December 24, 2017

Share optimism with a Friend of Optimist membership

If you are reading this and still have last-minute Christmas shopping to complete, don't worry! We've got you covered. Take your mouse and head right on over to Optimist International's website and click on the Friend of Optimist membership.

For only $100, you can share optimism every day and support the most positive service organization in your community. Optimist Clubs meet on a regular basis to share optimism and bring out the best in youth, community, and the members who join them. However, with a Friend membership, the attendance recommendation is totally waived. It's enough to know that you are affiliated with this group of do-gooders and that you support their cause.

The best way to share that kind of optimism is to enjoy the gift of optimism. Click here to give that gift today. 

friend of optimist

In case you are wondering what your membership supports, be it a Friend or traditional membership, click here to see some of the projects performed by Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest.

December 1, 2017

Be kind in December, and every other month too

Before you get too busy this holiday season, Action for Happiness has a great idea to help you experience the best of the season. The first thing it recommends doing is to share this calendar, and I do this now, with you. There are thirty more days to be kind this year. Use them wisely, friends and optimists. Many cheers to you!

kindness calendar

November 20, 2017

What are you giving this season?

It's the giving season. Thanksgiving is this Thursday and then we slide downhill, gathering speed and steam, into Christmas and the new year.

Some might tell you to remember to be grateful and share your gratitude with others, but really, isn't that somewhat trite? Gratitude shouldn't be evident only in November. It should be a year-round practice.

Others might tell you to slow down and enjoy the season, your friends, and family. This is also good advice; but from experience, I know that doesn't always seem possible. It is, but depending on your age, you may not have figured that out just yet.

There are some who wish for expensive toys, gadgets and trinkets and others who struggle to deliver those wishes to everyone on their Christmas list.

And there are some who are sad because of many reasons. It seems that the holiday season can bring out the best and the worst in all of us. That is why I encourage simplicity and optimism at this time of year.

One simple statement will allow you to give the gift of yourself to all you meet. What is it?

Promise yourself to wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

You can celebrate every season, not just the holiday season, when you start every day with a smile.

Click here to enjoy the full Optimist Creed.

September 11, 2017

Why do Optimist Volunteers matter?

It has been two months since my last post. That seems impossible to me, but the archives do not lie so as I set out this morning to catch up - so to speak - I was contemplating a very serious topic. I planned to explain that in a membership organization members are customers. Not only are they customers, many are fans; the people that will always buy what you are selling. I was then going to launch into a critique about the services that are missing from the district in which my Optimist Club belongs and caution that if members' needs are not met, like most customers, they will shop around and perhaps find their supplies somewhere else. If one is not cautious and strategic, a club will lose its fans.

Whew! That's a one paragraph recap to what was going to be a 300-word essay.

Here is what saved you from my pontifical  musing. I opened my email to find the latest club bulletin from the Optimist Club of Albuquerque. Editor Jim White puts a lot of information into the four-page publication every week and this week was no different. What caught my attention and made me smile was this picture.

The caption read: First Graders at Janet Kann Elementary with Optimist backpacks full of supplies.

As I looked at the picture, I thought, those backpacks could have been provided by anyone or any group, but they were not.  

They were provided by an Optimist Club. 

Like most Optimist Club members, I enjoy the social proof that answers the question, why are you an Optimist? This picture explains what we do (help children) and one can imagine how we do it (collecting and distributing school supplies) and why we do it (so that children can participate in school and get the education they need to live up to their full potential).

What it doesn't explain is how belonging to an Optimist Club makes the difference. Bringing caring adults together on a regular basis, Optimist Clubs discover local needs and develop plans to meet those needs. As an established organization, the Optimist Club offers a consistent point of contact; serves as a charitable fundraiser and funding source; and shares hope through positive words and deeds in the community.

Optimist Clubs are as relevant today as they were when they started in 1911. Yes, there is more competition from other organizations and corporations that provide social welfare and civic services, but only one provides the opportunity to serve as an Optimist Volunteer.  Optimist Clubs, the local chapters of Optimist International, are the positive face of community service in North America and around the world.

