SOARING BEYOND THE HORIZON AS “WE SERVE”
As we enter into the fall season, all of the DGs are busy making visitations in their respective districts. If you ask any past DG they will tell you that meeting the Lions club members at each of the clubs in their district is what makes their year so great. All of the Lions clubs throughout our multiple district are very active in their community and what they do in the community does have an impact on both the state and international Lions.
As we look beyond the horizon this year, we need to emphasize each of the 5 major categories on which we are working, but, in order to be effective, we must have members. Our membership has been declining. That needs to be turned around. All those local projects we do provide service to our communities and it takes members to do these projects. Experience shows that members become leaders when they work toward a goal.
When Lionism started some 100 years ago, it was comprised mostly of business men, (no women), but as time marched on other male members of the community joined. During those days, women had their own organization and most women were not in the work force outside their homes. Fraternal organizations were big and had many members, all of whom wanted to do service in their communities, found the time to do so and included many of their family members.
Over the years, things changed. Most homes started having both parents working; the children are into all kinds of sports and activities both in school and outside of school which parents attend, leaving very little time for community projects for any organization to which they belonged. There was even an era of time when community service was put on the back burner. It is great to see that women are now a part of Lionism and schools are requiring the students to do community service prior to graduation. It’s great to see that the need for community service volunteer is now being recognized once again.
We do find now that in most of our clubs the average age is 60-70+. The 30-50 age group is pretty much non-existent, although we are starting to get the younger ages in as we bring in social media. That more “mature” group of the 60-80 year-olds is the basis of our clubs and it is important to put a lot of work into insuring that these members are retained. But It is also important that these members are ready to change into this new evolving society in which we live. Maybe these members aren’t as active as they once were, but there is always a job in any project that they can fill and remain a viable member of this great organization.
So I challenge everyone to look beyond the horizon and utilize and retain the more mature members of your clubs. They need Lionism and Lionism needs them.