April 28, 2012

Professional optimism

Progressive Optimist Club of Barbados clean-up day.
I'm watching them from afar, but my new favorite Optimist Clubs are the Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetown and the Progressive Optimist Club of Barbados.

I've long thought it would be fun to live in the Caribbean and perform volunteer work, but it's easy to think that when one lives in Idaho.

It looks like fun and sun and service, but those who live in a resort setting year-round know the difficulties associated with keeping their communities safe and vibrant for the residents are the same, if not amplified, as the cities from where the tourists that visit their island hail.

They still have cyber crime and challenges with education, children's services, social welfare efforts, politics, the environment and the economy. Residents are raising families, succeeding at careers, and celebrating life's many ups and downs all at the same time as being good hosts.

I learned from Adrian Elcock, Optimist International Vice President 2010-2011, that in Barbados "it costs to care" meaning Optimist Club members know that they have to consistently invest in their community to make it a better place to live. Through Optimist Club membership, such caring individuals share their ideas and strengths and even have a little fun. For instance, the Progressive Optimist Club held a beach clean-up today at Martin's Bay and hauled away 161 bags of seaweed. That's work and fun.

But what really drew me in today to proclaim these clubs to be my favorites were the following advertisements:

  • On April 18, the Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetownheld a cyber safety forum. 
  • On March 10,  Harrison College JOOI Club joined the Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetown for a "Car Boot Sale."
  • Coming up on May 5 is the Annual Charity Fundraising Golf Tournament.
Such professionally produced advertisements signify that young professionals are engaged in their community through the Optimist Club and that is a goal of Optimist Clubs around the world - to connect with those who embrace technology and welcome change; those who will help take our organization's mission forward tomorrow and beyond. 

If perception is reality, the Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetown is leading the way in professionalism. I applaud and admire their efforts. 

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