You are invited to be an Optimist Volunteer. Find a club near you and #JoinAnOptimistClub today.

Photo credit: Optimist Club of Albuquerque

July 3, 2017

Expanding optimism with speech

In 2016, Optimist International updated its oldest program: the Optimist International Oratorical Contest. Started in 1928, the oratorical contest has always asked students to write and speak on a single topic. The contest would begin at the Optimist Club level and end with a scholarship award for the first place contestant at the District level.

The 2016 update moved the contest beyond the Optimist Club. In conjunction with St. Louis University, a global category was added to include persons where Optimist Clubs are not yet formed.

It then rebranded the contest to be the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships and added an international level to the competition where all District winners could go on to compete for additional $20,000 in scholarship prizes.

The contest has been well received and participation seems to be increasing. Please enjoy a look at the 2017 Optimist International Oratorical World Championships with this video.

The topic in 2018 is "Where are My Roots of Optimism?" Students under age 18, we encourage you to find an Optimist Club near you and get involved.

June 2, 2017

But I've already done that

experience optimism goalsOn March 1, 2017, Optimist International announced the International Candidates Qualifications Committee's nominations for those who might lead the organization in 2018-2019, the year leading into its 100th anniversary. The nominations included one candidate for president, eight candidates for vice president, one for each region; and two nominations for the two openings on the board of directors. After that date, individuals could self-nominate with the deadline of April 1, 2017 to declare their intention in preparation for online voting which started June 1 and runs through June 30, 2017.

Another candidate for president and four candidates for the board of directors were eventually added to the official slate.

In the past, I have indicated concern with this process. Sometimes I agree with the committee's selections and sometimes I do not; but more important, I believe that having a select committee proclaim certain people to be above others seems controlling and makes others, people who are well-qualified, unwilling to step forward and run at-large.

Of course, as many of my readers know, I am one of the few who have run at-large and won, but this post isn't about me or the candidates chosen by the CQ Committee.

The purpose of this post is to emphasize the importance of leadership selection at all levels of the organization.

As membership in all service clubs dwindles, the choices for those who will be our leaders are also diminished.  I worry, at times, that the choices have turned to the "rats that have not left the sinking ship" - people who would have otherwise never risen to the top of the leadership pool.

We cannot be complacent. It is easy to select from those who are left; after all, they have proved they are always there. It would be even easier to walk away; but we can't. I am calling on all old-timers who have succeeded in their year(s) of Optimist Club, District and International leadership to return to the helm. In the 100th year, let us step-up one more time  to do what made the years we served successful and what the organization sorely needs: grow.

When we grow in membership, we grow in revenue and service.

A friend often reminds those who will listen, "If it is to be, it is up to me." I think the time has come to heed his warning. Leadership at all levels is an honor, but it also a responsibility that must be placed in the most capable hands.

Ensure that your club and district are making the right choices. Don't be afraid to say no to the hangers-on and especially, don't be afraid to ask someone to return and turn things around. The make or break year is approaching. Don't let this opportunity slip away.

May 13, 2017

First impressions matter

experience optimismOnce a month, I share a membership retention and recruitment tip on the PNW District - Optimist International Facebook page.

Most, if not all, deal with communication. Over the years, I've discovered that many Optimist Clubs fail to keep their members informed, possibly because their projects and culture are so ingrained, the person leading project thinks that everyone already knows.

This is especially hurtful when new members join the club. Without direction, they feel left out. Perhaps unintentionally, they feel left out of the clique simply because they don't know where to go, what to do, or why.

The same can often be said for attending a regular meeting. If there is no greeter, people always sit in the same place, and inside jokes are being told, new members wonder what is happening and question if they've made the right decision to become a part of the group.

I  have always believed that the best way to attract a new member to an Optimist Club is to show them that its worth the effort to join; and that ten or more years from now, their service and friendship will be valued. That all starts with the first impression.

