What is Exchange?
Exchange is known to millions as America’s Service Club, and with good reason. From our organization’s earliest days, Exchange Clubs have been unselfishly serving their communities and improving the quality of life. The diverse array of Exchange-sponsored programs and projects has made a considerable impact on America thus enhancing the lives of countless men, women and children across the nation.
Why join Exchange?
To help us build a better America, and in so doing, bring out the best in yourself. Exchange helps members to develop leadership, networking, and organizational skills that contribute to success in business, family and personal endeavors. More importantly, Exchange provides members with the opportunity to share their time and talents to help others whether by reaching out to an abused child who needs love and affection...helping to organize a community crime prevention program ...or wielding rakes in a clean-up project. Through these and many other positive, public-spirited projects, Exchangites are making a real difference in cities and towns across America.
The first local Exchange Club was formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1911. Charles A. Berkey is the man who is credited with the founding of this great organization. The second was the Exchange Club of Toledo, Ohio formed in 1913. Subsequently, two others were organized in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio. These four clubs were the first to be chartered by The National Exchange Club after it was organized as a nonprofit, educational organization in 1917. Since then hundreds of clubs have been chartered in the United States and Puerto Rico. The National Exchange Club headquarters is located in Toledo, Ohio. Our chief objective is to help Exchange Clubs realize their full potential of community service.
What do Exchange Clubs do?
Clubs sponsor a wide range of activities to improve our communities, help the disadvantaged and encourage good American citizenship. The principal areas of Exchange’s National Program of Service are Youth, Americanism and Community Service, with Child Abuse Prevention emphasized as the national project. Members also initiate activities to meet unique local needs. This may be anything from raising funds for the homeless to building and staffing a sheltered workshop for the disabled.