December 18, 2009

Now is the time to provide more service to youth in the Caribbean

Our Optimist Clubs in North America celebrate the holiday season with gusto.  It is an opportunity to throw parties, give gifts and help children feel the wonders of the season.  It is also an opportunity for our capitalistic nature to emerge as we sell Christmas trees, wreaths, candy, popcorn and all sorts of accoutrements of the season.

But in other countries, the holidays are not so commercial.  They are celebrated with joy and reverence, and for some the mission of the Optimist Club is not temporarily hijacked by frivolity.  I found this to be true in Jamaica where the Optimist Clubs in the Caribbean District recently heard from Lloyd B. Smith, President, Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Mr. Smith gave a solemn message and challenge by saying that social clubs will have to play a role in helping youths find their identities.  Doing so will help alleviate social problems in Jamaica.

The presentation came as part of the Caribbean District's first meeting of the 2009-2010 administrative year.  This meeting provides training for club officers and others to carry forth the mission of service to children by building and maintaining youth and adult Optimist Clubs.  District Governor Gene M. Simpson explained, ""Our club mainly focuses on youths and their development and, while we acknowledge that there are similar organisations out there that offer similar services, we want our organisation to be the service club of choice as it relates to what our core function is about."

Thank you for your service to the youths of the Caribbean District and best wishes for success and happiness in the coming year. 

Read the full article "Social clubs need to help youth find themselves."
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