Author: Amanda Enos
In the U.S. in the early 1900s, social activism was beginning to have it’s heyday giving rise to the popularity of Service Organizations. While the popularity of these organizations has fluctuated over the years, more recently people are valuing community and activism more than ever which has Services Organizations back on the rise. Let’s take a quick step back and ask: what exactly is a Service Club?
“A Service Club or Service Organization is a voluntary nonprofit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations. A Service Club is defined firstly by its service mission and secondly its membership benefits, such as social occasions, networking, and personal growth opportunities that encourage involvement”**
There are many benefits to joining a service organization. In the Active 20-30 Club, we often talk about the pillars of our organization and what drives people to join our club and stay with us until they age out (our club is for anyone between ages 20-39). These pillars are some of the same reasons why service organizations are thriving (and why you will be too if you join)!
Philanthropy – The foundation of our club is giving back to our community and helping children in need. We share a phrase between all of our clubs nationwide: “One never stands so tall as when they kneel to help a child” and we truly live by this! While each club’s projects vary, we sometimes facilitate national projects as well. These projects consist of anything from BBQ fundraiser cookouts, Coat Drives in the Winter, rebuilding gardens at local community centers, and much, much more. We then disperse the funds we raise through grants to nonprofit organizations in our community based on an application process. Nothing makes us happier than knowing the funds we have raised has helped a preschool become fully inclusive or provided meals for underserved kids in our community.
Professional Development – Have you wondered what it’s like to serve on a Board for a nonprofit? Would you like to expand your network instantly? These are just a couple of the ways being in a Service Organization can help you thrive professionally. Take it from CSO of Ruby Porter Marketing & Design in Eugene, OR and Past Active President, Chris Hayes:
“The Active 20-30 Club offers young adults the opportunity for personal growth, friendships and leadership development. When you take this club and its mission seriously, there is no limit to your personal and professional evolution. Through my work in the club I have learned what it means to run month+ long projects with people of various backgrounds and skill sets and how to be efficient and effective. I have made friendships that have helped me in my professional network, as well as my personal development. Through the Active 20-30 Club you learn to expand your circle of comfort and learn so much more about yourself and very many different types of people and how best to communicate and work with them. The skills learned by being an active member are countless and priceless.”
Don’t just take it from us, come to a meeting and see how many professionals from different industries you’ll meet!
Travel – The Active 20-30 club has over 110 chapters across the globe! We often travel to national or international conventions to meet up with clubs from places like New York, Colorado, Central and South America, and beyond. During these conventions we meet tons of new faces while getting a lot of business done to enhance our clubs and help our communities. You will leave these conventions with friends far and wide.
Friendships – Meeting with like minded individuals who are ambitious and value philanthropy is priceless. Part of the reason why Service Clubs are so successful is the relationships and sense of community they build.
Whether it be the professional development, the social aspect, or that golden heart of yours, reach out to join us at our next Active 20-30 club meeting or look into other service organizations doing great work in the community such as: Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, and Golden.
Reference:** Charles, Jeffrey A. (1993). Service Clubs in American Society: Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions. University of Illinois Press