It doesn't take a big orientation process, but rather, I suggest that an Optimist Club should orchestrate a series of good first impressions. Send a welcome email with links that explain the club's projects, committees, and leadership structure. Highlight the core purposes of Optimist International and explain how the club practices those values. Include a calendar of events, membership directory, and suggestions for who to call to get involved. Remind the new member's sponsor to sit with the new recruit and and introduce her to others. Make a point to be open and inclusive with new members and veteran members and they will feel, and continue to feel, engaged, valued, and committed to the cause.

First impressions can make a difference in a lifetime of service.

Membership retention and recruitment tip #45: First impressions can make a difference. When someone joins your Optimist Club, they seek first impressions that validate their choice to join. From the first email, meeting or website visit, they need to feel welcome and valued. Orchestrate those first impressions and you will be on your way to engaging members for a lifetime.

May 1, 2017

Patriotism and the Optimist Club

sacramento breakfast optimist club
I receive a number of Optimist Club bulletins each week. Probably the most interesting comes from the Breakfast Optimist Club of Sacramento, California because its editor, Flavio Soria, is an avid photographer. He includes a number of pictures that show the fellowship that is shared as the group comes together for its meetings. It also shows the respect that Optimist Clubs hold for their country.

In this picture, members of the Optimist Club are shown as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

In the United States, Optimist Club meetings begin by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In other countries, the same respect is shown for their governments as they toast, recite or sing their respective vows. The reason for this ritual may be found in the purposes of the organization:
  • To develop optimism as a philosophy of life, utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed;
  • To promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs;
  • To inspire respect for the law;
  • To promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people;
  • To aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.
Three of the five purposes actively speak to good citizenship. Optimist Clubs make a difference because they model the behaviors that make our countries flourish including cooperation, tolerance, service and optimism. These are the very traits that bring good citizens to work together to make their communities stronger, more vibrant, and more accessible to all. 

I am convinced that Optimist Clubs make our world a better place to live. Does it not follow that more Optimist Clubs would make it the best? 

April 25, 2017

Hope for the future

Optimist Clubs are made up of diverse people with different personalities, backgrounds and dreams. However they all share one trait. Can you guess what it is?


Optimist Club members have hope for the future, for ourselves, and for others.

All Optimist Club members want to make our world a better place. With tens of thousands of people working toward the  mission,"Optimist Club members bring out the best in youth, community and ourselves," how could it be any other way?

By adding hope into our daily lives just as if it were a spiritual practice, Optimist Club members share a positive vision of where they are and where they want to be.

That shared vision of a positive world makes being an Optimist volunteer special. The good we do in our communities is balanced by the good we feel in ourselves when we accomplish a big or small task in service to others.

Won't you join us? 

You can add hope to your life: join an Optimist Club today. Find one near you at this list or send me a message and I'll help you start a new Optimist Club in your community.

April 20, 2017


Sometimes I wonder why I care so much about Optimism. That's Optimism with a big O - Optimist Clubs - as opposed to the little o - the emotion. You see, today I saw in my Facebook feed that people were headed to St. Louis for a 2017-2018 international committee meeting. Hooray for them and hooray for holding the meeting in a more timely manner than has been done in the past. It usually takes place in September or October which doesn't necessarily allow for the smoothest handoff between administrations.

However, on the downside, this  also means rejection for me as I am not on my way to participate. Until seeing this gathering take place, I could still hold out hope that I might be asked to join the team; but now, that hope is waning.

So that brings me to a big soul-searching question. If I can't share my experiences, knowledge and drive with the organization, why do I continue to try?
I guess the answer comes down to one reason, and one reason only. I continue to share optimism because it is the right thing to do. On the journey we call life, optimism is the one way to happiness. Positive thoughts and actions lead us to a better place. If that place is an Optimist Club, then so be it.

If it is somewhere else, the importance is to enjoy the journey and to follow the signs to your true place of belonging, satisfaction and service.

April 11, 2017

Stop the busy-ness

experience optimism
Early in my membership, I learned that people are too busy to join an Optimist Club. At least that is what they say. Often they promise that when their schedule lightens up, they'll think about it, only to find that their schedule never lightens up at all.

