Programs of Service
During the 1940s, Exchange had organized its club activities around seven areas of service that included: education; agriculture; aviation; citizenship; commerce and industry; federal youth rehabilitation; youth and geriatrics.
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.
To help uphold Exchange’s Mission of inspiring communities to become better places to live, The National Exchange Club has partnered with Veterans Matter, another national nonprofit. Veterans Matter is solely dedicated to providing deposits/first month’s rents for ready, waiting veterans who can use can use HUD-VASH vouchers to cross the threshold into safe, permanent housing. Veterans Matter has a 100% success rate in getting veterans housed in a government program that has a 91% success rate in keeping veterans housed. There are veterans waiting now; so, the urgency is immediate!
Freedom Shrine — The Freedom Shrine is a handsome, permanently mounted collection of 28 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address, to name just a few. The objective of Exchange is to install a Freedom Shrine in every junior and senior high school in the nation.
Patriotism — (Proudly We Hail – Project Giveakidaflagtowave) — Just as its tongue-twisting title suggests, this popular project involves the distribution of small American flags to youngsters at parades. The flags are absolutely free to the children and can make a great souvenir of the occasion.
A.C.E. Award — the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence (A.C.E) program recognizes high school students who have overcome physical, emotional or social challenges and gone on to achieve academic and personal success. The Downtown Exhange Club recognizes a student from Billings, Senior High School each year and awards them with a $1,500 scholarship toward higher education.
Youth of the Month — This exclusive Exchange Club program honors local high school students who go above and beyond in their studies and community. Each month during the school year the Downtown Exchange Club recognizes two students from Billings Senior High School.
Youth of the Year Scholarship — Each year, we recognize one of the Youth of the Month recipients a $1,500 scholarship for their high scholastic achievment, community involvement and leadership. They are also entered into the national competition for the opportunity of being awared a $10,000 scholarship towrd their higher-education career.
Santa in the Schools — Each year we present wrapped gifts to the kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students at, Newman, Orchard, Ponderosa schools. To achieve this, our club has a social in early December to wrap presents and have fellowship. The gifts are then distributed by our members at special assemblies hosted by each school.
Annual Crime Prevention Luncheon — Since 1958 the Downtown Exchange Club has been honoring the achievements of our local law enforcement officers. We w recognize an officer of the year from the Billings Police Department, the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Department and the Montana Highway Patrol. These men and women put their lives in harms way to protect ours. This luncheon is one way in which we can show our appreciation for all that they do.
Firefighter of the Year — In 2015 the Downtown Exchange Club began the Outstanding Firefighter of the Year program. “When a man or a woman becomes a firefighter, his or her greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he/she does after that is all in the line of work.” Edward F. Croker, Chief FDNY (1899-1911) in gender neutral terms.
Roadside Cleanup — Once or twice a year we clean up a portion of the road across from Logan International Airport where Highway 3 meets 27th Street N on top of the Rimrocks.
Child Abuse Prevention
Every Exchange Club is actively involved in the organization’s national project, Child Abuse Prevention. Since 1979, when Exchange adopted this truly important cause, clubs across America have been working to help diminish the tragedy of abuse through a wide variety of worthwhile activities.