Celebrate America! I am pleased to be serving as the National Chair of this very exciting new committee! As DAR members, we understand that our heritage makes us who we are. Honoring that heritage through a commitment to community service is the challenge we face each and every day!
The Celebrate America! Committee is tasked with:
1. Encouraging all DAR members to strive toward the shared goal of one million hours of meaningful community service during each of the three years of the Young Administration;
2. Helping members discover the power of volunteerism through contributing to their local communities;
3. Demonstrating positive volunteer opportunities associated with DAR membership to current and prospective members;
4. Enhancing the public’s perception of the vibrant, service oriented “Today’s DAR” and to quantify and describe the dynamic, relevant nature of DAR work.
Please visit the Celebrate America! Committee web pages to learn more about these objectives. If you have not yet viewed the recent webinar, Celebrate America! Making a Positive Difference in Your Community and Around the World, I encourage you to do so. I dare say that many of the questions you may have are likely to be answered in the webinar!
Today, I am excited to be sharing information about the Celebrate America! Online Tally which is now available on the DAR Members’ Website and linked from Celebrate America! Committee site. This Online Tally has been developed for use by ALL members to report their personal volunteer service hours and experiences. Detailed instructions for completing the online form can be found there as well.
Members can enter their service hours performed January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013, at their leisure through this Online Tally form which will also be linked from the home page of the Members’ Website. To log in to the Online Tally, members will enter their state of membership, their chapter name and their national number. In the Online Tally, members will include the type of volunteer activity, the date of the activity, the number of hours they performed of the activity and a narrative of the experience.
Any individual member can log on and enter her own volunteer service hours in the Online Tally – whether that service was specifically related to a DAR project or to a personal community volunteering activity. Chapters can also designate one person to enter the hours for a group chapter service project. The designee would then enter the total number of DAR participants as well as the total number of hours spent by all participating members on the project. She can then list the names of the member participants in the narrative box along with a brief description of the activity.
Chapter leaders (regent, vice regent, treasurer or registrar) will be able to view the entries for all members in their chapter in a separate, new e-Membership report. They will be able to check for duplication of hours and edit if necessary. Plus, this new report will tally all the hours logged via the Online Tally so chapters can keep track of their progress and motivate each other to perform and report more service hours.
Please note: This new report will only include hours from members who have logged the number of service hours using the Online Tally. For those members tracking hours using pen and paper or on their personal computers, chapters will have to manually include these hours with the Online Tally total when completing the Master Questionnaire. Therefore, we encourage members to enter their hours on the Online Tally. Ask a computer whiz in your chapter for assistance if needed! Additionally, this report will total all hours entered making it easier for chapters to track their progress!
The Celebrate America! Online Tally will allow us to watch the total hours served by ALL members of the National Society grow throughout the year. This initiative includes members within chapters, members of Units Overseas chapters and Members-at-Large. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to tally every chapter’s hours for the year, a “real-time” total will allow us to “see” just how we are progressing toward our common goal!
We ask that members report their service hours for this year going back to January 2013 – even if that means some hours have to be estimated. Since the online tally is being launched now in October, members are welcome to expedite entries for the past ten months. You can add up your total hours for this period, select one date, and use the narrative box to briefly explain how those hours were performed over various activities during that time period. What is most important for the reporting of these activities is that the total number of service hours performed and a narrative explanation of the different types of activities are included. Going forward members can use the tally to report hours once a month, once a week, once a day – whatever is most convenient.
Chapters are encouraged to complete their Master Questionnaire report for this committee using the Online Tally report as well as any other hours reported by members no later than February 1, 2014. This is important! In so doing, this committee will be able to tally ALL the hours from ALL members January 1 through December 31, 2013, in time for Congress 2014!
The Online Tally was designed to be easy to use. Should more assistance be needed in understanding how to submit hours to the online form, there is a descriptive PDF with instructions found within the Online Tally as well as on the committee web page. For those members who might need assistance reporting their hours online, they can ask for help from a more computer savvy DAR friend, their chapter leaders, or their state Celebrate America! chair. All are prepared to assist!
Can we reach our one million hour goal for this calendar year by the end of December 2013? I have no doubt that we can! But only with your help!
Share your experiences with others! Tell us through your words and photos how communities have benefited from the service. Tell us the story behind those volunteer hours. Send photos showing your chapter in action. Use the narrative section of the Master Questionnaire or send your stories and photos to DARCelebrateAmerica@gmail.com.
Celebrate America by giving back to your communities through your service. Show what DAR does today to carry on the same noble spirit of our ancestors. The DAR story is being shared wherever DAR members are located! The types of service that members are performing is endless: raising puppies for a future as service dogs, knitting hats for newborn babies, making music in community bands, welcoming children as new citizens at naturalization ceremonies, assisting veterans with entrepreneurship workshops, welcoming visitors to DAR owned historical sites including our own DAR Museum – the list goes on and on!
Today’s DAR is impacting our communities! May we continue to build on what our founders began all those many years ago. Service is a wonderful way to honor our heritage each and every day.
We can’t wait to share your stories and let the world know how many service hours DAR members are giving to their communities!