Service Clubs: Groups offer a chance to give to community

“If our club no longer existed, are there entities and organizations that would pick up these efforts or would we see a void?”

Jill Parsons, president of the Parkersburg Rotary Club, posed that questions as part of a look at what local civic organizations are doing to make sure their mission to serve our communities continues, even as membership appears to be dwindling.

Organizations such as Rotary, Jaycees, Kiwanis, Lions — and certainly our veterans groups — are facing the challenge of continuing the good work they do, and bringing in enough new members to ensure they are able to do so for many years to come. But for those looking to make a difference in their communities — and to make connections that will help them become better citizens — it is difficult to match the resources and reach of our local civic organizations.

And to answer Parsons’ question, it would also be difficult to fill the void that would no doubt be created if membership in these groups was to dwindle to the point they were no longer able to carry out their missions.

“Service clubs are important to communities because they can address issues unseen or unaddressed by government,” said Parkersburg Lions Club Secretary Tracy Hively. “They can also pull businesses, individuals and organizations together to focus on important community concerns.”

Citizens of any age looking to join that focused effort on community concerns should take a look at the many options available in the Mid-Ohio Valley to be part of organizations whose mission to make a difference.