Hrabal: Businesses should support service clubs
The recent announcement by the Hillsboro Kiwanis Club that it no longer had sufficient qualified manpower to put on the annual Fourth of July pancake breakfast before the annual Rotary-sponsored parade was a disappointment to many, just as it was to those of us that looked forward to it ever year. We would hope that it could be resumed next year, as Mike Schmidt, attorney in Aloha and longtime member, stated.
As a longtime member of two other Kiwanis clubs in the area (Cedar Hills, Beaverton and Tetrapolitan) and a past lieutenant governor overseeing 10 clubs, I can't help but reflect on several trends that may have been responsible for this conclusion — some good and some not so good.
People that study this say fathers are spending more time with their children, and that is good. However, the evolution of the computer, phones and social media has preoccupied more and more of everyone's time, as well as presenting a greater variety of activities for people to do with their leisure time, which became more and more valuable and catering to special interests.
These were most likely inevitable, but the one trend that I have observed in my 80 years that I feel could be changed is greater encouragement by employers of their personnel to be involved in community activities on company time.
While there are notable examples of companies like Intel and others (keeping track of donated staff time and publicizing that), more could be done by other companies as well. Organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Optimists, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and churches, etc., are aware of this, but it takes employees willing to visit with their supervisors and pursue with them their interests in a particular group to help provide the manpower in the future to carry on the many worthwhile community activities these groups are dedicated to, such as Kiwanis serving the children of the world and not being embroiled in political activities.
Be part of the solution, not the problem, in pursuing the Golden Rule and join an organization of your choice with your company's support and endorsement — it may develop benefits beyond your expectations!
Jerry Hrabal is president of Kiwanis of Tetrapolitan in Washington County. He has been a Kiwanis member for 44 years. He lives in Hillsboro.
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