March 12, 2013

Volunteering for cupcakes, the organization whose mission is to introduce young people to community service and to empower them to lead with their creative ideas, recently asked its followers what they do to save money on food. They received a number of creative answers, and one of was, "Join a club because they have free snacks."

One might be left to wonder if that is really true; do young people join clubs for free food?  I know from experience that I get more volunteers to show up when I offer free pizza. What does that mean for membership associations, especially those traditional-model service clubs that meet over meals? I think it means that a young person is not likely to join because they are saving money. Reminder to those who want to question what young people are saving money for: it doesn't matter because it is their money to be used on their priorities.

But aside from the humor that I find in this anecdote, I have to say that I am also concerned. Some of the other money saving strategies were "Stock up on free condiments," and "I buy a hamburger, eat half of it and then complain that it wasn't good enough and I get my money back." Both of these tactics indicate a lack of ethics. While these particular money-savers might need the good values offered by a service club, I posit that they are not likely to have the moral persuasion to join and give of themselves in service because they have indicated a personality that takes what is not rightfully theirs.

Service clubs are always on the lookout for younger members. I'm happy to say that this humorous story offered some hope. Among the good ideas were, "Eat only what is in the house," "Stop buying name brands," and "Cook instead of eating out." Well what do you know, maybe there is hope for the millennial generation after all.

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