Saturday, April 5, 2008

Aging In Service Organizations

I was struck recently how service groups are aging. I gave a talk at an Optimist Club two weeks ago and all the members were in their sixties and above. I will be speaking at another Optimist Club this coming week and when setting it up, the president of this chapter also indicated that all the members were in the retired aged category. Since this service organization supports youth, it is interesting that there are no young members in these two chapters. Yesterday I spoke at a book club that has been in existence since 1925. It was a very lively and articulate group, but only one person there was less than sixty. I wonder if they will be able to keep this rich tradition alive without some new, younger members.

1 comment:

Linda Jackson said...

The author posts a good question- one that I asked myself when I joined my local Optimist Club twenty years ago. I looked around at the "old men" and wondered where are the people my age? And where are the women? Now that twenty wonderful, active years have passed and I am nearer retirement age, I could still ask the same question; but it would be much wiser to provide an answer. Young parents are tending their children and furthering their careers so that when they reach a certain age (that age is different for every individual) they can give back to their community by being service club members, community leaders and committed volunteers. Yes, by providing hope, positive vision and opportunities to give back to their communities, Optimist Clubs will keep the tradition of service alive.