About Kiwanis

Brief History of Kiwanis

The first Kiwanis club was organized in Detroit, Michigan. The group received a charter from the state of Michigan on January 21, 1915, and this is regarded as the birth date of Kiwanis.

The first clubs were organized to promote the exchange of business among the members. However, even before the Detroit club received its state charter, the members were distributing Christmas baskets to the poor. A lively debate ensued between those who supported community service as the Kiwanis mission and those who supported the exchange of business. By 1919, the service advocates won the debate.

Kiwanis became international with the organization of the Kiwanis club of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1916. Kiwanis limited its membership to the United States and Canada until 1962, when worldwide expansion was approved. Since then, Kiwanis has spread to all inhabited continents of the globe.

Kiwanis was defined as "an organization for men" in the constitution adopted in 1924. In 1987, after several years of debate and growing support, women's membership received overwhelming approval.

Six Canadians have served as Kiwanis International President.

 

Objects of Kiwanis

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 relationship.

To promote the adoption and application of high 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 from enduring friendship, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities.

To co-operate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism, which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism and good will.