Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter.
Director’s Notes: Spring Activities
Col. Terri Coles, USA (Ret), provides updates on key programs and activities — including the Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest and Storming the Hill — for council and chapter leaders.
Spring is here, and it’s a busy time of year for council and chapter leaders. Kudos again to all who updated their membership roster using the online database tool. We have seen a marked increase in the number of roster updates from the field due to this streamlined process. However, there’s always room for improvement. We’ve captured all your feedback and will work to improve its capability where applicable.
There also was an uptick in the number of submissions for the Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest. We received close to 150 packets this year, exceeding last year’s total. I attribute this to your overall commitment and engagement in your chapter activities.
At national MOAA, we are in the final stages of preparing for the annual Storming the Hill event held every April. Our council and chapter leaders play a major role in this association-lead advocacy event on Capitol Hill. Stay tuned for information on state-level storming efforts for our affiliate leaders.
I can’t thank you enough for your commitment and continued support to your chapter and our association. You certainly are making a difference.
— Col. Terri Coles, USA (Ret), senior director, Council and Chapter Affairs
Surviving Spouse Corner: Downsizing
If you feel like your home is filled with belongings you no longer use or need, it might be time to purge. Here are some suggestions for downsizing.
By Micki Costello, MOAA Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member
Have you noticed it seems like we spend the first half of our lives accumulating or collecting things and then the second half trying to get rid of them? Not too long ago, my daughter and I were sitting in my kitchen while the grandchildren played. She looked around and asked, “Mom, what are you going to do with all this stuff?” I don’t think I have all that much stuff, but it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, particularly after having to downsize after the deaths of my husband and my mother. While part of me wants to say let someone else worry about it, I really don’t want to leave the burden on my children.
I’ve read articles that say if you haven’t used/worn it in a year, it’s time for it to go. Making a move to a new place helps, but not everyone is ready to do that. So here are a few alternative ideas.
For special dishes, silver, and some collectibles, look for places where you can turn in your treasures for cash. (There’s a great place in North Carolina called Replacements.) When I relocated after my husband died, I was able to unload a lot of crystal stemware for more than I had purchased it while we were stationed in Germany. Many antique or repurposing shops also will purchase selected pieces. Of course, there is always Habitat for Humanity, Good Will, St. Vincent DePaul, and other organizations that will take item donations, and you can use that as a deduction on your taxes. In the case of textiles like ties, T-shirts, or special pieces of clothing, consider making them into something new, such as a quilt, pillow, or a stuffed animal for the grandchildren.
Whether it is wearable or collectible, the most difficult decision is deciding when it is time for that item to go.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting any younger, and while I enjoy most of my possessions, I’m finding I could really do without them. As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you!”
Chapter Recruiting 2018 Has Launched
This year’s chapter recruiting program began April 1. Make sure you’re up to speed on the program.
April 1 marked the start of Chapter Recruiting 2018. You should receive your annual recruiting list from national MOAA within the next month. The list contains the names of potential members who are eligible to join your chapter.
This list also will contain the names of current national MOAA members who live in your chapter’s proximity and who do not belong to your chapter. In addition, we periodically ask national MOAA (non-chapter) members to share their email addresses with their local chapter. Each recruiting list will incorporate all the national MOAA (non-chapter) member email addresses that have opted in for this correspondence from those living within a chapter’s geographic area for membership.
As you recruit new chapter members, make sure to report them to national MOAA via:
- the Committee Module. Chapter administrators should add chapter members directly into MOAA’s database by using their email address or MOAA membership ID number. Click the “add committee member” button on the left of the screen to search. If you don’t have an email address or ID number or if your search is unsuccessful, please use the chapter member gains form, linked below.
- the online Chapter Member Gain Form, which simplifies and automates the process of reporting new members. You can submit up to five new members in one submission or
- an Excel spreadsheet, an acceptable option particularly when reporting more than five new chapter members at a time. Please send the spreadsheet electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chapter recruiting program is designed to provide monetary incentives to chapters that comply with the intent of the program. Keep in mind, not all recruits will qualify for the incentive. Your chapter will not receive a monetary-incentive credit if the new chapter member is
- not eligible for national MOAA membership or failed to join MOAA or
- submitted as a new chapter member gain but previously was reported to MOAA as a chapter member within the past three years.
