What is Kiwanis?


25 Facts about the Kiwanis Club, helping children of the world for more than 100 years.

 1. The official motto of Kiwanis International is “Serving the children of the world.” The original motto was “We build,” but that was changed in 2005.

2. There are currently about 669,783 adult and youth members in Kiwanis.

3. Called “Kiwanians,” the average active or retired member of the Kiwanis Club is a 55.1 year-old, married, college graduate, owner or manager of a business who owns a home. But Kiwanis membership is open to anyone who wants to serve and all people of all religions, races, ethnicities, political affiliations and walks of life are welcome.

4. Kiwanis also pursues their mission with the help of an expansive network of member clubs. These include 8,309 adult clubs and 7,930 youth clubs all around the world.

5. Every year, Kiwanis clubs sponsor approximately 150,000 service projects, dedicating more than 18.5 million volunteer hours and raising more than $100 million dollars for deserving causes.

6. The Kiwanis club was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 21, 1915. Most people don’t realize that Kiwanis was originally a business networking organization called the Supreme Lodge Benevolent Order Brothers, but soon shifted their sights entirely on community service and changed their name to Kiwanis a year later.

7. The idea for Kiwanis was idealized in 1914 when Detroit businessmen Allen S. Browne and Joseph G. Prance drafted an idea for a men’s fraternal and organization that encouraged business dealings but also had a focus on health.

8. A second Kiwanis service club sprung up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada a year later, and by 1962, they approved expansion for international charters beyond those two nations.

Kiwanis International is now established and operating in more than 96 nations around the globe, representing close to half of all countries on earth.

9. The name “Kiwanis” draws on the saying “Nunc Kee-wanis” in the Ojibwe language of Detroit-area Native Americans, meaning "we trade" or "we share our talents." Although there are several theories as to the entomology of the modern name “Kiwanis,” there’s no refuting the work that Kiwanis members do!

10. Kiwanis members further endeavor to help children around the world through the Kiwanis International’s Global Campaign for Children project.

11. The organization is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of 19 Kiwanis members. Of those, 15 are trustees, four are elected officers, and there is one executive director. The Kiwanis bylaws mandate that trustees should come from and represent their different global regions. The trustees serve three-year terms.

12. There is also a vice president, president-elect, president and immediate past president, all elected officials. All trustees and officials are unpaid volunteers, except for one executive director, who is a non-voting member of the board. The headquarters for Kiwanis International is now in Indianapolis, Indiana.

13. Kiwanis’ primary mission is to mold good kids into exceptional adults.

14. Their defining statement is: "Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time."

15. Beginning in 2010 Kiwanis International joined with UNICEF to launch a new worldwide health initiative, The Eliminate Project, dedicated to wiping out maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), which kills more than 100,000 babies worldwide each year

16. Up until 1987, Kiwanis only accepted men as members, but women were involved through women's auxiliary clubs known as Kiwaniannes. But that year at the international convention, the bylaws were amended to allow women to join.

17. Now, women make up approximately 26% of all members, and in 2013, Sue Petrisin was voted in as the first female vice-president of Kiwanis. In 2015 on the 100th anniversary, she was installed as President of Kiwanis International, a proud moment for the organization.

18. Kiwanis is truly a global service organization. They’ve partnered with UNICEF to contribute $80 million toward the eradication of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) - the leading cause of intellectual disabilities among impoverished kids around the world.

19. In 2010, they partnered with UNICEF once again to kick off a new worldwide health initiative aiming to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), which kills more than 50,000 babies each year.

20. It’s no wonder why the Kiwanis International Foundation was awarded the top rating by an independent charity evaluator.

21. But the beauty of Kiwanis is that each local chapter decides what they want to do to help their own communities, based on surveys of community needs and their members’ interests and passions. While service to children is always on the forefront, Kiwanis members also help families living in poverty, youth projects and organizations, services for the sick, and aid the elderly.

22. Kiwanis has a number of smaller clubs and organizations under their umbrella, including Kiwanis, the Aktion Club, Circle K International, the Key Club, CKI alumni, Kiwanis Kids, K-Kids and Kiwanis Junior.

23. Sacramento has a special relationship with Kiwanis, as the first Kiwanis Key Club International started in Sacramento in 1925. The Key Club remains the oldest and largest service program for high school students in the world, with 25,000 members over 5,000 clubs in 30 countries. The Kiwanis Family House also provides temporary accommodations for families of seriously ill or injured children being treated at the UC Davis Med Center.

24. For those Sacramentans that wish to get involved or volunteer, feel free to stop by meetings of the Kiwanis Club of Citrus Heights for breakfast every Wednesday at 7:00am at Denny's Greenback and Sunrise. Call (916) 398-0128 for more details or check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/chkiwanis

25. I’d love to invite you to our annual crab feed this January, where more than 500 guests and 100 of our Key Club members come together to eat, drink, and have fun – all for the great cause of raising $50,000 for local children’s charities!


Or you can get more information by contact me at (916) 398-0128 or SoldByV@gmail.com. I’d love to tell you more about the terrific work our local Kiwanis is doing in the Sacramento area and have you come join me at an event!