What is Kiwanis?

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 by a group of businessmen in Detroit, Michigan. The organization was originally called the Supreme Lodge Benevolent Order of Brothers, but changed its name to Kiwanis a year later.  The club received a charter from the state of Michigan on January 21, 1915 – the day that is regarded as the birth date of Kiwanis.

The name “Kiwanis” was coined from an American Indian expression, “Nunc Kee-wanis,” which means, “We trade.” In 1920, the motto of Kiwanis became “We Build.” It remained the motto until 2005, when members voted to change it to “Serving the children of the world.”

Kiwanis helps kids around the world.  Local clubs, like Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard, look out for their communities. The international organization takes on large-scale challenges, such as fighting disease and poverty.  We are generous with our time.  We are creative with our ideas. We are passionate about making a difference.  We have fun along the way!

For more than a century, Kiwanis has created opportunities for children to be curious, safe and healthy, regardless of the community in which they live.  When you give a child the chance to learn, experience, dream, grow, succeed and thrive, great things can happen!

The Kiwanis Mission

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

The Kiwanis Vision

Kiwanis will be a positive influence in communities worldwide … so that one day, all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive.

Kiwanis Service

Kiwanis clubs focus on changing the world by serving children, one child and one community at a time. To reach more people and have a greater service impact on their communities, many clubs sponsor a Kiwanis family club — K-Kids for primary school children; Builders Clubs for adolescents; Key Clubs for teens; Circle K clubs for university students and Aktion Clubs for adults living with disabilities.

A Family of Servant Leaders

Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis club, no matter where in the world it’s located.  Members stage approximately 150,000 service projects and raise nearly $100 million every year for communities, families and projects.  By working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone.

Join Us!

Are you ready to help create communities that let all children thrive, prosper and grow?  Join us or make a donation to support the Kiwanis mission.  The kids are counting on you!

Click HERE for a Membership Application Form!