Every member of a civic organization is unique. Some are passionate about environmental causes while others feel a call to work with people, maybe even children. A person can be very passionate about a very specific thing, such as protecting an area of land for the study of wolves in the wild. Ask another person and he or she may not understand at all and wonder why all of the time and efforts are being spent on such a cause. Being driven to such service is what makes us valuable as Lions. We all come from a different place, a different passion but we all desire to serve. How can we make sure that those needs are met in a club where each person may have a different expectation? How can we be sure we are actually serving rather than becoming stagnant as a club? Hopefully this article will provide some techniques for staying in service.
Every club must have goals. Goals help your club stay on track so that it does not become merely a social club rather than a service club. To function properly, your club should have: membership goals, service goals and leadership goals. For this article, we are going to focus on service goals.
Service Goals and Planning
The Board and any committees should determine a plan that sets out service goals. Your service goals may include specific projects. For example, a goal may be to provide vision screens for 500 pre-schoolers over the course of a year. To meet that goal, you will need to set some objectives. For example, if you need equipment that you currently do not have, to meet that goal, you will write your plan on how to obtain the equipment. Will you be borrowing the vision machine? Will you be purchasing it? Is there a fundraiser tied in to this goal so that you can achieve it?
All of the goals should be broken down so that the club members have clear expectations. This not only helps with any projects but it also empowers members to feel a part of the club.
Documenting Your Service
After you have begun to complete your service (completing your goals), it’s very important that you enter that into myLCI. This helps your club feel a sense of achievement for all of the hard work they have done. It is a formal documentation to Lions Clubs International of your plans, your goals and your work. This allows LCI to reward you after you have reached certain milestones. Sometimes they will send banner patches or pins.
More importantly, inputting your service allows LCI to show global corporations what we have achieved worldwide. When LCI seeks grant money from places like Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, The Gates Foundation or others, our service hours provide leverage for those applications. By showing the large numbers of service hours all over the world and how we impact our local communities, we are able to secure grants that help us take our service work further.
What to Document
Always remember that you can add service including the following:
- Planning, board meetings, committee meetings
- Services, projects, set up and tear down
- Time to and from activities
- Non Lion activities also count. If you do civic work with your church, another charity or other service work, it will also count in the non-Lions area.
Assigning Someone To Document (the Club Service Chair)
Recently, LCI made it easier for Secretaries to stay on track entering service hours for the clubs. Now you can designate a person in your club whose only function is to enter service activities for the club. This will be your go-to person for service activities. A person who makes sure the activities are entered accurately and within the goal framework. It’s another way to ensure that your club’s goal’s are met and your club stays on track.
If you need more information about this role or how to enter service hours, contact PCC Kenneth Moore.