Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.
Working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. When you help improve a community or give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream, and succeed, great things happen!
The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis.
Founding of Kiwanis
Kiwanis was founded in Detroit, Michigan, on January 21, 1915. In the early years, Kiwanis clubs focused on business networking, but even then, members were serving the needs of the poor. By 1919, the organization had changed its focus from business to service. Kiwanis became an international organization in 1916 with the organization of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario. Kiwanis limited its membership to the United States and Canada until 1962 when worldwide expansion was approved.
Kiwanis Club of Greater Toms River
Formerly known as Toms River Kiwanis Daybreak, the club was chartered by Kiwanis International in February 1990 with only 25 charter members. The club was established with the assistance of the Kiwanis Club of Toms River, the oldest service club in Toms River which itself was chartered in 1924. In 2017, both of these clubs came together to become the Kiwanis Club of Greater Toms River to better serve our mission.
Our club has sponsored and participated in many projects to support children and our local community. Recently we have provided school supplies, gifts for children in need, house clean up and rebuilding projects, donations to local youth charities, as well as partnering with Garden State Philharmonic to create the Music for Young People Program. In addition, Kiwanis Club of Greater Toms River sponsors youth programs through Central Regional High School Key Club, Donovan Catholic High School Key Club and Toms River Regional High School’s Key Club as they seek to extend Kiwanis principles among an upcoming generation.
Through our fund raising efforts the club has supported and partnered with many worthy local organizations such as:
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of OC
- Central Regional Key Club
- Children’s Specialized Hospital
- CMC Foundation
- CMC Kids and Family Services
- First Night Toms River
- Food Bank of Monmouth & Ocean
- Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
- Hands for All
- Harbor House
- Holiday Food Baskets through schools
- Jane Addams Day Care Center
- Jersey Shore Boy Scouts
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Kiwanis International Foundation
- Literacy Volunteers
- Monsignor Donovan Key Club
- National Alliance for Autism Research
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
- National Downs Syndrome Society
- New Jersey District Kiwanis Foundation
- Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity
- Ocean County Library Foundation
- Ocean County Library Film Festival
- Ocean County YMCA
- Ocean Health Initiatives
- Ocean Mental Health
- Ocean of Love
- Pine Beach/Beachwood Girl’s Softball
- Project Lifesaver
- Providence House
- Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- Simon’s Soup Kitchen
- Team Randy
- Toms River Downtown Revitalization
- Toms River HS South Orchestra