When I write for this blog, I try to focus on the positive aspects of belonging to an Optimist Club. For this post, I must step away from that local focus. I need to share with you some membership statistics for the PNW District from the past five years. Fair warning: they aren't pretty.
Please take a look at the raw numbers of net member gain/loss that the PNW District has experienced over the past five years. In only one year, 2009-2010, have we celebrated with more members at the end of the year than we had at the beginning of the year.
According to statistics prepared by Optimist International, the PNW District is losing an average of 123 members per year. At that rate, in approximately 10 years, it will be out of business.
We hear that all service clubs are on a downward spiral. At the Optimist International Convention, we heard, being the optimists that we are, the good news is that Optimist International is losing members at a lower rate than its counterparts.
We must reverse this trend.
International President-elect Dave Bruns has made a challenge to all: Let's reach 100,000 members by our 100th anniversary.
We can meet this goal if every Optimist Club member does only one thing: recruit one new member by 2018. You can do that, right?
However, the challenge remains that we will also lose members to natural attrition and for other reasons every year. So I want to ask you to do a little more.
Recruit one new member every year.
That's really not that tough once you get in a mindset to share the goodness of your involvement with an Optimist Club with others.
Share how it feels to belong and make a difference. Share your story. Ask someone to join your Optimist Club so that their lives will feel complete in the service to others. They will also find the friendship and fellowship of others who share similar beliefs and goals.
We all want to make the world a better place to live. Let's do it through membership and participation in an Optimist Club.