As I look back on the accomplishment of the previous quarter, I am filled with pride by the plethora of activities, energy, efforts, and heart that you that you so willingly donated for the betterment of the youth in our district. For every blanket, food basket, toy, personal care item, bed, coat, meal or fun event thatyour clubs sponsored, you made a difference in the lives and holidays of hundreds of children and their families. Thank you all!
As I look forward to the current quarter and beyond, I see many great opportunities for us to continue that great work. I am particularly encouraged by the number of new members that you have invited to help you spread Optimism. In the first quarter we added 95 new members. We lost 137 members and that is a great concern to me. However, I choose to focus on how we can retain the friends that are members now, and at the same time continue to invite new friends to help partner with us.
As we begin the new season and are planning for the events of the spring and summer, which are traditionally the busiest times for our Optimist activities, I would like you to pay special attention to a couple of things.
First, please be aware that not everyone has equal resources to contribute. These resources may be financial, time, materials or ideas. Whether or not they contribute on the same level as someone else doesn’t mean that they are not a valued and vital member of the team. Without them, you would be lacking what they do provide. I would rather have a club of 100 people that are able to contribute resources to just 1 project per year than that same club with 20 people who are involved in everything all doing all of the work all of the time. This
thinking may sound strange to you, but think of it this way. If the 20 people who do everything get ill, move, get burned out or lose interest, that leaves a club with no one to do the work. But if 100 people contribute what they can for 1 project per year, no one will get burned out or lose interest. If 20 people move or get ill, there will be 80 people ready, willing and able to step in and help. Thinking this way will help us to recruit new members and also retain the great ones that we have now.
Secondly, planning and working together is as impactful as any strategy could ever be. Look in your community for other service clubs, non-profits or business that share the vision that we do as Optimists. Then reach out to them to see how you can partner with them to have a greater impact. This includes other Optimist clubs who may share a project or who are geographically close to you. If you volunteer to help another group, they will be excited to return the favor for you. That’s teamwork at its best!
Finally, I encourage you to look for opportunities in your area to start a new adult or junior Optimist club. You don’t need to do all of the work. We have a district committee ready and willing to jump in and make it happen with you. We simply need your eyes, ears and input for where a club is needed or what special need a club could fulfill. Let me know and we will get it done together!
Thank you for everything that you do. We are known across the Optimist organization as the Mighty Michigan District because of YOU!
I look forward to seeing your faces at the Q2 conference via zoom on February 18th and in person at the Q3 conference in Livonia on May 13th. See below for more dis- trict zoom gatherings and registration links.
March 2 The M.I.understanding zoom meeting is scheduled for the first Thursday of every month from 7-8 pm. Join us to learn about the program and to hear about the progress across the district as well as how you can bring it to your community.
February 18 is the 2nd Quarter conference via zoom. Everyone can attend because your seat is on your own couch! Consider getting together as a club or in a smaller group to participate together. Each of you could attend a different breakout ses- sion and report bask to the club on what you learned. We will have engaging learning opportunities, fun and fellowship. Plan to log on from 8:30-9:00 for the Coffee Connection! The conference runs from 9am-1pm and the 22-23 MIOLA cohort (including anyone interested in finding out more) will meet for a few minutes immediately following the closing of the conference. Go to: www.michiganoptimists.org to register for the conference and receive the zoom link.
May 13 Q3 Conference at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. Join us for a great time of fellowship, learning and front row seats as the contestants of the District Oratorical and Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) Competitions compete for the district awards. The District Essay Competition winners will also present their winning essays. There will be much more so don’t miss it! Registration information will be available on the District website michiganoptimists.org soon.
Michigan District Governor