Kiwanis club members annually donate 18.5 million hours for service projects, with an economic impact of nearly half a billion dollars, all to improve the lives of children around the world.

On International Volunteer Day, Saturday, Dec. 5, Kiwanis International will recognize the efforts of club members from Japan to England and Australia to the United States, 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.

“We know our clubs make a difference in their communities,” said Sue Petrisin, 2015-16 Kiwanis International president. “And when we tally service hours and the value of a volunteer hour, Kiwanians have an economic impact of US$426,795,000, which shows that no effort is too small when combined with the larger goal of serving the children of the world.”

Every year, Kiwanis club members donate a combined 18.5 million hours of volunteer service. The Independent Sector estimates $23.07 as the hourly volunteer rate, making the total Kiwanis impact at US$426,795,000.

Petrisin said clubs often provide help in communities where budgets have been cut or social services have been reduced. Each Kiwanis club determines the best way to meet the needs of the community. Some give students backpacks with school supplies; others provide gifts and meals during the holidays or organize bike and swimming safety lessons. Clubs raise funds to provide these services by selling peanuts, holding pancake breakfasts and sponsoring car washes and dances. Kiwanis clubs partner with youth leadership programs including the Kiwanis Key Club for high school students and Circle K Club for college students, along with programs for youth and disabled adults, all to make their communities a better place to live and work.

“We know kids need Kiwanis, and thankfully our volunteers are up to the task, providing time, energy and talent to provide a better future for children in communities around the world,” Petrisin said. “On International Volunteer Day, and every day, the Kiwanis leadership and members of the board of trustees say a hearty thank you to our nearly 670,000 members who know they can make a difference in the life of a child.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 62.6 million Americans, or 25.4 percent of the adult population, gave 7.7 billion hours of volunteer service worth $173 billion in 2013.

“Make a difference in your community,” Petrisin said. “Attend a Kiwanis club service project, learn about the volunteer opportunities in Kiwanis and join people around the world who want to make life better for children in their communities.”

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About Kiwanis
Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for high school students, Builders Club for middle school students, Kiwanis Kids for elementary school students and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, annually dedicate more than 18.5 million hours and raise more than $100 million to strengthen communities and serve children. Nearly 670,000 adult and youth members in more than 80 countries and geographic areas comprise the Kiwanis International family. For more information about Kiwanis International, visit