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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Visit another Optimist Club and find some Christmas cheer

I am a member of an Optimist Club in the Pacific Northwest District and sometimes I visit other Districts and other Optimist Clubs in Optimist International. That was the case on this fine afternoon.

While visiting the Optimist Club of St. Charles, Missouri, I had the opportunity to see the High School Madrigals perform, "Fruitcake."

One of the most important things we do as Optimist Clubs is gather together as a group to share fellowship and learn about our communities so that we can meet its needs with optimism. It's not unusual to hear from various youth groups because, hey, youth is our thing; but it is always extra special to enjoy a performance by the young people in our community. Thank you so much, St. Charles Madrigals, for sharing the Christmas spirit with all of those around you.

If you get the opportunity to visit an Optimist Club away from home, please do. You'll make new friends and learn about new projects and new ways to do regular programs. The Pacific Northwest District includes Optimist Clubs in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, so a club in this large district may merely travel across a state or provincial line to get a taste of something different. I even remember when it was encouraged to visit other clubs within your own zone or region.

Take a road trip and share optimism. Learn to make your club more effective by discussing programs with others. Call it a research project and make it part of your Optimist Club's strategic plan. I believe it is a project worth completing and it will help your club extend its service well into the future.

Once you've traveled, please take the time to share your experiences with us so that we can enlighten others. Send  us a paragraph or two, and a picture or two and we'll publish it here, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Thank you and enjoy the holidays!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas is for kiddos...and the Albany Optimist Club

pnw optimist clubs
pnw optimist clubsIt's true! Christmas is for kiddos, teens, adults, seniors, and anyone in between; but more than that, I believe that Christmas is for Optimists.

That's Optimist with a big O - the kind of person that brings out the best in youth, community and themselves  - and optimist with the little o - the kind of person that looks for the good in all things.

During the Christmas season, Optimist Club members are especially active in their pursuit to make others happy. They perform more projects, raise more money, and work hands-on with the youth in their communities. That's why I wasn't surprised when the Albany Optimist Club sent in their second activity of the season.

Jack Towns shared the accompanying photos and a few words about their long-time Kid's Shopping Day. 

pnw optimist clubsJack explained the program as follows:
I've been in the club since 1977 and this project was going on at that time. Each Christmas we budget about $1800 and Walmart gives us additional funds, somewhere in the $200-$300 range. 
The Boys & Girls club provides a list of families. We then invite a child in the family to shop with us.   
We buy a gift for that child and he/she in turn finds gifts for his siblings and mom and dad. Last year it included 15 families. 
Following the shopping adventure, we are provided a space to wrap the gifts and soda pop and cookies are provided.
What a wonderful tradition created and performed by the Albany Optimist Club! 

Photos (top to bottom): Lori Stewart and shopping friend; Andrea Hampl and friends wrapping presents; Darlene and Dave Chambers helping their friend with a big decision. 

We would love to hear more about your Optimist Club. Please send us a note and a picture or two of a project that your Optimist Club has performed this holiday season. Thank you.