For additional details about Chapter Recruiting 2018, visit www.moaa.org/chapterrecruiting.
4 Tips for Recruiting New Chapter Members
Recruiting new members is a challenge for many chapters. Here are four tips that can help.
If your chapter struggles with recruiting new members, you’re not alone. Many MOAA affiliates cite this as their most significant challenge. Consider the following tips:
1. Be able to answer the question, “What does your chapter do?” All chapter leaders and members should be prepared to answer this question when asked by a prospective member or guest. Chapters that are active and continually looking for ways to make their activities interesting, diverse, and enticing to all MOAA members in the area will succeed.
2. Reach out to potential members. Each year, national MOAA provides to each of its chapters a recruiting list containing the names of current national MOAA members who live in the chapter’s catchment area but who do not belong to your chapter. ( Here are some helpful tips for sorting this list.) Make personal contact with these potential members and invite them to attend an upcoming chapter meeting or event.
3. Make yourself visible. Find opportunities to interact with members of the community. Whether it’s having a float in a local parade or a table at a retiree appreciation day, volunteering at a Stand Down or with Honor Flight Network, or presenting awards or scholarships to area students, outreach events are great sources of potential members. So wear or display your MOAA gear, be prepared to talk about what your chapter does, and bring along membership applications.
4. Publicize your chapter. Take steps to ensure potential members in your community know about your chapter. Include information about your affiliate’s mission, activities, membership eligibility, and points of contact on your website and in your newsletter. Send press releases to local media highlighting your community-service efforts and events. Place ads in local newspapers to increase chapter awareness. National MOAA has these two ads available for chapters.
Find additional tips in “ Seven Good Reasons to Join a Chapter.”
Nominate Your Legislative Chair/Liaison
Nominations for the 2018 Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award are due by July 31.
The Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award recognizes one MOAA council or chapter legislative chair/liaison who has demonstrated superior service in support of the national and/or state legislative agenda. Download the full award criteria and nomination form. Send questions and submit the completed nomination form and recommendation letter by July 31 to email@example.com. The winner will be recognized during MOAA’s annual meeting in Phoenix this fall.
Get Content for Chapter Newsletters
Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Template includes information, articles, and helpful tips from national MOAA that already are formatted for inclusion in your newsletter. The content is updated every month to ensure you are receiving timely, relevant information.
New Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter Approved
On March 5, MOAA’s board of directors voted via a special meeting to approve the MOAA Surviving Spouses Virtual Chapter. Membership for this chapter is open to surviving spouses of an officer of any U.S. uniformed service and to surviving spouse liaison representatives in MOAA councils and chapters. All virtual chapter members also are required to be members of national MOAA or the spouse of a MOAA member.
If you would like more information, or are interested in joining the Surviving Spouses Virtual Chapter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final Call for Mercer Advertising Program
The deadline for MOAA chapters to submit advertising requests to MOAA Insurance Plans is April 30. If a MOAA chapter would like to place the Mercer digital or print advertisement in its newsletter, the chapter will receive a payment of $100. Learn more.
From the Field
MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent chapter activities.
- The Chattanooga (Tenn.) Chapter dedicated its memorial in a ceremony at the Chattanooga National Cemetery Feb. 27. The monument joins those of other veterans’ organizations in the Circle of Honor. National MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), spoke during the ceremony, which was attended by chapter members, ROTC cadets from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and guests.
- The Central Texas Chapter hosted Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., USAF (Ret), during its monthly meeting in February. Carlton served as surgeon general of the Air Force during the 9/11 terrorist attack and was awarded the Airman’s Medal for Heroism for his actions in saving lives at the Pentagon. He spoke to the chapter about how combat casualty care techniques can translate to civilian care.
- The Cape Fear (N.C.) Chapter donated in February 40 $25 grocery gift cards to the Army Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Bragg. The gift cards are given to soldiers and their families as needed while assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg and undergoing medical treatment, evaluation, and/or rehabilitation at Womack Army Medical Center. Chapter President Col. Juan Chavez, USA (Ret), and his wife, Maria, presented the gift cards to Martha Brown, director of the Army Soldier and Family Assistance Center.