December 2020
Giving Thanks This Month
This edition of the newsletter is being composed as the Thanksgiving Holiday approaches in the United States. It is a time to give thanks for family, friends, and blessings we have experienced throughout the year. Optimist International has been blessed this past month with a handful of new Clubs in as many countries. 
The month kicked off with the organization of the Trinity Optimist Club of Ghana and the MODEC Junior Optimist Club, sponsored by the Norfolk Nebraska Optimist Club and JOI Club, respectively.  The Optimist Club of Kampala is already working on a project providing assistance in a needy area of the Uganda capital. The Optimist Club of Clarkston, Michigan, and the KAMP Optimist Club in Uganda are the sponsors.  
Elsewhere on the African continent, two more Clubs in Zambia are flying the Optimist banner, and both were organized on the same day.  Many thanks to the South Florida District for sponsoring both. The Miami Lakes Optimist Club is providing guidance to the Optimist Club of Kafue, while the Optimist Club of
Naples will be doing the same for the Optimist Club of Siavonga. The parent Club in the country is the Optimist Club of Lusaka. When the Optimists in Siavonga asked when they could begin their community service work, a one-word answer followed: tomorrow! 
On the same day that the two Zambia Clubs were formed, the Optimist Club of Nepalgunj, Nepal, organized thanks to the Optimist Club of Kathmandu and the Des Moines Western Noon Optimist Club in Iowa. This is the sixteenth Club in Nepal. A week before organization, the Club conducted its first project by answering the call of local government officials. The Optimists provided PPE equipment to local health care workers who are on the front lines in the battle against COVID 19.  
There is also a new country in the Optimist family. The Optimist Club of the Philippines is on board, thanks in part to the Tucson-Pueblo Optimist Club of Arizona. The club is planning a series of leadership seminars to introduce others to the benefits of being an Optimist. We wish all the best to our newest members who have decided to “Choose Optimism” as a way of life.
A cooperative effort for social service unfolded in Kenya last month. The Optimist Club of Kisumu organized a food drive for those in need. “We focused on the vulnerable in the community who were adversely affected by the pandemic,” said President Barack Odheir.
“Club members donated some of the food while some was obtained through donations from the business community in Kisumu.” This is another example of how Optimist Clubs can work with local businesses to
“bring out the best in their communities.”
College Clubs abroad and here in the US came together for a webinar during November. The Kathmandu Engineering College Optimist Club partnered with the Hawkeye Optimist Club of Iowa City, Iowa, to create a webinar on recommended safety practices dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as members’ personal experiences with the virus. The session also provided recommendations concerning mental well-being during these times.
Administrative Corner

In November, the Optimist International Board of Directors approved the idea of establishing a District in Nepal. New Club development continues in the country to compliment the sixteen Clubs already there. The Nepalese Optimists have already formed a leadership team consisting of five people who will work on developing operational policies similar to those in Districts in North America. The goal is to have those policies ready for consideration by the Board of Directors at its meeting in March. This will be the first new District outside of North America since the Caribbean District was formed in 1996.