So to overcome that excuse, a real optimist will typically say, "Busy members make the best members because they know how to prioritize their time."

That works. Sometimes.

But let's face it, busy people are not always the most productive because they often glorify their busy-ness. What do I mean?

In between work, chauffering children, eating dinner with the family, taking time for elderly parents, going to church, completing housework and yardwork, and a million and one other tasks that consume our days, we often find that we are focused on the action and not on the results. We have to go here, go there, do this, do that, and then start it all over again, day after day.

Caught up in all that busy-ness, multitasking becomes the norm and causes busy people to lose their focus. This message is meant to sound an alarm. Focus is good; it brings clarity before action and allows one to choose their next steps with a desired result in mind.  There is a saying that the proof is in the pudding. That means, results will do the talking; i.e., don't tell me what you are going to do. Show me.

My message today: STOP the busy-ness in your life.

Take time to make a difference in your life, your community and with youth by joining an Optimist Club.

Devoting one hour per week, or less, as an Optimist Volunteer will lead to positive thoughts and actions. And with clarity of focus, it will lead to a positive life.

Click to find an Optimist Club near you or send me a message and I will help you start one in your community.

March 25, 2017

Every day is a day of service

lions club week of service
In the story of Bambi, Thumper said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Sorry, Thumper. I tried very hard to see this effort as a good thing for all service clubs because it encourages collaboration and is an effort to raise awareness of the impact such organizations have on the communities they serve.

Next, I tried to ignore it because my opinion is just my opinion and in the grand scheme of things, it matters very little.

However, I would not be true to myself or my efforts of helping raise the awareness and relevance of Optimist Clubs if I let the International Week of Service slip by without commenting that it is not the best idea to come out of the international office.

The International Week of Service is a program of Lions Clubs International. With staff-level coordination and acceptance, the Lions invited other service organizations, Optimist International, Rotary International, Sertoma, Kiwanis, Soroptimist, and others, to participate and many accepted. Lions Clubs International developed a website and a Facebook page and included links for individuals to get involved. It also included a link for participating organizations to submit their story of service.

Sounds simple, innocent and perhaps even benevolent, doesn't it?

But here is the rub: Optimist International already has an activity that is similar. Optimists in Action was designed for Optimist Clubs to engage others, non-members, other organizations and service clubs, in a joint activity on one day, any day in May. Why is this activity not the one being promoted?

Here is the concern: Lions Clubs International, the largest service organization of all, has been given carte blanche to interact at a club level as it collects not only stories of the community service efforts, but also the contact information of the most active members in all brands of service clubs around the world.

Okay, some might think I sound paranoid, but it sounds like a potential membership recruitment strategy to me. Why would we ever want to give our stories or our valued members away?

As I have stated many times on this website and other forums, Optimist International must develop an integrated marketing communications strategy and it should hire a professional to do it right. Service organizations like Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis have already done this.

Organizations with more professional images will not suffer from this potential membership grab that I fear is in the making, and we can be fairly assured that long-time members passionate to the mission of Optimist International won't be tempted to jump ship. However, those newer members, the ones who are more accustomed to robust online relationships, may find it more interesting to volunteer with an organization that "gets it."

I'm not really tempted to move on; but sometimes, when I see efforts like this one, I wonder, doesn't Optimist International understand what Optimist Clubs do every day? Every day, Optimist Clubs reach out to their communities - other service clubs included - to make a difference.

Why? Because, together they can.

March 17, 2017

Friends are the pot of gold you seek

new optimist club

Holidays, real and imagined, bring Optimist Club members out to party. Sometimes it's with children, like Christmas, and sometimes it's an adults-only activity, like St. Patrick's Day.

In Idaho, two Optimist Clubs are fundraising on this day of wearing o'the green. In McCall, Idaho, there will be a bingo game with cash prizes. "Do you feel lucky?" the Optimist Club asks. Dress up in green and lucky players might win a special prize in addition to their potential bingo winnings!

