History of Exchange
The first Exchange Club was formed in Detroit, Michigan on March 27, 1911 by Charles A. Berkey and 12 of his friends and associates. Although the Exchange Club officially organized and acquired its name that year, the foundation of the club was laid much earlier - as far back as 1896. It was then that a group of men, representing a cross section of Detroit’s business and professional community, began to meet informally during the lunch hour to exchange ideas and information.
The principle of community service soon became the focus of club activity, and word of the organization spread. In 1913, an Exchange Club was formed in Toledo, Ohio. Soon, there were Exchange Clubs in Cleveland, Ohio, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well. Representatives of these clubs met in Toledo in August 1917, and formally incorporated the National Exchange Club as a nonprofit, educational organization.
“Unity for Service” is the officially adopted motto of Exchange, and our official colors are blue and gold. There are more than 800 local Exchange Clubs, made up of more than 27,500 business and professional men and women, in communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
In the spring of 1979, The National Exchange Club adopted the prevention of child abuse as a national project. Subsequently, the National Exchange Club Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse was established to diminish the tragedy of child abuse.
In addition to establishing child abuse prevention programs in local communities, the Foundation assists Exchange Clubs in preventing child abuse in many other ways, such as sponsoring educational seminars, distributing informational pamphlets, posters, coloring books and other materials. The Foundation also annually distributes a Child Abuse Prevention kit to each Exchange Club for use during April, Child Abuse Prevention Month. In July of 1999, The National Exchange Club and the National Exchange Club Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse merged to form the National Exchange Club Foundation.
The National Exchange Club Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to making a difference in the lives of children, families and communities. The NEC Foundation also provides support the Exchange’s national Programs of Service. The core values of the Foundation are Unity for Service, Commitment to Children, Integrity in Actions and Stewardship of the National Exchange Club.
The National Exchange Club is the oldest exclusively American service club organization. The Saginaw Exchange Club was formed in March of 1921 and continues to serve the Saginaw community, focusing on Child Abuse Prevention.