Catch a Dream! - February 2023

Catch a Dream, a Passion, and a personal need to SERVE.

Already it’s February and time to reflect on our Lions’ goals. How are we doing and where are we going? Our district convention is back at the Sunbird Golf Resort on February 18th. We plan to have frank discussions about how it’s going. IT WILL BE AWESOME!

Another member of my Club passed away during the holidays. He was 90 years old and an active member. My thoughts and prayers are always with every family suffering this type of loss. Unfortunately, this happens far too often within our organization and is yet another indicator of our vulnerability to aging. It certainly is another call to find a new generation to carry on the passion of service.
Right now, let’s put much more emphasis on club membership, RECRUITMENT and RETENTION. We have all heard the sales pitches for recruitment. Well, they’re all valid! Just ask someone!

Right on queue to address the need for a new generation of Lions, one of our Club members brought a young associate (21-years old) to our weekly meeting, hoping to encourage him to join. Our first item of planning the next couple of weeks was a discussion about a 90th birthday for another Club member. I was concerned how this guest would react to the aging references. NO PROBLEM! He got right past the age issue and asked a lot of questions about the annual service activities. Just what the doctor ordered! Application to follow, next week.

Stimulate new club members’ interest in Service with new and innovative projects. Use these activities to “jump start” meaningful membership growth.
Start with a simple sit-down discussion about potential activities with your club and some other “like-minded” community people. Thoughtful collaboration with other service organization is a great way to serve BIG needs and even recruit more new members.

International President Brian Sheehan says, “Think Big, because Together We Can!” Give the opportunities for other service-minded folks to be part of our organization! Don’t worry, the people you need to join our ranks will ask you how they can be a part of the fun! Input from your community leadership and either other service organizations is an important way to determine and then meet community service needs.

Okay, so you’re on the path to create bigger, better service for your community and use that service in recruitment. Can the same concepts be employed to better stimulate your existing membership? YES!!!

Make sure all members are encouraged to develop your annual service plan. New activities are essential in this process and the things you’ve “always done” may enhance or deter members’ experiences through Lions.

To bolster retention, club plans must make certain there’s something for everyone! Does this mean every member has to participate in every project or activity? Absolutely not, but try to find plenty of diverse activities to keep everyone actively engaged.

Club leadership must make certain all members have at least one project they identify with.  Two or more would be better.

I am a firm believer in a couple of key ideas.  Service to others is what we do, service to others is why we exist, and we need to emphasize our service to others in everything we do.  Service to others will bring new members to our clubs and is key to retaining our existing members.

Find the needs. Develop as many VISIBLE projects and activities as you are able. Always invite others to help. Teach our credo of service. Let other see what you do. Show others how to “Catch a Dream of Service.”

Thank you all for everything you do! CATCH A DREAM, a passion, and a personal need to SERVE.

Chris Gibbs, district governor, 21-South

Catch a Dream! - January 2023

Catch a Dream, a Passion, and a personal need to SERVE. Okay, it’s now official. We are heading into the second half of our Lionistic year. We should all be again asking, “Where are we going? What are the targets? How do we make and execute plans to achieve success?” These are questions for each member, every Club, projects, District, and Multiple Districts. If you can’t find those three answers already, then let’s figure out how to do it. First of all, have you set realistic goals for these questions? On a personal level, every Lion should be able to identify their own service goals and see how they fit with their Club. Service is truly the key! All other goals come into play around service activities. Therefore, we should all look at the priorities we set through our service. Making money (fundraisers) has to be important in planning since many of our service endeavors require funds. But should the pursuit of more cash consume actual service time and efforts. I do believe Lions should refocus on the centric reason we are Lions: providing service to those in need. Maybe we need to reevaluate our individual, Club, District and Multiple District Needs (look at the mission). Is it appropriate to spend too much effort making money? Or should we worry more about how it’s used. I’m always personally excited for January in Lions. For our Club, it means “Flags-for-First-Graders”. It would certainly be one of my favorite activities just by working with kids and Patriotism. For me, I was introduced to the program by two “seasoned” veterans, Lion Bill Lewis and Lion Al Cochran. Both men loved the patriotic instructional part. As they were both in their late 70’s, this was a program they were capable of keeping up with. Our Club lost both of these good men this past year, but I will always remember their passion. Thank you all for everything you do! CATCH A DREAM, a passion, and a personal need to SERVE. Chris Gibbs, district governor, 21-South