Rotary: A New Perspective by Laura Garrett
Membership recruitment is an issue in all civic groups these days and Rotary is no exception. When most clubs talk about adding new members, the emphasis is on younger generations. A new movement in our district has taken the opposite approach. The Edmond Rotary Club in partnership with Epworth Villa Retirement Community is forming a satellite club to be held inside the retirement community. This club will be the first club with an elder emphasis in the State of Oklahoma.
A recent study reinforces the need for this club. The study found that older people are the mainstay of a large part of the volunteering that takes place across the country. They make a huge contribution through their commitment and accumulated experience. Data also was found that 30% of those aged 65-74 do some formal volunteering. Similarly some 20% of those aged over 75 do some formal volunteering.
The survey also shows that people over the age of 65 gave the second largest amount of time to regular informal volunteering of any age group. In contrast, older people (especially those aged 65 and over) were the group most likely to say that they got involved because they had spare time. They were also the most likely to say that volunteering was part of their philosophy of life. Older people were more likely to be a committee member. This generation of elders is one of the best educated cohorts in post-industrial history and brings with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise. They tend to live a “service above self” life.
Club 29 can join the cause in several ways. We can attract and keep more elders into our club. There are a “few” there now, but I am not naming names. Also, consider making up with the Epworth Satellite Group, all are welcome regardless of age. The next meeting will be held on Thursday November 16th from 7:30 am to 8:30 am in the Redbud Room. George Nigh will be our guest speaker for Oklahoma Constitution Day. Breakfast will be served and the cost is $10.