Membership Matters

Volunteering is the perfect way to feel connected to our community. The simple act of offering our skills and enthusiasm will positively impact the lives of others as well as our own. More people than ever want to give back to their communities, and volunteer work is encouraged, from the halls of congress to the words and images in the media. Now could be the very best time to take a look at our Lions membership and spiff up our membership orientation program so that our current members will stay and encourage others in the community to join them.
Our Lions Clubs are our volunteer homes away from home and everyone should be treated as a guest. Make certain everyone knows or is introduced to everyone at the meeting. Don’t let visitors feel uncomfortable for a minute. Show them Lions members are warm, friendly, helpful and happy to make a new friend.
Volunteerism has changed and volunteer expectations have evolved. We must change the way we welcome new members by allowing them to share their professional and life experiences as Lions volunteers. We need to have a plan of work for our community and be prepared to meet the challenges. Each task and/or project must be evaluated for time and skills required to insure the availability of both when and where needed. A four hour job must be scheduled as just that—four hours to complete and everyone bring your own tools.
Most volunteers are willing to roll up their sleeves and do physical labor in helping others. We must provide an atmosphere that allows for creative and innovative ways to work that uses our skills and experience. Providing leadership opportunities to those who are willing and have the time for the responsibility will insure the Lions of North Carolina continues to grow more loving, helpful and dedicated members to live to our motto “We Serve”. Anyone who is willing to become a Lions volunteer will have a healthy curiosity and willingness to try new things. In fact, many of us are involved with “causes” so we can learn new skills, interesting topics and issues. We can use our volunteer work to learn and share with others our life and professional skills and experiences.
Regular communication is a motivator for each of us and the lack of it is one of, if not the, reason many volunteers become dissatisfied with an organization and leave. We must be open and trusting with each other so we are working together as friends and more so, as a Lions family.
We must provide time to socialize with our new friends—have a play day to celebrate us. To let each other know we do make a difference as Lions and the work we do for others.
North Carolina Volunteer Statistics for 2012
 26.4% of residents volunteer (1.92 million)
 64.8% do favors for their neighbors (31.4 hours per resident)
 228.6 million hours of volunteer service ($5.0 billion of service contributed)
Nationally:
 In 2012, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years, as 64.3 million Americans volunteered through an organization; an increase if 1.5 million from 2011
 A majority of Americans assisted their neighbors in some way and more than a third actively participated in a civic, religious or school group.
 Americans overwhelmingly volunteered in schools or with youth organizations, working to advance the lives of young people.
 Nearly three out of five volunteers aged 25-54 are parents to children who are under 18. These parents volunteered well above the national average, focusing on helping fill local needs while also serving as role models-showing their children that community involvement is a critical choice and habit that can improve lives.

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