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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Celebrate 50 years of the Optimist International Foundation with a donation

OIF 50th Anniversary Pin Hansen Artwork

Throughout 2021, the Optimist International Foundation (OIF) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. It has commissioned special artwork from artist Jeff Hansen, an interesting young man who met many Optimist Club members at the Optimist International Convention in Louisville, KY.  Jeff had multiple health conditions from birth and succumbed this year to complications of the brain tumor he had lived with since a child. 

Please consider honoring both the Optimist International Foundation and Jeff's memory by making a donation to the OIF of $50 and receiving its 50th Anniversary pin. 
OIF Hansen Artwork

Scarves, ties, and other items featuring Jeff's unique style are also for sale and all money raised benefits the Childhood Health and Wellness Campaign. 

Go here to purchase these special items.

As is the OIF's way, it helps Optimist Clubs help Youth. At this time there are two grant opportunities to which  Optimist Clubs may apply.

Club Grant Application You may submit an application for a Matching Grant to start up a new project this year. The amount requested can range from $250 to $1,000. The Club Grant program is a long-standing effort by OIF to assist Clubs in helping more in their communities. The application can be found on the OIF website by clicking here. The deadline for application submission is March 15, 2021.

Childhood Health and Wellness This new Grant program, which grew out of the Childhood Cancer Campaign, is accepting applications for the second grant cycle. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2021. The next consideration cycle after that ends on August 30, 2021. The application can be found on the OIF website by clicking here. The process will award $250 – $1,000 for a Matching Grant in one of the four focus areas:
  • 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)
Optimist Clubs and their members are the principal donors to the Optimist International Foundation. To make giving fun during this time of celebration, the OIF is hosting an online auction. The auction ends on March 11, 2021. 

Please go here to make a bid: Optimist International Foundation Auction 2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021

File the IRS Form 990 by February 15

Here is your annual reminder.
It's time for all US Optimist Clubs to file Form 990 to the IRS. The form is due February 15. The filing is simple. All you need are the following:

  • Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
  • Tax year
  • Legal name and mailing address
  • Any other names the organization uses
  • Name and address of a principal officer
  • Web site address if the organization has one
  • Confirmation that the organization’s annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less
  • If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business)
E-file is an option for tax-exempt organizations not required to file a long-form which includes nearly all Optimist Clubs except those managing large sums of money (over $50,000) or property. Please consult an accountant or tax preparer if you are uncertain if this applies to your Optimist club.

Complete instructions and log-in filing information can be found here. Form990-N Electronic Filing System e-Postcard. It is free to file and required in order to maintain your tax-exempt status as an Optimist Club.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Show your Optimist pride on February 4

optimist day information
On February 4, Optimist International encourages all Optimist Clubs and Optimist Club members to tell the world that they are proud to be an Optimist. 

Take a photo of yourself in Optimist-branded attire and post it on your Facebook page for all to see. Use the hashtag #OptimistDay and join the movement. 

I'm proud to be an Optimist and you should be, too. 

While you are at it, please share the Optimist Creed because, now, more than ever, we must Choose Optimism. 

The Optimist Creed

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Optimist Clubs encourage creativity

The United States of America inaugurated a new president on January 20, 2021. Amid the symbolic importance and gravity of the event, a 22-year-old woman amazed the audience around the world with her words, her poise, and her ideas. We share here the poem recited by Amanda Gorman at the Biden-Harris Inauguration, "The Hill We Climb."


Gorman was 14-years-old when she became the youngest poet laureate for the city of Los Angeles. As Optimist Clubs, we salute her talent and perseverance. We also want to encourage other young people to find their voices and creativity and offer the following projects promoted by Optimist International. 

The Kaleidoscope of Performing Arts and Photography Contest may be conducted at any time by an Optimist Club. The links provide ideas for conducting a project with your community. 

The Optimist Visual Arts Competition has awards provided by Optimist International. Entries must be received at the International Office by May 1, 2021. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

West Tacoma Optimist Club assists the homeless

Dick Disney John Hickman West Tacoma Optimist Club

Before the pandemic, the West Tacoma Optimist Club would help the Pierce County Emergency Food Network once per month with its repack project, taking bulk items and repacking them into family-sized bundles. Because of COVID-19, the group can't get together and that activity has had to be put on hold. 

That didn't prevent the Optimist Club from making an annual donation to the organization of peanut butter. Seven hundred jars went to the organization, half chunky and half creamy, to help fulfill their requests because peanut butter is something that can't be purchased in bulk. 
John Hickman Dick Disney West Tacoma Optimist Club

Members John Hickman and Dick Disney made the deliveries before Christmas. 

Also on the West Tacoma Optimist Club's Christmas donation list was a contribution to the Tacoma Rescue Mission. 
Ron Thompson West Tacoma Optimist Club

Member Ron Thompson visited the Rescue Mission and gave $2,000 to help them continue to serve the homeless and hurting in Tacoma and Pierce County. 

Photos contributed by the West Tacoma Optimist Club. Please click on the photos to enlarge. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Hillsboro Optimist Club inspires students to ring bells

We're all used to seeing that red kettle in front of stores during the holiday season. In fact, we might be so aware of it that we completely overlook it! Overlooking was not an option in Hillsboro, Oregon this past season as students were the designated bell-ringers for The Salvation Army.

pnw optimist clubs hillsboro

According to Monte Akers, President, Hillsboro Optimist Club:

Century High School students partnered with the Salvation Army and the Hillsboro Optimist Club to pull off a double whammy in fundraising!

Twenty students rang bells at The Salvation Army's kettles on Dec 19 and 23 and raised over $6,500 for The Salvation Army.

For their efforts, they were rewarded with $800 designated for the Century High School food pantry by the Hillsboro Optimist Club.

The Hillsboro Optimist Club hopes to perform similar 3-way partnerships with other youth groups and organizations in the future. Wayne Bohm, Hillsboro Optimist Club member and a teacher at Century High School explained that the students are usually knee-deep in the Elk's canned food drive this time of year, but that project was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Working with Tami Mandrell and Lisa Cole at The Salvation Army the students found a great way to give back to their community.

pnw optimist clubs hillsboro

Photos contributed by the Hillsboro Optimist Club.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

Helen Keller wrote, "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

It is that spirit that leads all Optimist Clubs and their members to push forward, seek new challenges, overcome more hurdles, and make the world a better place. 

This year, more than ever, we must choose optimism. As you awake each morning, think of one way that you can demonstrate optimism in your daily activities and then do it. Your thoughts, put into action, will help others choose optimism, too. 

Think only of the best. Happy New Year! 

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