Service Above Self: How Kiwanis Clubs Make a Difference in Communities


Service above self is the guiding principle of Kiwanis International, a global organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and communities through service and leadership. Say’s Stephen Millan, since its founding in 1915, Kiwanis clubs around the world have made a profound difference by addressing the unique needs and challenges facing their communities. In this article, we’ll explore how Kiwanis clubs make a difference in communities through their commitment to service, fellowship, and leadership.

Community Service Projects

At the heart of Kiwanis’ mission is a commitment to serving the needs of children and families in local communities. Kiwanis clubs undertake a wide range of community service projects aimed at addressing issues such as childhood hunger, education, health care, and literacy. These projects are designed to make a tangible and lasting impact on the lives of individuals and families in need.

From organizing food drives and backpack programs to providing scholarships and mentoring opportunities, Kiwanis clubs work tirelessly to meet the needs of their communities. Whether through hands-on volunteer work or fundraising initiatives, Kiwanians demonstrate their dedication to service and their belief in the power of collective action to effect positive change.

Youth Leadership Programs

Kiwanis clubs are committed to developing the next generation of leaders through youth leadership programs such as Key Club, Circle K International, and Builders Club. These programs provide young people with opportunities to develop leadership skills, engage in service projects, and make a difference in their schools and communities.

Key Club, the largest and oldest service program for high school students, empowers young leaders to serve their schools and communities through service projects, leadership development, and fellowship opportunities. Circle K International offers college students a similar platform for service and leadership, while Builders Club engages middle school students in service activities and character-building initiatives.

International Service Initiatives

In addition to local and national service projects, Kiwanis clubs participate in international service initiatives that address global challenges and support communities around the world. Through partnerships with organizations such as UNICEF, the Eliminate Project, and the Global Campaign for Children, Kiwanis International works to improve maternal and child health, eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, and promote education and development in underserved communities.

Kiwanis clubs also support disaster relief efforts, humanitarian projects, and development initiatives in partnership with other service organizations and agencies. By collaborating on international service projects, Kiwanis clubs demonstrate their commitment to making a difference on a global scale and promoting peace, understanding, and goodwill among nations.

Fellowship and Networking

Kiwanis clubs provide opportunities for fellowship, networking, and personal growth for members and community members alike. Through regular club meetings, social events, and service projects, Kiwanians build friendships, forge connections, and strengthen bonds of camaraderie and mutual support.

Membership in Kiwanis offers individuals the chance to connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for service and a commitment to making a difference in their communities. By participating in club activities, members develop leadership skills, expand their professional networks, and gain a sense of fulfillment and purpose through their contributions to society.


In conclusion, Kiwanis clubs play a vital role in making a difference in communities through their dedication to service, fellowship, and leadership. Through community service projects, youth leadership programs, international service initiatives, and opportunities for fellowship and networking, Kiwanis clubs empower individuals to serve others, develop as leaders, and build stronger, more vibrant communities. By living out the principle of service above self, Kiwanis clubs exemplify the power of collective action to create positive change and make the world a better place for all.

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