The University’s chapter of Circle K has about 1,200 Facebook friends and is in a relationship with Michigan State University’s chapter of the club, but “it’s complicated.”
Circle K is an international service organization that participates in a variety of service projects and helps lead on- and off-campus groups in intercommunity service, including partnership with neighboring colleges — like Michigan State University.
The club is the college division of Kiwanis — an international service organization with different branches, including Key Club at the high school level.
Though its name doesn’t suggest it, volunteering is at the heart of Circle K. The campus club as a whole has a 10,000 service hour goal for this year and currently has logged about 6,825 service hours so far, according to LSA junior Natalie Kittikul, the club’s secretary.
While there is no service hour requirement for general members, the organization offers an extensive calendar filled with multiple projects each day.
“We offer a lot of different projects, from helping children to playing bingo with the elderly to planting trees,” said LSA senior Alli Schaffner, the club’s vice president.
Schaffner said Circle K is the perfect organization for busy college students who are looking for ways to give back to the community because of the variety and frequency of events.
Students can also use Circle K activities to fill philanthropic or service requirements.
Circle K’s biggest event is its annual Service Day in which the club spends 24 hours doing continuous service projects, according to Kittikul. At this year’s Service Day in November, the club had 397 participants working on 77 different service projects, like bucketing for Dance Marathon and tutoring high school students.
Kittikul said club members aren’t “just a number” to Circle K leaders.
“We actually want you to set up your own projects and go to them,” she said. “We’ll help you recruit volunteers.”
Club leaders said participants can sign up on Circle K’s virtual calendar on the University chapter’s website, which they say makes it easier to be active in the organization.
According to the club’s president, Charlie Goelz, this method encourages club and non-club members alike to participate in service opportunities.
“We have a virtual sign-up system, so anyone on campus can click on a project, fill out their information, read a description and then sign up right there,” Goelz said.
Schaffner said Circle K service projects have spawned many other University groups like The Detroit Partnership and K-grams.