In Meridian, Idaho, the Optimist Club will host its Luck o'the Irish Casino Night. No cash prizes are available at this one, but there is plenty of fun in the casino-style game night, plus door prizes and raffle items to boot.  The Meridian Fire District Drum and Bugle Pipes and Drum Corps are partners in this 9th annual event.

These events have more in common than their green themes. Both are good examples of how the Optimist Club raises money and sparks fellowship at the same time. Optimist Club members will tell you that putting on a program or carrying out a project builds a team spirit and helps our members get to know one another better. Club membership - fellowship - leads not only to good deeds for the community; it leads to friendship for all.

Join an Optimist Club and you'll find that pot of gold known as friendship.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you.

If you would like to start a new Optimist Club, click here and I'll lend you a hand.

Or, click here to be a Friend of Optimists.

March 8, 2017


"In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders." - Sheryl Sandberg

Women are making progress. We are making headlines for our feminism and no, I don't mean that we are being memorialized for glamour and compassion. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Women, and sometimes men, are taking part in organized activity in support of women's rights and interests. We are making our voices heard in pursuit of equality.

international women's day experience optimism
We shouldn't have to march for these rights; however, sometimes the best way to bring immediate attention to anything is to make a big noise and even then, the going is slow. But progress is progress, no matter the pace; we must keep moving forward. We must #BeBoldForChange.

Thank you to the women who who have come before me. Thank you to those who are fighting the good fight today and will continue to do so tomorrow. 

I send my respect to all in honor of International Women's Day 2017.

February 25, 2017

May your name lead us to peace

I was governor of the Pacific Northwest District in 2009-2010. It was my observation at the time that our members were not welcoming to strangers. Optimist Clubs, and other groups, get caught in a routine and if you are part of the group, you know what's going on including the inside jokes and calendar of events. I encouraged the clubs to change their ways; I advised, open the doors, put out the welcome sign, mix up the seating arrangements and get rid of the questionable jokes so that others might feel like they want to be a part of the Optimist Club. It worked. The PNW District saw almost 8% net growth that administrative year.

Surprisingly, in 2010, Optimist International stumbled on the same idea and they introduced Hello, my name is Scott to our groups.

If you remember, Scott is the guy who wears a nametag 24/7/365. He says that one day, leaving a seminar, he saw the wastebasket full of the nametags that people had discarded and he thought how sad that looked. Our names mean more than something to throw away. Right then, Scott began wearing his nametag and he found people to be friendlier, and more open to conversation simply because he was wearing his name on the outside, loud and proud. He made the first move to be open to conversation and others, not all, but many, took the second step to engage.

Unfortunately, Optimist International did not see the marked growth from the effort as we did in the PNW District. We could make many speculations on why that was so, but I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the fact that most people seem to be comfortable with who they are and who they know and have little room for those who are different.

It's been six years since those experiments. The United States has changed since then, especially with the politics, rhetoric and policies being set forth by a new Republican administration. There are more sideways glances than ever being given to those who look different from us and the media, driven by the actions of the President of the United States, are reporting the most negative stereotypes on a daily basis.

A Canadian friend shared this Tedx talk with me from the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado. In it, a charming young lady, Amal Kassir, shares a story she calls "The Muslim on the airplane." Among other things, she says we must share our names because our names tell an individual's story as only they can tell it.

We can't allow others to look at us and assign our names because they may very likely get it wrong.

The presentation is quite wonderful and much more profound than the Nametag Guy; but really, it's the same story. Be open to others. Embrace their differences and share yours. Your shared actions will lead to understanding and understanding will lead to peace.

February 21, 2017

Celebrations inspire membership retention

Over the years, some districts and/or governors in Optimist International have decided to forego the second quarter district meeting in favor of smaller zone-style meetings.  I am sad to report that my home district is one of those. The thought put forward by some is that by bringing the district leaders to the zone, more members will participate in the meeting.

In a district that covers more than 1,500 miles from the eastern-most club in Idaho to the western-most club in Alaska, there might be some truth to such reasoning. However, in reality, the same people tend to come, whether it is at a near or far location. Sure, there might be a few extra members at the  host location, but I question whether that is enough benefit to warrant the governor and secretary-treasurer, in the PNW District's case, to be on the road for four weekends. This year, those four weekends started January 28 and end on March 18!

