Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The problem with the Lions, Rotary, and Service Groups

I just don't get it.  People who participate in service groups like the Jaycees, the Lions and Rotary not only volunteer their time to make a difference in their community and the world, but they actually PAY to be a part of these organizations.  This is crazy!

Sure it feels good to help others, but I hear the yearly dues can reach up to $100?  I don't understand.  $100 bucks to volunteer?!  What is wrong with these people?  Seriously!  Don't they realize we're in a recession? 

Ok, I admit it.  I belong to a service group.  I'm a Rotarian, and up until three months ago, I was also a (gasp!) Lion.  For a couple of years I was in two service groups at the same time.  I'm a crazy person.  I pay to volunteer.  And I tell you what, it is worth every penny.

To me the best part of being a Rotarian and Lion are the people.  There's nothing quite like a room of dedicated people willing to make a difference.  These are giving people.  These are people with big hearts, and these are people who know how to have fun.  One of the biggest "selling points" a Lion made to me in jest was, "Join the Lions, we're a bunch of dudes who like to give away a bunch of money and drink beer."  Say no more!  When's the next meeting?

A unique feature of the Rotary Club in Le Sueur is the shenanigans of two very distinguished fine masters.  Bob and Bruce.  A pair of jokesters.  When I first joined Rotary, I wasn't sure what a fine master was.  Until I was fined.  They fined me $1 for my name badge.  Then I was fined for wearing a jacket!  I am very careful with my money, and I hate to lose it, so I didn't like being fined.  Was I gonna be out a $1 or more at each of these meetings?  Then a weird thing happened, I actually looked forward to getting fined and donating $1 to the cause.   It's hard to explain, but a fine is kinda like a "welcome to the group, we're glad you're here" type of gesture. 

Most service clubs meet once a month.  Some meet once a week for breakfast or lunch.  All do great things for the community.  I've enjoyed my time volunteering at Fish Fry's, Pancake breakfasts, and even selling tickets for various fundraisers, the money raised always makes the community stronger.  But for me the best part of being a Lion or a Rotarian are the good people in it.  No matter how crazy they appear on the outside, it's always good to be in the company of those who help others.  

I encourage you to check out a meeting and find out more about the service groups in your community.   Tell them Nate told you to drop on by.   


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