April 2020 Council and Chapter News

April 2020 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here


MOAA’s Best Communicators

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest!  


In the 2019 Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest, MOAA affiliates competed in two categories of competition: print and e-newsletters and websites.


All told, 104 councils and chapters received five-star awards for their exemplary communication efforts, and eight councils and chapters received four-star awards for their outstanding efforts.


View the list of winners at www.moaa.org/communicationawards. Congratulations to MOAA’s top communicators!


Final Call for Levels of Excellence Award Submissions

Councils and chapters have until May 1 to enter the Levels of Excellence Award competition.


Councils and chapters that want to be considered for a Levels of Excellence Award need to submit a nomination entry by May 1. Please read the LOE Award criteria closely before sending your submission. A standard set of rating criteria will be used to evaluate all councils and chapters that submit a package. The very, very best councils or chapters receive a five-star award, and above-average councils or chapters receive a four-star award.


Find details, best practices, and award criteria. 


Important Update About the 2020 USAA Sponsorship Program

If you’ve received funds for an event that is canceled because of the coronavirus, you have other options.


For councils and chapters that received sponsorship money for events that have not yet taken place, if your intended event is canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, you may retain the funds to apply toward that event if it is to be rescheduled or to another event or project in 2020 that m­­­eets the program criteria.


As a reminder to all, sponsorship money should go toward a project that serves the community at large (not just a meeting of your own members, although it may be used for chapter ROTC recognition events where students and their parents are invited or for council conventions where elected officials or other members of the community are invited). ­Sponsorship money may not be simply given to another organization or deposited into a scholarship fund. P­­­­­­­­lease contact national MOAA’s Council and Chapter Affairs team if you have any questions.


Finally, 2020 sponsorship dollars still are available. Learn more or apply online.


Nominate Your Surviving Spouse Liaison

Councils and chapters have until June 1 to submit nominations the 2020 Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award. The award is presented annually to a surviving spouse liaison who is a member of MOAA and who has made outstanding contributions to a MOAA council or chapter in support of surviving spouse members. Download the nomination form and instructions.


Nominate Your Legislative Chair/Liaison

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 June 1 to legis@moaa.org.


Surviving Spouse Corner: 10 Helpful Resources for Surviving Spouses  

Having a list of go-to resources is essential for peace of mind and coping with loss.


By Suzanne Walker, staff advisor, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee


These resources can help surviving spouses navigate the complex world of obtaining military benefits, find much-needed comfort and support, and work through the difficult days after the loss of a spouse.


National MOAA. MOAA can be your first line of information. You’ll find online resources such as links to most benefits agencies and articles written by experienced professionals and regular folks who have been where you are.


MOAA Chapters. Find your local MOAA chapter, and you’ll have a community of supportive friends who are willing to assist you with many of your questions. Most chapters have a surviving spouse liaison who is directly connected to a network of people who have a shared experience.


MOAA Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter. Join this quarterly conference call for information and have your questions answered. It is a great forum to connect with the military community of surviving spouses. Hear firsthand from experts in financial planning, benefits information, and more. For additional information or to join, email mssvc02@gmail.com.


Military OneSource. Find information and resources for all areas of military life on this comprehensive website. Special sections include DoD Casualty Assistance information and links to other important resources.


Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS offers many resources for those experiencing the loss of a loved one, including a library of books, retreats, camps for children, and a social community.


Financial Adviser. Hopefully you have a financial adviser who can assist in navigating the complex world of filing for benefits and how to manage financial resources in the days ahead. Be sure to have an adviser who is not trying to sell a product but can deliver expert advice. Look for someone with the certified financial planner (CFP) credential.


Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veterans Affairs is a very large government agency, and it might be difficult to navigate to get the answers you need. A veterans service organization can assist you.


Snopes.com. There are many internet rumors and fake stories. You can avoid miss-information by checking with a trusted source. Snopes.com provides the background and lets you know if what you heard is fact or fiction. Beware of the ads that are peppered throughout the site; they can be easy to click on by mistake.


Gold Star Wives of America Inc. This organization was founded after World War II and provides a unique service for a widow/widower not available from any other organization.


Surviving Spouses of MOAA Facebook Page. If you have an account on Facebook, you can join this group and make connections with MOAA surviving spouses from across the U.S. The page has been a valued resource for information about the Survivor Benefit Plan-Dependency and Indemnify Compensation offset and was instrumental in the advocacy that led to its repeal.


Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA

Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Newsletter 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.   


We Want to Know: How Is Your Chapter Staying Connected During Coronavirus?

Like most groups and organizations across the U.S., MOAA councils and chapters are postponing in-person meetings and activities due to the Coronavirus. How are members of your affiliate staying connected to one another and to community-service efforts during this time? Tell us by emailing chapters@moaa.org.