Founded in 1915 and headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, 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 89 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."
The six permanent Objects of Kiwanis International were approved by Kiwanis club delegates at the 1924 Convention in Denver,
Colorado. Through the succeeding decades, they have remained unchanged. They are:
Guided by these 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:
- To give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
- To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
- To promote the adoption and the application of higher social, business, and professional standards.
- To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship.
- To provide, through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and
to build better communities.
- To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase
of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and goodwill.
- Evaluating both children's issues and community needs on an ongoing basis
- Conducting service projects to respond to those identified needs
- 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),
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$170 million in
communities around the world. Through these efforts, the Kiwanis organization truly leaves a lasting impression on future