I’ve talked about Key Club a couple of times so far, and I’m sure I will again; volunteering is an important part of my life. I’ve decided that it’s time to give you all the run down on Key Club International, and explain why it means so much to me.
In short, Key Club International is a service organization. However, in reality it’s much more than that. KCI is the largest and oldest student run organization. This means that every service project, meeting assembly, and program put on was solely organized by students.
Key Clubs not just Key Club. Key Club is part of the Kiwanis Family. The Kiwanis family of is mainly made up of five clubs.
Kiwanis Club: A community club with a focus on helping the children of the world. They serve as a parent to club to all other Kiwanis club proving advisers and support.
Aktion Club: A club that allows disable adults to participate in volunteer events and give back to the community.
CKI: Circle K International is the University Service Organization supported by Kiwanis.
Key Club: The high school branch of Kiwanis.
Builders Club: an organization for middle school students that builds leadership and people skills through volunteering.
K-Kids: A club for elementary school students that ” teaches members the value of helping others through participation in community service projects and club activities.”
As the oldest service organization, Key Club has a lot of history. Here are a few of the big dates:
- 1923: The first Key Club is charted in Sacramento, California
- 1939: having spread across the country, Florida creates the first District. (shout out to Florida)
- 1943: Becomes an international organization and elects the first international governor.
- 1967: Clubs are chartered in Canada and the Bahamas.
- 1987: Clubs begin allowing females to join.
- 1999: Membership reaches 200,000
- Today: There are more than 5,000 club in 30 countries with a total of 300,000 members.
With so many members across so many countries, Key Club has a unique structure that connects all clubs. Key Club International is represented by cube, picture a very large, solved rubrics cube. In charge of the whole cube is the international president, vice president and board of trustees. Next you have a layer of the cube, say the white layer. That is the district which is usually a state or a nation, each is run by a governor and their board. Now take a single row; there you have a division that contains several club that are in close proximity with one another. The division is led by the lieutenant governors who serves on the governor’s (Division leader) board. Each individual cube is a club made up of a president, vice president, secretary, editor, treasurer, webmaster, and a teacher who serves as the club sponsor. Together, every member is Key Club International.
Clubs: Members meet every week or every other week depending on how the president chooses to organize the club
Divisions: Members from the presiding clubs meet every month for a meeting run by the lieutenant governor.
District: Conferences are heal annually and are organized by the governor and the DCON committee.
International: Conventions are held annually; members from all across the world attend
Advisers and Sponsors
Each club has an adviser and a sponsor to help the students run their club. The adviser is assigned to a club by their sponsoring Kiwanis Club. In my case, my sponsor is from Capital City Kiwanis Club. He comes to all of our club meetings and provides (especially to me) guidance on how to run the club and interact with members. A sponsor is a teacher at the school who acts as a liaison between the club and school. I have an amazing sponsor. When she was in high school, she was a Key Club member, so she can provide me with personally learned advice. Also, she goes above and beyond her duties, often using her own time to help me plan.
Why do I like Key Club?
There are several service clubs and organizations out there. In addition to Key Club, there are three other service based clubs at my school: NHS, Green Club, and Civinettes. However, Key Club is my favorite and is the only club run directly by students. Since joining Key Club I have become not only a better person but much more confident, mainly because of my fellow members. I became president at the end of my sophomore year, and let us get one thing straight, I didn’t want to be president. I wanted to be secretary. In that position, I could sit in the back of the room and take notes, or record hours. For no reason did I want to the president who stood in the front of the room and lead every meeting, all on their own. However, Garrett, the previous president, took my secretary application and threw it in the trash, literally, and told me to run for president. Throughout my sophomore year, I served as the committee chair for the eliminate committee and attended almost every event. For some reason, Garrett thought this made me president material; he obviously didn’t think about my intense stage fright and inexperience running, well anything. Either way, he appointed me to be the next president. Looking back now, I am sincerely grateful. Today, I can stand in front of a crowd, string together sentences, and present projects with minimal anxiety issues and throughout the past year my club has complete over 600 hours of community service, with goal of many more next year. Being a member of Key Club surrounds you with people who want help others and to help you succeed, and that’s worth joining. Key Club has also taught me real life skill. At the beginning of the year, the treasurer and I sit down and make a budget. This budget consists of our current account balance, our projected income through dues and grants, and how much money we are going to need to for service events and fundraisers. After creating a the budget, we make a fundraising plan that lists out all of the fundraiser we are going to hold during the school and goals for each fundraiser. Before joining Key Club, I did not have any knowledge about creating a budget or how to raise money effectively. I was forced to become an adult for the time being and take control; doing so has helped my confidence and prepared me for real life.