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Friday, May 18, 2012

How to relieve the stress of multi-tasking

The PNW District 3rd Quarter Meeting is taking place in Newport, Oregon this weekend. This is the meeting where students have always competed in the district finals of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest and now for three years the Communications Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It is always an inspirational event and one I hate to miss.

However, rather than travel 1,000 miles round-trip, this time I decided to support activities taking place with a local Optimist Club. It wasn't an easy decision to make and as I read the Twin Falls Blab this morning, I realized something. One of the greatest incentives to club membership growth should be: "Because one person can't be everywhere." 

In addition to the district meeting, some Optimist Club activities that are taking place this weekend include:

  • PNW District-Canada Qualifier for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship
  • Roseburg Optimist Club Safety Day
  • Oregon City Optimist Club Pioneer Family Festival
  • Seuss on the Loose, Vision Charter School Junior Optimists and Middleton Area Optimist Club
  • Middleton Area Optimist Club Bingo Fundraiser
  • Twin Falls Optimist Club support of Magic Valley Relay for Life 

Clubs with larger memberships can afford to send people to multiple events. Not only do they have enough manpower to support the local project, they also have the financial resources to help delegates attend district activities. 

Veteran members will often say that they were able to do it all when they were in leadership positions. If I might make an observation, not only were there more members in our Optimist Clubs twenty+ years ago, there was not as much going on. An Optimist Club's major activity during this month was very likely the oratorical contest, but no more. We've become a world of multi-taskers. 

In order to meet the needs of our communities, Optimist Clubs have taken on projects outside the scope of the international programs recommended by Optimist International. Sometimes a champion of the cause will join the club and spearhead a new project, but more often than not, a new project simply stretches the resources, particularly the time, of the members already involved. It is easy for overworked club members to choose to stay home and make a difference rather than travel to serve. 

Now back to the Twin Falls Blab and my main reason for writing this post. Over the past 18 months the Twin Falls Optimist Club has added and retained more than 60 new members bringing their roster as of this post to 137 members. Adding new members has diversified their interests and given them enough people to do even more. 

During his presentation at the Twin Falls Regional Meeting in February, Barry Knoblich said, "If your club membership is less than 15 members, your only project should be membership." As the co-chair of the membership committee for the Twin Falls Optimist Club and the chief influencer of its remarkable growth, Barry knows what he is talking about. 

Cloning is not an option. Dividing your body three ways is not an option.  Your Optimist Club must add new members because you can't be everywhere at one time.  You owe it to yourself and your community to get some help. Now. 


Get started with two membership incentives from Optimist International: