Ruritan National has nearly 30,000 members throughout the United States, that work to improve more than 1,100 local communities. Since the organization’s beginning in 1928, Ruritan Clubs have served America with Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service. Ruritan is a civic service organization made up of local clubs in urban areas, small towns and rural communities.
Ruritan's purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America's communities better places in which to live and work. The slogan of Ruritan is "Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service." Club membership represents a cross-section of the community in which the club serves, and is not restrictive with regard to occupation, social position, or any other specific criteria.
Unlike most community service organizations, Ruritan rarely has national programs. Rather, each club surveys the needs of its own community and then works to meet some of those needs. Nearly all clubs work locally with youth organizations such as FFA, 4-H. and Scouting. Many clubs provide and supervise community recreational centers, sponsor little league and other athletic programs, sponsor anti-litter campaigns, help the sick and needy, and provide a wide range of other activities to help improve their communities. Of special interest to young people are two growing, expanding Ruritan programs: The Ruritan National Foundation and the Ruritan Student Program. The Ruritan National Foundation annually provides financial assistance to students to further their education past high school. In the Ruritan Student Program, many Ruritan clubs select two or more high school students and pay their entire membership (including meals) in the club for one year. The purpose of the Ruritan Student Program is to introduce students of all ages to the Ruritan spirit of "Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service". Ruri-Teen Clubs are designed for students ages 14-19 with appropriate sponsorship from an existing Ruritan club.
The Cherokee District contains 6 zones, 14 Ruritan Clubs, and 5 Ruri-Teen Clubs, for a total of membership of 712.
Each club has various fundraising events throughout the year to support their Community Service Projects. All of the people that work at the events are volunteers, all of the funds taken in go back to the communities.