Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan by a couple of young professional businessmen who called their new organization, "The Supreme Lodge Benevolent Order Brothers." The newly established group no longer wished to be called "BOB", so they adapted the Indian phrase, "NunKee-wan-is." Shortly thereafter the club approved the name, Kiwanis - which translates into, "We have a good time; we make noise."
Today, Kiwanis International is a global service organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana, with approximately 600,000 members in more than 80 nations. Each year Kiwanis clubs sponsor nearly 150,000 service projects, raise more than $100 million, and volunteer over 12 million hours of service to children and their communities.
Kiwanis International offers three service club options for adult participation: Kiwanis, the traditional club; Aktion Club, for adults living with disabilities; and Circle K International (CKI), a university-based service club on nearly 500 student campuses.
Youth service clubs are also offered through Kiwanis International, such as Key Club - the oldest and largest service organization for high school students; Builders Club for middle school students, and K-Kids for elementary students.