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Valley Forge Chapter

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About the Optimists

Optimist International

Optimist Clubs are serious about "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" and have been doing their part through community service programs since 1919. Optimist Clubs see a need in their community and react to it. There are 114,000 individual members who belong to 3,500 autonomous clubs. Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects each year, serving six million young people. Optimists also spend $78 million on their communities annually.

Junior Optimist Octagon International (JOOI)

Created in 1988, Junior Optimist Octagon International (JOOI) has quickly become one of the largest and most active youth service organizations in the world. JOOI members are making their communities better – one service project at a time. With more than 16,000 members in over 650 communities, JOOI members are constantly working to promote positive change in their communities. Their motto is "Kids Serving Kids." By keeping leadership local, JOOI Clubs empower young people to make positive decisions to serve fellow youth and their community. By encouraging involvement and awareness of local issues, JOOI Clubs cultivate the leaders of tomorrow.

Optimist Club of VF Sponsors 3 JOOI Clubs

Octagon Club

The Valley Forge Optimist Club formed three JOOI Clubs in the Upper Merion Area School District. The Octagon Club in the High School has over 30 members and provides services that include helping at Family House women’s and children’s shelter, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Outer Limits, and raking leaves for senior citizens. They also join the Optimist Club for the Trout Rodeo, Tri-Star Basketball, and highway cleanup of Valley Forge Road.

Junior Optimists

The Junior Optimist Club in the Upper Merion Middle School has over 300 members. They run a school store for their fellow students. They also prepare boxes of personal items for soldiers serving overseas, and provide school supplies for needy kids. The highlight of the year for the Junior Optimist Club is our annual trip to Harrisburg to tour the State Capitol and Pennsylvania Museum. Upper Merion Middle School Junior Optimist Club's "Secret Santa" project was featured on the cover of the Winter 2011 issue of The Torch, the official newsletter of Junior Optimist Octagon International.

Since 2007, the Optimist Club has sponsored an end-of-year party for 7th and 8th grade students from Upper Merion Middle School. This event is planned by members of the Junior Optimist Club and is supported by Upper Merion Parks and Recreation and Hope Community Church. Plans are under way to work with other community groups to establish a regular schedule of social activities for students.

Alpha Club

The Alpha Club at Roberts Elementary School helps over 50 3rd and 4th graders plan their own activities and projects, experience leadership roles, and conduct charity service projects. Alpha Clubs are forming at other public and private elementary schools in the area. If you are interested, please contact the Valley Forge Optimist Club.