We are a group of local professionals who volunteer to raise funds for various local community benefit, including our local CAP center, Yellow Umbrella. We meet for lunch twice a month in downtown Melbourne to hear community speakers and discuss fundraising ideas.
Exchange is “America’s Service Club”. From the 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, enhancing the lives of countless men, women and children across the nation.
PROGRAMS OF SERVICE
Today, three Programs of Service and Exchange’s National Project, the prevention of child abuse, are lenses through which local clubs focus their energy and attention on their communities’ specific needs. The Programs of Service are Americanism, Youth Programs and Community Service.
AMERICANISM Promoting pride in country, respect for the flag and appreciation of Americans’ freedoms are the primary purposes of Exchange’s Americanism programs. The tumultuous struggles of world powers in the twentieth century have done little to guarantee a peaceful future for the majority of the world’s people. However, there’s one country in modern times that people flock to for safety, freedom and opportunity — the United States of America. It is hard for Americans to imagine the horrors of modern struggles over religious and ethnic differences, the very differences we embrace.
Exchange’s Americanism programs were born in the aftermath of World War II. At that time, patriotism was unquenchable, and Exchangites joined veterans and other civic groups in heralding the rich blessings of democracy.
COMMUNITY SERVICE is the lifeline of Exchange. Exchange Clubs across the country spend countless hours and dollars improving their communities each year. In fact, many of the projects within the Program of Service have a common goal of serving and benefiting communities.
The history of Exchange’s Community Service projects is quite impressive. Since the first group of Exchangites convened in 1911 in Detroit, Michigan, Exchange has been dedicated to serving its communities. Throughout the years, Exchange Clubs have been responsible for community endeavors of all types such as, cleaning up highways, sponsoring cultural programs, hosting art and industrial shows, holding state and county fairs and festivals, and organizing rodeos and athletic events. Exchange Clubs have also provided millions of dollars for scholarships, gifts, equipment, sponsorships, educational assistance, and other worthy causes.
YOUTH PROGRAMS America’s young people are its most precious resource. This is why, for many years, Exchange Clubs and National Headquarters have sponsored an impressive selection of activities designed to benefit and encourage our nation’s youth. Many of these rewarding programs are among the most popular and well-supported of all Exchange Club endeavors.
Through college scholarships, mentoring and guidance, and service recognition, Exchange is making a difference to America’s youngest generations.
EXCHANGE'S NATIONAL PROJECT, the prevention of child abuse, was adopted in 1979 with the encouragement of National President Dr. Edward North, Jr., a physician from Jackson, Mississippi, who observed increased incidences of abuse through his medical practice.
Child abuse prevention became Exchange’s National Project in 1979, at the 61st National Exchange Club Convention.
To uphold its National Project, Exchange provides a variety of public awareness materials designed to help inform and increase awareness of child abuse and how it can be prevented. Such projects are implemented through Exchange Clubs and Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Centers across the country.Through the Exchange Parent Aide home visitation model, child abuse prevention experts work directly with at-risk families.
To date, Exchange Club CAP Centers have helped more than 691,120 families break the cycle of violence, thus creating safer homes for 1,727,800 children. Exchange was the winner of a Presidential Award from the White House Office of Private Sector Initiatives, is a charter member of The National Child Abuse Coalition, and is a Partner in Prevention with the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.For additional information about the organization’s child abuse prevention efforts, please visit Exchange’s CAP website.
THE NATIONAL EXCHANGE CLUB HISTORY
Charles A. Berkey is credited with the founding of this great organization. At his suggestion, the name “Exchange” was selected because the group wanted to exchange ideas and information with like-minded individuals about how to better serve their communities.
The first local Exchange Club was formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1911. 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.
Exchange Clubs sponsor activities under the organization’s Programs of Service – Americanism, Youth Programs and Community Service – as well as its National Project, the prevention of child abuse. Each year, communities benefit from the promotion of pride in our great country, college scholarships, youth mentoring, service to the underprivileged, and other services tailored to serve the needs of its citizens.
In addition to these programs, The National Exchange Club has been at the forefront of significant developments in American history, including the early days of aviation progress. The spirit of patriotism, along with a desire to heighten awareness of our rich religious heritage, placed Exchange in a position of leadership with other organizations that led to the addition of the words “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.