especially young children.

Our Membership
Kiwanis membership spans the globe, with more than 331,000 members in more than 8,700 clubs in over 83 countries.

Kiwanis Service
Kiwanians participate in projects and fund raisers that provide assistance to local charities, hospitals, schools, shelters, other community organizations, and individuals. In one year, Kiwanis Clubs sponsored 147,000 service projects. To do so, Kiwanians raised and spent almost $70 million and contributed 6.2 million hours of volunteer time.

Woman In Kiwanis
Membership was opened to woman in 1987. There are now more than 51,000 women members and 1 in 7 clubs presidents is a woman.

Kiwanis Youth Organizations
Kiwanis International sponsors several service clubs for young people. Circle K International has 11,000 members on 570 university and college campuses. Key Club International has 215,000 members in 4,600 high schools and Builders Clubs have been organized in 2,000 junior high and middle schools. Other members of the Kiwanis family include K-Kids in elementary schools, young European adults in Kiwanis Junior, and Aktion Club, which involves persons with disabilities in community-service activities.

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