“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” – Anthony D’Angelo
It seems only a short time ago, that I was invited to be a member of the greatest young person’s organization in the world. And I am sure like some of you, it was with some reservations. Not knowing what being a member really meant at that time I needed a little persuasion and working at a Haunted House to scare people and then giving the money back to needy kids was just the icing on the cake. Just like most of our members I was deeply rooted in the community and wanted to see it thrive and really enjoyed giving back to people who were in need.
When I started my track as a member, I never knew it would lead me to where I am today. Having served as your 93rd National President and getting the distinct honor to travel this great country sharing who we are, what we do and why it is important to communities worldwide. We are so fortunate to be part of an organization that allows young people to be an active voice in their community and get behind things that are important to them and share that message with everyone, including government officials.
On June 24th we did just that! 35 of our members descended on Capitol Hill and with the assistance of Nothing But Nets staff we conducted 35 meetings with our Federal Senators and Congressman and their staff. We shared our passion about the fight against #malaria and how we were working with our members and members of our communities to share this message.
We shared projects that had been happening to raise funds, such as pillow fights, rock, paper, scissor tournaments, concerts, GO Kickball tournaments, crawfish boils and so much more! We shared about advocacy cards and how people from their state/district were filling these cards out online and on paper and we would bring them back to DC when we visited in June. We shared that our goal was 100 governmental visits and 100 chapter visits. We shared that we were passionate about a cause and as their constituents we wanted them to be as well!
We had a true group of powerhouses on the Hill that day. From National President Fay, to NVPs Eve and Joanne, to past State Presidents, current State officers, local chapter Presidents and general members. People who wanted to learn the process of a government meeting (and that it is not as scary as they may have thought) and who wanted to share that JCI USA is working hand in hand with Nothing But Nets to put an end to #malaria and we need their help!
It was so awesome to watch my group and hear the stories of the others of our members sharing their stories, including a fairly new member who had a family member pass away from #malaria and passionately told of how it affected her family. Members shared what they are doing in their communities and asked their government officials to get involved. It was an incredible and extremely important day for the #BzzzTour.
I feel so privileged to be conducting the tour again this year. To get to spend time with our amazing members and see them in their communities making a difference and creating positive change. It is really awesome to see the creativity of our members and their dedication to our organization and our partner Nothing But Nets. I am truly blessed and honored to spend time with all of you!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for participating and being amazing as always!!!