Community involvement not only generates goodwill, but it also can be very beneficial for chapter recruiting and retention. Here are a few ideas:
- Support local Junior ROTC/ROTC programs in an active, visible fashion. For instance, rather than simply presenting medals at a school’s annual awards event, consider conducting an independent event to honor recipients and their parents. Or host a Gold Bar ceremony for newly commissioned officer.
- Participate in annual patriotic events. Take part in your local Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Veterans Day parades; volunteer to place flags at a veterans’ cemetery; or get involved with Wreaths Across America.
- Help fellow veterans. Serve as mentors for a veterans treatment court, visit patients at a local VA hospital, donate goods to a Fisher House, or provide career transition support to veterans transitioning to a second career.
- Participate in outreach programs. Visit local schoolchildren through Veterans in the Classroom or flag education programs.
- Create a chapter scholarship fund that presents scholarships to local students.
- Volunteer at events and programs that support those in need, such as Stand Downs, local food kitchens, or the Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots program.
Advertising and publicizing chapter activities also is important. Write about them in your newsletter and on your website, send press releases about the events to local media, and list activities on your chapter’s membership application. And don’t forget to notify national MOAA about your community service projects so we can highlight your efforts through our communication channels. Send write-ups and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.