December 14, 2014

Give the gift of yourself

Join an Optimist Club today
It's always exciting to receive a gift. A brightly wrapped package, especially at Christmas, brings a special joy to the recipient and an equal, if not more, sense of satisfaction to the giver. It is sad that gift giving is sometimes the only shared moments between adults and children.

Optimist Clubs work hard every day to change that dynamic as members look for ways to interact with youth in meaningful ways. They partner with child-serving organizations in their local communities including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs, among others; and they create programs needed on a local level like sports programs, literacy programs, and so much more. 

Every Optimist Club has the ability to involve children in international programs such as the Optimist International Oratorical and Essay Contests, and the Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

The beauty of each of these programs is they allow children and adults to come together, and to work together, in a positive way. Through Optimist Club programs, children receive the greatest gift of all: the attention of a caring adult. 

Don't you want to be that kind of adult? Yes? Then you should join an Optimist Club today. Click here to find an Optimist Club near you or contact me and I'll help you get a new Optimist Club started in your community. 

December 11, 2014

Young members bring more service to youth

We hear too many stories about how people, especially young, millennial generation individuals, are not joining service clubs. I'm happy to report that is not the case in the Optimist Clubs of Jamaica.

This picture, contributed by the Optimist Club of Mammee Bay in St. Ann, Jamaica shows a youthful surge in membership. All were inducted at their recent installation banquet where they also heard from  Debbian Livingstone-Edwards, legal and policy officer at the Office of the Children's Advocate. Ms. Livingstone-Edwards explained the importance of positive role models in the development of youth.

"As parents and guardians and teachers and community leaders we cannot sew peas and expect to reap corn. Our children are likely to reproduce the values we teach them by our own interaction, conduct and philosophies," she explained.

The Optimist Club of Mammee Bay has identified a school in the community that it will work more closely with in the coming year as it continues to serve the youth. 

Photo courtesy of the Optimist Club of Mammee Bay. 

December 7, 2014

Shop with a Cop brings kids and cops together

fort smallwood annapolis Optimist Club
The Fort Smallwood Optimist Club, Annapolis Optimist Club and Cherry Hill Optimist Club came together on December 5, 2014 to hold the 11th Annual Shop with a Cop program. The clubs paired police officers with 82 children and set them loose in Walmart to do some Christmas shopping.

fort smallwood optimist clubThe officers were there to provide moral support for the children's shopping spree. Afterwards, they had lunch at the Outback Steakhouse and tackled some Christmas wrapping for the presents they bought for others.

Shop with a Cop programs are popular because they give children an opportunity to interact with police officers in a positive manner, building trust and letting them know that police officers can be their friends.

As Optimist Clubs provide youth-serving projects for communities, they are a natural catalyst to bring the two groups together. They provide the administration and funding support to make the program successful.

fort smallwood optimist club shopfort smallwood shop with a cop optimist

Fort Smallwood Optimist Club
Fort Smallwood Optimist Club
Shop with a Cop 2014

Photos courtesy of the Fort Smallwood Optimist Club. Check out the full collection on Facebook.

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