Alternatively,  on Facebook, I have noticed some Optimist International districts, WEMO, AMSNW, and OK, among others, were holding full district meetings and hosting big celebrations to recognize the Honor and Distinguished Clubs from the prior year.  What a great idea!

Celebrations are an important part of member retention. As humans, we need to feel that someone appreciates what we've done and as a team, by recognizing the high achieving Optimist Clubs, we will inspire others to do what it takes to be recognized too.

This message is to encourage all districts to make a big deal out of Honor and Distinguished Clubs. When an Optimist Club earns Honor Club, they have proved their value to their members and community by showing excellence in administration and community service. When an Optimist Club earns Distinguished Club, they have also shown another community the impact of optimism for they have started a new Optimist Club. Both Honor and Distinguished Clubs have extended the reach of Optimist International by adding three, five or fifteen or more net members consecutively. All of which deserves a large celebration indeed.

On March 4, 2017, the Caribbean District will host a Hall of Fame Plus One Awards Show to recognize their high achieving Optimist Clubs.  In addition to the awards presentation, there will be general sessions featuring education to inspire achievement this year and a business session to manage the fiduciary matters and strategic direction of the district. Of course, fellowship will be enjoyed by all.

Now that's what district meetings are supposed to be about. And for me, I hope to see the full district meeting model, with awards show to boot, returned to the Pacific Northwest District.

February 2, 2017

Celebrate #OptimistDay today, February 2

I wish there had been a little more advance notice and I wish there had been a little more direction; however, my wishes are not going to stop me from celebrating Optimist Day today, February 2, 2017.

It's a good idea. Wear your Optimist apparel and show your Optimist Club pride. It may be a hat, shirt, jacket or pin - whatever - Optimist International simply asks that you wear something with the Optimist International logo and celebrate your style by posting a picture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms with the hashtag #OptimistDay.

Sounds pretty simple. Be an Optimist and do it, okay?

Next year, Optimist International, please get the word out in time to be included in a planning calendar for our clubs and districts. I might even suggest that the organization set a goal. What will we achieve by wearing Optimist-branded apparel on one day? It's rather tough to make an impact if we aren't measuring what we are doing and providing our members, and others, with the why.

January 23, 2017

Here's your chance for a $500 membership incentive

I'm not crazy about this idea; however, it is an incentive being offered by Optimist International and therefore I feel a responsibility to share.

Announced on its Facebook page, Optimist International says when a member recruits a new member into their Optimist Club, the sponsor will be entered into a drawing to win $500. If it is the sponsor's first new member, they will be entered into two drawings for $500 each.

The drawings will be held on a quarterly basis. There will be two winners in the members sponsoring their first new member category each quarter. There will be one winner in the all member category.

So why am I ambivalent? I do not believe that cash awards are an appropriate reward for a membership organization to offer as a recruitment tool. It incentivizes membership for the wrong reason.

One does not join an Optimist Club to make money for themselves. Sure, some may hope to build relationships that may lead to business transactions in the future; but ask any member and they will tell you that they work together with their fellow club members in fundraising and service for a purpose higher than their own pocketbook. They work for the betterment of youth and community.

Creating a monetary recruitment award is rather a disincentive for me. How about that new member? I wonder what they might think of their sponsor receiving $500 for their commitment to join?

Money being a disincentive has been studied by scientists and overwhelmingly, they have concluded that for cognitive tasks that require creativity, money has led to worse performance. Why? Two basic reasons were cited by Dan Pink in his book Drive*:

  1. Once the task is reached, the individual stops the behavior that the incentive is meant to produce. 
  2. The amount of money is not an appropriate exchange for something a motivated person is willing to do for free. 
I don't know about you, but for me, I fall into the second category. I don't care to gamble on whether or not someone wants to join an Optimist Club. Good luck to you, if you do. 


*Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.

