Congratulations CADENCE LANKIN as you proceed to World Oratorical!
November 11, 2018

General Optimist Information

Questions about Optimism? Read On!

Why do people become Optimists and stay Optimists?

1)   Growth:  Personal growth and development, working with diverse groups and individuals, learning new skills, and share their knowledge.
2)   Recognition:  Everyone likes to receive recognition for a job ‘well done’ from an award to a ‘pat on the back’; Optimists love to share their activities with everyone!
3)   Achievement:  There is personal satisfaction and the sense of accomplishment when seeing a project through from start to finish – whether we started the project, or just helped out and were a part of it. Everyone benefits from Optimism!
4)   Participation:  Optimists enjoy being involved in community life, meeting new people and making friends. We encourage others, each other and youth to join us as we create opportunities and support community.
5)   Enjoyment:  Optimists thrive not only on helping provide opportunities for youth and their communities but also in working with other ‘positive minded optimists’. They create positive change and have a great time doing it!

What do I do as an Optimist member?

As a member, you will receive communication from OI leaders, from Optimist club meetings, e-mails, newsletters, and websites to inform you out about service project volunteer opportunities and plans. These will vary by club. With experience, you’ll have the opportunity to chair a committee, serve on the club leadership team or offer your talents and experience in a variety of events and projects.

Why would I want to become an Optimist member?

Being an Optimist provides the opportunity to impact the lives of youth in your community. We are ‘A Friend of Youth‘. With the time you can allot to Optimism, your unique abilities and strengths will help youth, help your club and help your community. Your club will do its best to provide ways for you to apply your strengths to Optimism.

Who are Optimist leaders?

Members who enjoy club projects and the organization will be comfortable stepping up into leadership roles. There are training programs available to guide aspiring leaders at both the club and district levels. Your club or OI online can provide more information.

When do Optimist Clubs meet?

Clubs will set their own meeting times and frequency. Meetings will follow OI and club bylaws and will include new and old business, treasurer reports, club building, and committee reports. Following Optimism is supported by our Creed.

Is it expensive to be an Optimist?

Annual dues vary by the club but generally are around about $100 annually. Annual dues paid to your club include Optimist International dues and your club dues. New member reduced dues incentives are offered (such as ‘Young Professionals’, ‘Recruit a Teacher’, etc.), and are applicable to the first year of membership, plus applicable OI dues. Meetings that include breakfasts and/or lunches may add an additional expense, per occurrence.

Are my donations to Optimism tax deductible?

No, Optimism International or club donations will not generate a charitable donation receipt for Revenue Canada. However, donations to our Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation are. In addition, donations to the foundation that are pre-arranged as earmarked for a specified club can be ‘passed back’ from the foundation to that club.

When was the first Optimist Club formed in Canada?

The first Optimist Club was formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1911. Quickly, Optimism began to spread! On June 9, 1919eleven clubs met in Louisville, Kentucky and adopted the name International Optimist Clubs. Five years later, the first Canadian Optimist Club was formed in Toronto, Ontario. 2018 marks 100 Years of Optimism, and clubs from around the world will gather back in Louisville, Kentucky to celebrate 100 years of Optimism!

Can I belong to multiple Optimists Clubs?

Yes, many members belong to more than one club.

Can I participate in projects and activities in clubs other than my own club?

Yes, Optimism is much bigger than any one individual. Members are encouraged to participate in projects and fundraisers of other clubs in their area. Many clubs support existing charities or other not-for-profit projects in their community. Optimists are here to help!

Do Optimists work on Projects outside of their community?

Members can absolutely work on projects and campaigns outside of their community! In your Optimist Zone, in a larger area in your Optimist District and on National and International levels, there are many opportunities for you to share your Optimism and get involved! Youth contests, chairing Zone or District committees, holding office outside of your club, Spread Releif campaigns, youth sports avenues (Tri-star and Junior Golf) and more!

Am I expected to recruit new members?

This is not a requirement of membership. However, all members are encouraged to keep a flow of new ideas coming into their club and the organization. Inviting friends and interested potential members is a great way to show what Optimism is capable of and ensure there are Optimists to support youth and community in the future.

Am I expected to help with fund-raising for my club?

Each Optimist club is self-sustaining and responsible for raising funds to support their community projects and initiatives. Clubs that sponsor other clubs or sponsor Junior Optimist Clubs are responsible for providing structure and resources to those clubs as well, through administration, opportunities, and mentorship. Each club member will be invited and encouraged to participate in club fundraising by giving of time, and/or purchasing the tickets or products. Many clubs will look for support in the community through sponsorship and partnerships to offset their project costs while providing opportunities for youth in their community.

Have More Questions? Contact our Optimist Club of Nor’West London and we will be happy to invite you to experience Optimism at our NOW Networking events and share with you what becoming a Nor’Wester will mean for your Optimism!