Rise and Shine for America – and for DAR!

Written by: Denise Doring VanBuren, President General
June 30, 2019

There are no words that could adequately express my gratitude for your support of, and confidence in, the team you elected to National Office at Continental Congress. Yet I hope that you will accept these eight letters that still fall far short of expressing our deepest appreciation: THANK YOU. 

We are so excited about our future! I personally will also be forever grateful to Mrs. Dillon and all of the women who have encouraged and inspired me through their outstanding example and generous spirit throughout my three decades of membership.

Now, let’s get down to work!

Watch Presdient General Denise VanBuren's Installation Remarks

As members of the DAR, we stand at an important threshold. The sacrifice of our Revolutionary ancestors and the accomplishments of the Daughters who went before us stand behind us; and stretching out on a bright horizon is the best opportunity of our lifetimes to expand awareness of both our Patriots and our National Society. That platform, of course, is our nation’s upcoming 250th anniversary.

As we together launch a new administration, I challenge you to “think big” about the potential of our U.S. Semiquincentennial and what it can mean for our Society’s mission, membership and reputation. We must be willing to think and act boldly in order to seize the full potential of this nationwide celebration; we must be engaged citizens who actively demonstrate what it means to fulfill the promise of American democracy through a spirit of robust community engagement. The time to ready our chapters and states is now – we cannot simply wait for good things to happen – we must envision them and then make them happen.

The women who founded our Society were not willing to settle for mediocrity – they brought grand vision to establishing a worldwide service organization capable of millions of hours of good works annually within local communities in order to honor the sacrifice of their ancestors. The Daughters who set about constructing our headquarters refused to merely rent or buy a structure – they built a magnificent House Beautiful with a world-class Library, Museum and Auditorium in the very heart of our nation’s capital. And the nearly 1 million members who have passionately sustained our purpose since our 1890 founding refused to forget the courage and contributions of our Patriot ancestors. Shall we?

Of course not! And so, we must not allow “small thinking” to limit our DAR destiny. Let us together – today – recommit to bringing new vitality and enthusiasm to our work and to demonstrate, in word and deed, the intrinsic rewards we offer to patriotic women.

  • Can you raise the visibility of DAR in your community by engaging in meaningful and worthwhile volunteerism? Of course you can – if you take advantage of the exciting committee themes that we launch today; and by the way, this is also the very best way to retain your existing members. We have set a goal of 10 million hours of volunteer work during our administration – visit the Service to America Committee page to learn more.
  • Can your chapter increase its membership by 10 percent? Of course it can – if you work together and access the myriad resources we have assembled to help you. More than 30,000 names are queued in our Prospective Member Database; others await in your community but have never been asked. Do your chapter officers have the experience and enthusiasm to turn them into members? If not, ask for help.
  • Can we move beyond the stereotypes that others may hold of us to demonstrate that we are welcoming, dynamic and relevant, with a mission that matters? Of course we can – but it will require your active engagement and determination to show your community what it means to be a member of our diverse, vibrant organization. Let’s stop allowing others to shape our public image, and instead demonstrate our vitality through service projects and sustained, positive outreach.  I think DAR matters now more than ever before. Your investment in membership tells me that you agree.

These goals – passionate purpose, increased membership and an improved public image – share one fundamental element: they all require effective publicity via traditional and social platforms to both members and the media alike. So please be sure to appoint a Public Relations Chair for your chapter and/or state – we need these ladies to tell the world who we are, what we do—and why we matter.

Visit us on the DAR Members’ Only Website to learn more about the exciting highlights we have planned for our term in office. Our team is grateful for the opportunity to shape our DAR work in the years ahead. But we can’t achieve anything without YOU. So, think big, think bold and help us bring our beloved Society to dazzling new heights of achievement.  Now is, indeed, the time to Rise and Shine for America – and for DAR!

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