January 16, 2017

Service is our message, our mission

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. In the US, it is a day to celebrate his life and
accomplishments and to acknowledge the importance of inclusion and the civil rights movement. It has also become a day of service and an opportunity to encourage people to get involved in their communities. Many of King's inspirational speeches have been reduced to memorable quotes. Among them are some of my favorites:

  • Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  • The time is always right to do what is right.
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

This year, I've added another to my list of favorites. For me, it explains why we get involved in our community by joining with others in a service club. King said, 
"Everyone can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve...You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
experience optimism

Service above self sets the tone for all I strive to accomplish as a club, district and international leader for Optimist International. It is my hope to inspire others to organize and make a positive impact on their communities by analyzing needs and making plans to satisfy those needs. As citizens, it is our responsibility to make our communities better.

In his farewell address to the nation, US President Barack Obama expressed the same idea. He spoke of the most important office in a democracy: Citizen. He said,
"It falls to each of us to be those those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen.  Citizen. 
So, you see, that's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life.  If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing.  If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.  Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.
Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk, and there will be times when the process will disappoint you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, and to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire."

President Obama's message was, of course, aimed at the citizens of the United States. I believe his message, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message before him, apply to the world. We must be involved in our communities. We must take responsibility for our own well-being.We must help make the world better for others.

I recommend sharing that service with friends as part of an Optimist Club. Together we can. Together we will.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you and join.

January 10, 2017

A healthy head start

Is your Optimist Club, or other service organization, looking for a new project for the new year? How about this one? Develop and distribute baby boxes!

According to the video, Scotland and Finland are two countries that are providing boxes for babies and the result is a lower infant mortality rate. You may look at this and say, "Why would a baby sleep in a box?"

I agree with the project developers, sleeping in a box will keep the baby warm and safe in areas where it may not be.

To get the full impact of the project, you need to also look at what is in the box: diapers, blankets, formula, among other things. Some might say that providing resources for children, along with awareness for a healthy head start in life, are just what being an Optimist Club member is all about.

Please click here to find an Optimist Club near you and join.


January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017

share optimism experience optimism
What's the best resolution you can make for the new year?

You guessed it:
Resolve to join an Optimist Club.

When you join an Optimist Club, you come together with like-minded people to make a difference in the lives of others. Most important, you will make a difference in your life.

It's true; Optimist Clubs bring out the best in youth, community and ourselves. We see challenges and work to make them better. We see progress and celebrate success. We provide hope.

Optimist is in our name for a reason. This is your invitation to be an Optimist Club member and bring optimism into your life for good.

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.

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


alabama alberta anguilla arizona arkansas arts B.W.I. barbados british columbia california canada day cayman islands ccdhh celebrations change charitable Christmas Trees childhood cancer campaign childhood literacy childhood wellness campaign children citizenship college colorado communication community building community development community service do the right thing donation doodle 4 google drug abuse easter education enchantment engagement essay contest experience optimism Facebook faith fellowship festival fishing fitness florida food drive football friend of youth friendship fundraiser fundraising generation gap georgia good government grand cayman gratitude Halloween happiness hawaii health and welfare healthy club checklist holiday hope idaho illinois indiana inspiration internet safety iowa iron eyes jamaica jay leno join an optimist club jooi joy junior golf kansas keep america beautiful kentucky leadership louisiana maine manitoba marketing maryland membership mentor michigan minnesota mississippi missouri Montana motivation music sunday n carolina n dakota nebraska new jersey new mexico new optimist club new york ohio oklahoma ontario opportunity optimism optimist club optimist clubs optimist creed optimist international optimist international convention optimist international foundation optimistic story of the day oratorical contest oregon outreach partnerships patriotism pennsylvania playground pnw district promotion public relations quebec quotes recognition recycling respect respect for law s carolina scholarship school supplies schools service clubs share optimism social media south carolina South Dakota st. maarten stories success talent show teachers Ted tennessee testimonials texas traditions twitter virginia volunteers w. virginina washington website wisconsin young adult youth appreciation youth safety youth sports