Every organization has a purpose, General Electric make appliances, Ford make cars and trucks, Black and Decker make tools, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Canada mould young Canadians into good citizens. Each one of these groups, and many hundreds of others, give direction to their employees, or members as the case may be, by forming an idea and putting that idea on paper.
Things that people directly concerned with the organization should strive for.
Quite often it’s called the Mission Statement. For instance the Boy Scouts have their promise to do their duty and their motto “To be prepared”. Both well-known phrases to all of you I’m sure.
This paper explains the purpose and goals of the Civitan International organization.
Civitan is no different. We have a Creed.
It’s been changed over the years to keep peace with the times and to support the circumstances in which we live.
It explains what it is to be a Civitan and reminds us all of the aims of our clubs. Most importantly, it’s a Creed that is the same throughout Civitan. No matter which country the club may happen to be in.
The Creed of Civitan is one that constantly reminds us all of the direction we, as members, have decided to take in providing special services to those in our community that need help.
Part of that Creed says “My Eyes search for others to join in the fellowship and service of Civitan.
We are putting that into practice by sharing with our guests the purpose and the goals of Civitan. We’re doing this to help them decide whether or not to become a part of our great organization by joining their local Civitan Club.
here are some very good reasons why you should be interested in joining your local community based Civitan club.
Number one, there are needs in every community that presently are being addressed by the hard working members of the local Civitan clubs but there is always so much more that could be done.
Number two; we know most people feel a desire to help those less fortunate than themselves and by working collectively through Civitan, we can do so much more that ever we could as individuals.
Let me take a moment to explain to you what Civitan is. What makes it work?
Civitan is a non-sectarian, non-political, non-discriminatory organization that has three major goals. Service, Knowledge, and Fellowship.
Local Civitan Clubs have been very successful in their efforts to provide service to their communities.
Over the years the members have had the chance to gain knowledge about their town, the people that live there and the needs of those people. Most importantly, they have achieved this success through an atmosphere of fun friendly effort.
That’s why the three goals of Civitan are Service, Knowledge and Fellowship.
Members of our organization know that at some time or other the word “Civitan” will have to be explained.
You won’t find it in any dictionary because it is a word that has been coined from a Latin word meaning citizenship and that fits perfectly with our Motto, “Builders of Good Citizenship”. The aim of Civitan has always simply been to help people.
Many people have yet to hear of Civitan. This may make you think it’s a new organization. Well that’s not the case Civitan was founded 101 years ago and has been building slowly but purposely ever since. The early clubs were formed in the United States and the First club in Canada was in Toronto. Chartered in 1932. Today there are over 80,000 members in clubs across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Wherever there is a need, Civitan is ready to form a club.
I’ll mention a few organizations’ highlights. Some of the things that make Civitan stand out from other major service clubs.
Civitan was the first service club organizations that helped the Intellectually Challenge as a major emphasis program.
Civitan was the first major service club to have both male and female members. A full 10 years before other service clubs.
Civitan has outstanding leadership training programs that allow our members to, not only do the Civitan job properly, but also to grow in their everyday work and especially in their home life.
Civitan has its own world headquarters building with a paid staff providing the much-needed support to clubs around the world.
Civitan has a junior and a collegiate program with over 30,000 young people, all Civitans, doing the same things that the senior members are doing, that is helping people.
To help the local clubs Civitan International has developed two major fund raising projects that have been in place for many, many years.
The first is the Claxton Fruit cake; this is a highly successful fund-raiser that benefits both the organization and the local club.
The second is placing coin boxes in community businesses where customers, like you and I, can put in some coins in exchange for a mint candy.
Every Civitan club is recognized by the world Headquarters as being a unique part of the organization.
Each club has the right to work on projects chosen by the members or they may decide to help with larger projects, some are of Internationals scope such as the Civitan International Research Centre where scientist come together to help find answers to help children living with developmental disorders.
That is why Civitan keeps on getting better and better!
Every club in Civitan is affiliated with the Civitan International body and is guided by International constitutions and by-laws.
Help is also available to clubs through a second organizational level. This is the District level, which is really a group of clubs placed together by geography and administered by a duly elected board.
Those two levels are in place to support the local clubs. Not to Control it. District and International officers know that the local club is the main part of Civitan and they recognize that it’s the members that are providing the service in the communities.
Local clubs select projects that will support their community and they write their own constitutions and by laws, they meet at times and places most suitable to themselves and they elect their own officers to help run the club.
People join clubs to participate and to make a real contribution to their community.
When joining a Civitan club you will be accepting certain challenges and responsibilities such as attending meeting as regularly as possible, being involved in projects and the work of the club and, bringing new ideas to the club.
On the other hand each club has its responsiblies as well; remember the three goals of Civitan? Service, knowledge and fellowship it’s the responsibility of the club to make sure you have fun as a Civitan and its the responsibility of the club to keep you involved in worthwhile service projects while having some fun because Civitan is a Service club that helps people and we work at it!
The greatest satisfaction of all from your membership is that feeling that you get when you know that you have helped someone less fortunate.
That satisfaction my come from a one-on-one experience or it may come from working with a group.
It may come from taking an active leadership role.
However it comes there is no better payment for the work that a Civitan does.
You too can experience those feelings simply by becoming a Civitan member.
To help carry on the fine traditions of the past and to assist its exciting future our
Civitan clubs need new members, they need the enthusiasm and new ideas that new members can bring, so it can continue to provide the service that these clubs have been so successful in making available to those in their communities that need help.
This is always the opportunity for you to become a part of Civitan. We invite you all to make the move toward Civitan and we know you’ll always be glad you did.