February 2021 Council and Chapter News

February 2021 Council and Chapter News

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


2020 Chapter Recruiting Program Results and Changes for 2021 

Congratulations to the following affiliates for their efforts during a challenging year!


The top recruiting council and independent chapter for fourth quarter 2020 are the Texas Council of Chapters, with 185 new members, and the MOAA Public Health Service Virtual Chapter, with 46 new members.


During 2020, councils and chapters recruited more than 2,000 new incentive-qualified chapter members. A $250 award is given to the chapter in each of seven categories (by number of members plus a virtual chapter category), that recruits the most incentive-qualified members during the calendar year.


The winners by category for the 2020 Chapter Recruiting Program are: 

  • Category 1: First Flight (N.C.) Chapter — 15
  • Category 2: Hidden Valley (Calif.) Chapter — 69
  • Category 3: Treasure Valley (Idaho) Chapter — 18
  • Category 4: N. Shore & Chicago Chapter — 31
  • Category 5: Lake and Sumter Counties (Fla.) Chapter — 42
  • Category 6: Alamo (Texas) Chapter — 540
  • Category 7: MOAA Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates Virtual Chapter — 109


In addition, 185 chapters received an annual recruiting incentive and 74 chapters received an annual retention incentive.


Thank you for your support in making the 2020 Chapter Recruiting Program a success despite a very challenging year!


2021 is the Year of the Chapter. We are ramping up recruiting efforts with national marketing and communications campaigns focused on bringing more national MOAA members to chapters. This will be a team effort. Recruiting incentives for 2021 will reward chapters that use tools intended to attract and retain new members and recognize those chapters that continue to innovatively recruit — in diverse environments — even in challenging times. Many of the awards and incentives that have been in place over the past few years have been eliminated and replaced with quarterly incentives for recruiting activity. Find more details about chapter recruiting, including the 2021 Chapter Recruiting Guide. 


Surviving Spouse Corner: The 4 Facets of Grief

This flexible framework provides skills to help you navigate the grieving process.


By Renée Brunelle, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member, and Ruth E. Field, MSW, LCSW


Often one’s grief journey has many variations or facets. After a loss, there are so many things that need to be completed and people demanding your attention that it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. However, when the final tasks honoring our loved ones are completed, we need to focus on healing ourselves. 


Ruth E. Field’s book The 4 Facets of Grief, helps put into words some of the tough experiences you encounter during the grieving process. The framework is flexible; there is no specific order to the facets, so you can read about and work with whatever interests you and seems relevant. 


Here are some highlights from the book:

  • Facet 1: Accepting (the Unacceptable) — Having to recognize what has happened and is true. This does not mean approving, liking, endorsing, or embracing the situation. Accepting can help you find some clarity in the haze of the decision-making process under the circumstances. MOAA publications are a great place to find helpful information.

  • Facet 2: Adapting to a New Reality — Modifying your previous life and transitioning to something new. This adjustment can be very challenging especially when resisting the inevitable change that is happening. Of course, nothing will be exactly the same when a loved one passes, but often aspects can remain. Figuring out what needs to change and what doesn’t is part of adapting.

  • Facet 3: Meaning Making Creating an opportunity for personal growth and lifestyle changes. Examples include focusing more on religious or spiritual education, increasing family interaction, or even philanthropic causes. Remember you are still here and finding new activities to bring some positive energy to your life can be fulfilling.

  • Facet 4: Replenishing — It is common to become depleted by people, events, and even your own emotions during grief. Being a bit selfish (in a healthy sense) by taking care of yourself first is key. Identifying what activities you find fulfilling can assist in the healing process. Even thinking about a new or old pursuit could revitalize you.


Each of the facets joins together to create a new beginning. 

  1. Accepting brings you face to face with reality.
  2. Adapting to new circumstances inspires fresh ideas.
  3. Meaning making ponders the significance and implications of the loss.
  4. Replenishing ensures continued healthy self-care.


Each person’s journey is unique like a precious gemstone. When you use new skills like those in Field’s framework, you become like a jeweler cutting a rough stone and polishing it into a beautifully faceted one. Then you can let the light in again. 


Remember, try not to resist asking for help. Your MOAA surviving spouse liaison can be of assistance. Local resources are available to explore by simply asking your funeral director for a list. All are happy to provide additional support. 


Ruth E. Field, MSW, LCSW, can be reached at ruthfield@griefhelper.com for more information on her book and tips on the grief process.


Final Call to Apply for a Community Outreach Grant  

The MOAA Foundation is accepting applications until Feb. 28 for its 2021 Community Outreach Grants. To be eligible to receive a grant, MOAA councils or chapters must meet basic administration requirements and be actively involved in the delivery of community services supporting currently serving personnel and veterans and their families in one of 10 areas of critical family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and COVID-19 relief efforts.


Learn more about the grants, make a donation, and find the application at www.moaa.org/foundation.


Advertise MOAA Insurance in Your Chapter Newsletter and Earn $100

Did you know that Mercer Insurance will pay you $100 just for including an advertisement for MOAA Insurance in your chapter newsletter? Simply send an email to the company point of contact before May 31. Find more information and instructions.


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.


The Lake Tahoe (Nev.) Chapter in December 2020 won the $5,000 grand prize after purchasing a raffle ticket from Veterans Guest House in Reno. The nonprofit, which provides temporary lodging and a caring environment for veterans and their family members who travel to Reno for their medical care, conducts the annual raffle to raise funds. After chapter members learned about the prize, they voted unanimously to donate it back to Veterans Guest House.

The Western North Carolina Chapter partnered with Hendersonville Country Club in December 2020 to hold a drive-through holiday gift drive for hospitalized veterans. The event brought in an estimated 300 to 400 pounds of much-needed items and $1,000 in cash that MOAA members delivered to the VA hospital that same day.


For the third year in a row, members of the Greater St. Louis Chapter gave almost $2,000 to two local charities. Chapter members gave $1,250 to the United Way’s “Annual 100 Neediest Cases.” As in previous years, the family of a military veteran was the beneficiary of this money. The chapter also supported the Marine Corps Toys for Tots with a donation of $575.


The 23 class of 2020 inductees into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame (AVHOF) included five MOAA chapter members representing the Arizona, Coronado, Luke, and Northern Arizona chapters. The AVHOF was founded in 2001 with the purpose of recognizing Arizonans, both living and posthumous, who have worn the uniform of our nation's armed forces and have made outstanding contributions to their community, Arizona, or the nation outside their military service. Including the class of 2020, the Hall of Fame includes 455 veterans of which 111 (24%) are or were MOAA chapter members.


Since 2014, members of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter have taught almost 19,000 fifth-grade students throughout the Northwest Arkansas area about the U.S. flag. The program emphasizes the importance of and proper observance to the customs and courtesies of our nation’s flag as well as teaching the history of the flag and the national anthem. Chapter members Capt. Cliff Mosier, USA (Ret), and Cmdr. Dave Louk, USN (Ret), have spearheaded this program for the past six years.


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