August 29, 2016

You can be anything - be an optimist

The new school season is upon us and as our young learners head back to the classroom, so do their teachers and mentors and encouragers of all ages. Over the next nine months, a great amount of time will be spent in reading, writing and arithmetic; and for some, sports will absorb many remaining hours.

Of course, all will become better versed in digital media because technology is the way of the future, but who will help shape our students' attitudes and behaviors?

Teachers, coaches, friends and parents help shape the worldview of the youngsters within their reach. Isn't it best to share a positive outlook?

Hope defines the American way of life and that hope should begin at an early age. One might imagine how difficult it is to teach hope given how the nightly news spreads its tales of trouble and woe. Imagine being a child during the 2016 election season. What does that teach her or him about becoming an adult?

We must teach kindness, respect and optimism to our little ones so that they may grow up to be open-minded, tolerant, forgiving and positive. In a land where we can grow up to be anything, we must be an Optimist, first and foremost. It is the only way to share hope.

Do you want to be part of the Optimist movement? I hope so! Ask me how you can join today.

August 24, 2016

Like a bundle of wood, we're stronger together

optimist internationalFor two years, Optimist International has offered a great deal for individuals who want to become
Friends of Optimist. For only $300, an Optimist Club can purchase a Community Impact Bundle and activate 6 members with it. That's only $50 per membership for someone to learn about an Optimist Club and its projects and Optimist International and its purposes.

As I was thinking about the word bundle today, a story I heard of a father and his three sons came to my mind. In the story, the father was concerned because the brothers were always fighting, disagreeing and putting their own needs first. So he brought them three pieces of wood and asked them to break the sticks in half. The strong young men did so quite easily. He then produced a bundle of sticks and asked each boy to break it. They couldn't. When banded together, the bundle of sticks was strong. It held firm. And so would the brothers and the family.

Optimist Clubs are like families. We join together under the Optimist International umbrella and we serve many communities around the world, but we never do this alone. We do it with other Optimist Volunteers and community members that want their communities to be the best they can be. In that way, each Optimist Club is like the bundle of sticks. Together we achieve more.

That's why it is so important that we add new members to our Optimist Clubs. Don't be shy - use the Community Impact Bundle and save money for the great projects that your Optimist Club will do this year and next; but hurry! The Community Impact Bundle will end on September 30, 2016.

Here are the details:
  1. For bundles purchased during the 2014-15 Optimist year, each Friend must be activated by December 31, 2015. Clubs will not be refunded or credited for any Friends that are not activated by 12/31/15.
  2. For bundles purchased during the 2015-16 Optimist year, each Friend must be activated by September 30, 2016. Clubs will not be refunded or credited for any Friends that are not activated by 9/30/16.
  3. Friends count toward membership in the Optimist year in which they are activated.
  4. Clubs will not receive any reimbursement for Friends in the Community Impact Bundle.
  5. Once activated, the Friend Membership is valid for one calendar year from the date it was activated.
  6. If a Friend decides to renew after one year, it will cost the regular $100, and the Club will receive $40.
Purchase a Community Impact Bundle with the form at this link.

Activate new members with the form at this link.

August 20, 2016

Be a positive influence

join an optimist club
There is no doubt that I like the way the Optimist International mission statement has been revised.

Old: With hope and positive vision, Optimist Clubs bring out the best in children.

New: With hope and positive vision, Optimist Clubs bring out the best in youth, our community and ourselves.

I take a few liberties when I write the phrase. For instance, it should actually read "Optimists" instead of "Optimist Clubs." In the old phrasing, it read "kids" instead of "children."

For me, the positive difference is felt in our communities and if I could rewrite it again, I would simply say Optimist Clubs bring out the best in your community and you.

That way, the ubiquitous you refers to everyone, children and adults alike, and the shorter phrase keeps it snappy. Besides, optimist may be in our name, but not every club promotes hope. Hope and positive vision may be byproducts, but many clubs promote sports or other projects first rather than psychology or optimistic behavior.

As much as we are the same, every Optimist Club is different. We adopt the culture of our community and its members. We are uniquely local, meeting needs of those nearest to us.

We are positive influencers of good deeds. We are Optimists. And we are needed. Won't you share optimism with your community? Join an Optimist Club today.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you.
Click here if I might help you start a new Optimist Club in your community.
Click here to be a Friend of Optimists.

August 11, 2016

Back to School Special

experience optimismOptimist International has introduced a new membership incentive just in time for the new school

Between now and September 30, 2016, teachers may join an Optimist Club for only $30 due to Optimist International. Clubs must also pay the $15 processing fee and any dues to districts that are required.

The incentive is timely and a wonderful way to introduce educators to an Optimist Club. Building relationships with teachers leads to more opportunities for service. Adding teachers in your club:
  • Strengthens our connection with local schools
  • Opens doors for attracting more students to our youth projects—including Oratorical, Essay, Sports, Health, Safety and other programs
  • Attracts and builds strong allies from the field of Education
  • Provides the foundation for new Junior Optimist Clubs
  • Allows us to serve more children
Clubs should contact Optimist International Membership Director Danny Schuette to enroll new teacher members under this plan.

August 5, 2016

Optimist Honor Clubs are the best

experience optimism
It's no secret that I believe the best way to a healthy Optimist Club is to earn the Honor Club recognition. I write about it regularly on the Experience Optimism blog and even more so at the PNW District Optimist Clubs page.

Yesterday, I wrote to all of the members who belong to Optimist Clubs in the West Coast Region, Optimist International to encourage them to help their leaders attain the Honor Club goal.

I believe that every member, not just the club officers, should be involved in helping their club be the best it can be. By consistently earning the Honor Club recognition, an Optimist Club demonstrates its commitment to its community and its members by providing relevant programs, honoring citizens for their optimistic behaviors, and attending to administrative and financial obligations in a timely manner. Most of all, an Optimist Honor Club replenishes itself by welcoming new members.

If service clubs are to continue to thrive, all of these steps must be followed and it all begins with the invitation: Do you want to join my Optimist Club? I hope so. When we share optimism, we make a difference in our communities and ourselves.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you.
Click here if I might help you start a new Optimist Club in your community.
Click here to be a Friend of Optimists


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