September 2020 Council and Chapter News

September 2020 Council and Chapter News

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


Congratulations to the 2020 Levels of Excellence Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2020 Levels of Excellence Award winners! These awards signify the very best council and chapter affiliates in our organization. This year, 121 of MOAA’s very best councils and chapters earned five-star awards, while 50 above-average councils and chapters received four-star awards.


Visit MOAA's website to view the list of award-winning councils and chapters and learn more about the award.


Important Guidance About Partisan Political Activities

MOAA and its affiliates must take care to avoid engaging in partisan political activities. National MOAA has issued helpful information for members, leaders, and affiliates about prohibited activities, guidance on dealing with divisive issues, and more. Read more.


MOAA Logo Usage

Is your chapter using the correct MOAA logo — with the registered symbol — in your newsletter, on your website, and in other documents? By using this logo, your chapter not only stays consistent with MOAA’s brand, but you also have the opportunity to earn extra credit points in the Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award contest. Find the correct logo to download and review MOAA’s brand book.


Surviving Spouse Corner: Navigating the First Year After Loss 

After the death of your spouse, you’re now in charge, to plan and direct the course of your new life.


By Barbara Smith, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member


You have become a surviving spouse. Intense agony comes with grief. People grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way, you just need to find your way. Grief is private and personal. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK not to cry. It’s OK to laugh.


The first year after losing your spouse will be extremely difficult. You will have birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays without your loved one. Lifetime events become very painful. There will be days when you feel heartbroken.


Reach out to family, friends, whoever brings you comfort, and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and fears with them. Love from those around you and that are close to you can be very healing. Don’t be afraid to seek counseling if you need to or see your doctor. 


This is also a good time to pursue a hobby, volunteer, travel, read, write, take an exercise class or dance lessons, sign up for a cooking class, or become more active in your church, etcetera. You don’t get over the loss of your loved one; you learn to live with it. Nothing you do in the future will change your love for the person who died.


My hope for you is that you will find the strength to get through this. I hope you find a little happiness in each day and that remembering your spouse brings a smile to your face. 


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners. 


Chapter Dues Voucher for New Members

All new eligible MOAA paid members receive a voucher in their new member’s kit for a free one-year (Premium members) or two-year (Life members) membership to their local chapter courtesy of MOAA national. Chapter leaders will know who the new MOAA members are in their catchment area because the names will appear in the Near-Real-Time report.


Whether or not the member contacts the chapter to redeem the voucher, you can contact them to reinforce the benefit. Let them know you are from the local chapter, and invite them to join an upcoming meeting to see what you are all about. Welcoming them and immediately integrating them into the chapter can result in a lasting chapter membership.


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 Star Fort (S.C.) Chapter honored veterans buried in Greenwood Cemetery by placing flags on their graves for Memorial Day. The chapter has participated in this tribute for several years and did so again this year while maintaining social distancing.


The Pennsylvania Council of Chapters donated funds to the National Civil War Museum for the purchase of a new American Flag to fly at the museum’s facility. The museum’s location in Reservoir Park is the highest point in the city of Harrisburg. The 20-by-38-foot flags are visually prominent from anywhere in the city. 


The Hawaii Aloha Chapter voted to join and support ceremonies to recognize and honor Chinese-American veterans who served in World War II by submitting a congratulatory message in the announcements for the ceremonies. In 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law an act recognizing all Chinese-American veterans who served in World War II with a Congressional Gold Medal (CGM). The national ceremony in Washington, D.C., and the Hawaii ceremony to honor these veterans were scheduled for April and May, respectively, but were postponed because of the pandemic. The Hawaii Aloha Chapter also has many members serving on the Hawaii CGM Steering Committee.


The Cape Canaveral (Fla.) Chapter’s America Good Deeds Foundation presented 15 local Junior ROTC units with $900 each to help cover the cost of events, awards, support to cadets in need, and other expenses not covered by the schools or service branches. The fundraising for this effort was the most successful in the Good Deeds Foundation’s six-year history.


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