Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis club. Kiwanis members stage more than 150,000 service projects, devote more than six million hours of service and raise nearly US$100 million every year for communities, families and projects. Key Club members pitch in 12 million hours of service each year, and CKI members add another 500,000 hours. Aktion Club members donate another 92,000 hours of service every year to communities. Add it all up and that’s more than 18 million hours of service every year!
Kiwanis clubs have built all-access playgrounds, restocked libraries, created food pantries, bought medical equipment, hosted diversity fairs, stuffed backpacks with school supplies and much, much more. Local projects are based on the needs of the community.
Kiwanis programs for youth and young adults help to create the next generation of community leaders. For instance, Key Club, the world’s oldest and largest student-led service organization for high school students, encourages leadership development through service to others. Aktion Club, the only service club for adults with disabilities, helps members find purpose and self-worth through park cleanups, food drives and other projects. And programs like Bring Up Grades and Terrific Kids empower children to be accountable for themselves so they succeed in life.
Through The Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus — a disease that kills 34,000 innocent babies and a significant number of women each year. Tetanus causes extreme sensitivity to light, sound and contact — even preventing the comfort of a mother’s touch. The Eliminate Project is our chance to help protect the connection between mother and child.
We are closing in on our goal to raise US$110 million and save or protect 55 million lives. The end of this disease means the beginning of better health for so many of these families.
Members and clubs contributed more than US$105 million toward the global elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD), the leading preventable cause of mental and developmental disabilities in the world. UNICEF heralded the effort as one of the most successful health initiatives ever. Today, Kiwanis International works for the sustained elimination of IDD through the Iodine Global Network — a coalition of public, private, international and civic organizations working to create a world where all people attain optimal iodine nutrition.