Hello Civitan Leaders!
Welcome to month three of Civitan Champions of Service: Believers! I am truly amazed and excited about all the great work going on in our communities by our fabulous Civitan Clubs and members. Every day I am overwhelmed about what our members are doing from bell ringing, feeding the less fortunate, adopting families, coat drives, caroling at elder care facilities, participating in parades and so much more. We are approaching the two-year anniversary of the start of this pandemic and Civitan is needed more now than ever.
While I was in Birmingham a couple weeks ago assisting with the packing for our move out of the World Headquarters building, we came across some great historical items including a lot of correspondence from our founder Courtney Shropshire. Feeling the nostalgia when I returned home, I opened my copy of “The Civitan Story” written by Margaret Armbrester in 1992 which chronicles the first 75 years of Civitan history. One item that jumped out at me was the Epilogue titled “Whither 2017” (remember, this was written in 1992). I would like to share it with you:
“As the 21st century approaches, all service clubs face an uncertain future. No one can be sure where Civitan International will be when the centennial occurs. The basic problems of Civitan remain the same: many opportunities for members to disagree and little control over the adverse affects of wars, recessions, national and international events that touch all organizations. The possibilities for Civitan also remain the same: committed rank-and-file members and abundant opportunities for service in a rapidly changing world.”
Civitan strength always will be found in its individual members- the Shropshires, McNultys, Langs, Waages, Choues, the sung and unsung. The best ideas in Civitan have always come from members in local clubs. It was a local club that first committed itself to aiding the intellectual and developmentally disabled. It was a local club that created the Candy Box concept. It was local clubs that first involved Civitan with Special Olympics. It is local clubs across the United States, Canada and the world which have left their mark through building parks, playgrounds, scholarships, and hospitals.
But Civitan has always needed to find a way to be distinctive among service clubs, and with its commitment to the Civitan International Research Center, it may have found that way. In this post-cold war world, an increasingly complex and interdependent world, Civitan’s global neighborliness and benevolence could have its greatest impact ever. In the future as in the past, Civitan will prosper to the degree that its individual members working through local clubs remain committed to good citizenship and the golden rule – just the way Shop envisioned it.”
Wow! I think Armbrester nailed it. She could be the next Nostradamus. Thirty years later it is still the same. Civitan will prosper in the future to the degree that its individual members working through local clubs remain committed to good citizenship and the golden rule. Someone out there has the next great service project idea that can be adopted by clubs worldwide. Someone out there has the next great idea for a fundraiser like Claxton fruitcake or the candy box program. Someone out there has the ideas we need to attract more members. Is that person you? I BELIEVE it is! I would love to hear your ideas. Please email me or call. I am listening!
My wife Kim and I would like to wish each of you, your families, and friends a most joyous holiday season. Get ready for 2022, I BELIEVE it is going to be a great year for all of us!
Thank you all for all you do. Our communities are better off because of members like you.
Civitan International President, 2021-2022