January 2020 Council and Chapter News

January 2020  Council and Chapter News

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


The January issue of Council & Chapter News is now available. Find information about the 2020 MOAA Insurance Plans Advertising Program and the Communications Award contest, plus read about what MOAA affiliates have been up to in their communities.


Sign Up for the MOAA Insurance Plans Advertising Program

MOAA Insurance Plans is proud to support MOAA councils and chapters and is continuing the advertising program for 2020. A digital and print-ready advertisement promoting MOAA Insurance Plans will be available by request until May 31. If a council or chapter would like to place the advertisement online or in a newsletter or other publication during 2020, it will be provided a copy of the advertisement and a payment of $100. Learn more.


Don’t Miss the Deadline for the Communications Award Contest

The deadline to enter the annual Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award Contest is Feb. 1. Council and chapter leaders can submit entries in two categories of competition: 1) print newsletters and electronic newsletters and 2) websites.


To help streamline the submission process, entries will be accepted through an online submission platform. Find more details about the contest at www.moaa.org/communicationawards.


Frustrated With DFAS? Here’s How to Tell Your Story

After engaging with senior MOAA leadership, officials with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) have dedicated a customer service mapping team to investigate and analyze their systems, with a goal of reducing backlog and improving customer service. If you have detailed notes and phone logs of a resolved challenge, your story is important. You can send these materials to dfas.customer.mapping@mail.mil for inclusion in the DFAS investigation.    


Learn more about this new effort.


Apply for a MOAA Foundation Grant

The MOAA Foundation is accepting applications for its 2020 Community Outreach Grant until Feb. 29. Grants of up to $5,000 are offered to MOAA councils or chapters providing services to local military and veteran families — either directly or through partnerships with other community organizations — in one of nine areas of critical military and veteran family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family strength, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, and transportation. Learn more about the grants and find the application.


Key Dates in 2020

Mark your calendars with these deadlines and event dates for 2020.

  • Jan. 10-11 — Florida Council of Chapters Leadership Forum & Workshop in Orlando, Fla.
  • Feb. 1 — Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award submission deadline
  • Feb. 29 — Deadline to apply for a MOAA Foundation Grant
  • March 22-26 — Storming the Hill and the Council Presidents’ Seminar
  • May 1 — Levels of Excellence Award submission deadline
  • May 1-2 — Regional Council and Chapter Leaders Workshop in Kansas City, Mo.
  • May 31 — Deadline to sign up for the MOAA Insurance Plans Advertising Program
  • June 1 — Nomination deadline for the Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award
  • June 1 — Nomination deadline for the Col. Steve Strobridge Legislative Award
  • Sept. 25-26 — Regional Council and Chapter Leaders Workshop in Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Oct. 23-24 — MOAA annual meeting and Levels of Excellence Award dinner in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Nov. 13-14 — Regional Council and Chapter Leaders Workshop in Louisville, Kentucky


Apply for the 2020 USAA/MOAA Sponsorship Program

Looking for ways to finance a special state council or chapter event? Apply for sponsorship of up to $800 for council events or $300 for chapter events provided by MOAA’s affinity partner USAA. Councils and chapters may apply to receive funds for one event in the upcoming 2020 calendar year. Learn more and apply by visiting MOAA's website.


Surviving Spouse Corner: 2019 — A Year in Review

The Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee looks back at its accomplishments from the past year and highlights its goals for 2020.


By Anne Hartline, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee


The Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee (SSAC) made great strides throughout 2019 in our efforts to serve all surviving spouses in the focus areas of encouraging, engaging, and educating. Here are some accomplishments from throughout the year:


New Surviving Spouse Liaison TrainingA highlight of the year was the development of Surviving Spouse Liaison Training at MOAA’s regional leadership conferences. Reactions and evaluations have been very positive, with appreciation for information and opportunities to share ideas on how to help surviving spouses continue to feel included in the military and MOAA family.


Virtual Chapter Growth The membership of Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter continues to grow, with 126 surviving spouses from 28 different states. The next meeting will be Jan. 21 at 1 p.m., Eastern. For more information, email mssvco2@gmail.com or go to the surviving spouse section of MOAA.org.


Advocacy EffortsSSAC members stormed the Hill with MOAA in April with television station WUSA09 in Washington, D.C., recording our visit with Sen. Doug Jones and others.


Newsletter Content Members of the committee wrote a monthly “Surviving Spouse Corner,” which can be found on MOAA.org.


Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award We selected Jayne Henley-Davis, surviving spouse liaison for the Hawaii Aloha Chapter, as the 2019 recipient of Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award. Read more about her work and service to her chapter.


In 2020, we will face new challenges and opportunities, including selecting three new committee members. Our goals for 2020 include increasing the number of surviving spouse members at the chapter and national levels; growing the Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter; increasing the number of state council surviving spouse liaisons; and developing and conducting activities at national MOAA meetings for both spouses and surviving spouses.


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.   


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 activities.


Members of the Heritage (Va.) Chapter served over 200 brews to corn hole tournament competitors at the Embrey Mill by Newland Community in Stafford, Va., in early October 2019. Newland hosted the corn hole tournament fundraiser for S.E.R.V.E. (Stafford Emergency Relief through Volunteer Efforts) and the Heritage Chapter. The chapter raised over $330 for its scholarship fund from the event.


Members of the Palm Springs (Calif.) Chapter participated in the 23rd annual Palm Springs Veterans Day parade Nov. 11, 2019. The parade was one of approximately 60 events nationwide designated as a regional site for the observance of Veterans Day by Veterans Day National Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


The Ventura County (Calf.) Chapter supported Operation Snowflake, an annual event that brings Christmas cheer to military and veteran families in need. The event, held Dec. 21, 2019, and organized by the Ventura County Military Collaborative, provides new, unwrapped toys, gift cards for groceries and gasoline, quilted stockings, veteran benefits, and an afternoon with Santa Claus. In addition to donating funds toward gift cards, members of the chapter also volunteered at the event, which serves more than 300 children.