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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Childhood Health & Wellness Program announced

pnw optimist clubs children wellnessOptimist International has long been searching for a flagship program, something that allows the general public to uniquely and inherently identify a certain activity with an Optimist Club and its parent organization.

For many years, it has held the Childhood Cancer Campaign as a flagship idea. However well-meaning and accomplished this campaign has been, it does not speak to the universal mission adopted by the organization that reads, "With hope and positive vision, Optimist Clubs bring out the best in youth, our community and ourselves."

We are excited to announce in January 2019 Optimist International will introduce a new program, one that we believe could very well be a true flagship idea: The Childhood Health & Wellness Campaign.

Explained in the December Optimist International Hotline:
"The Childhood Health & Wellness Program will build on the highly successful Childhood Cancer Campaign to expand our impact. Clubs and Districts will now have the opportunity to initiate projects and services to improve the quality of life for children in their communities across a broader spectrum of needs. 
Childhood Health & Wellness will include four focus areas (not limited to the examples below):
  • Healthy Lifestyles (Child Obesity, Healthy Eating, Physical Fitness, Happy Heart Advice, March of Dimes)
  • Chronic Diseases (Childhood Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Sickle Cell Anemia)
  • Mental Health (Depression, Bullying, Abuse)
  • Disabilities – Physical, Intellectual & Developmental (Autism, Special Olympics)"
The Foundations will begin accepting donations for the new program in January 2019 and more information will be available at that time. 
Money previously donated to the Childhood Cancer Campaign will remain in the Childhood Cancer Campaign funds.
The value of this program is that it plays on the many strengths of the autonomous Optimist Clubs around the world. Because Optimist Clubs serve local communities by identifying local needs and designing programs to fit those needs, many projects that our clubs perform already fit inside the broad spectrum of the Childhood Health & Wellness Program. By focusing on the four areas, Optimist International will enhance the contributions its Optimist Clubs make through program support, financial contributions from its Foundations, and increased awareness worldwide.

It's true; Optimist Clubs bring out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves. The Childhood Health & Wellness Program will present new opportunities to share the Optimist difference in our communities and around the world. We can't wait to hear more and we'll publish here as soon as we do!

Photo credit: Margaret Weir

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