Sharing Interesting Member Service Projects for Celebrate America!

Written by: LeAnn Turbyfill, National Chair, Celebrate America! Committee
September 23, 2014

Daughters everywhere are continuing to serve their communities through countless activities and projects.   You can see this as you watch the ever increasing Celebrate America Tally grow steadily!  Hours are being logged; photos and stories are being sent to the address.  Here are some recent examples of interesting member service projects:

Members of the Dancing Rabbit Chapter, MS, are creating a quilt which includes the signatures of living veterans whose home town is or was Noxubee County, MS.  Signings were held throughout the county this past year for veterans who served from approximately 1940 through today.   Additionally, requests have been mailed to those identified as veterans but who have not yet participated.  As this is a work in progress, the names of those veterans who have died will be printed on the outside border of the quilt.  Each member of the chapter will be adding at least one quilting stitch very soon.  The finished quilt will then be donated to the local historical society.  

Members of the Maple Hill Chapter, AL, created a scarecrow to benefit the Huntsville Botanical Garden’s annual Scarecrow Trail fundraiser.   Given the theme of “Once Upon a Time…” and basing the image on a television show or character, the idea of creating a Revolutionary War era patriot, such as was seen in the recent series, “Turn,” was most appropriate for this DAR chapter!  Members purchased the different pieces of clothing, Scotch-Guarded them as protection from the elements for two months, stuffed the scarecrow, assembled the pieces together, and installed the finished scarecrow in the garden.   Even though the members were pure amateurs at making a scarecrow, they certainly had fun doing it!

Martha Koletar, a member of the Brunswick Town Chapter, NC, starred in a performance of the “Carol Burnett Show” to support the Communities In Schools in Brunswick County, NC.  This organization surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  Communities In Schools, founded in 1970 on the belief that “programs don’t save children, relationships do,” has become the nation’s most effective and widely respected community-based organization helping kids succeed in school and prepare for life. Its mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.   As a talented entertainer, Martha shared her love of the arts in the process!

Kerry Weaver of the Fort Reno Chapter, OK, worked to raise funds for the Friends of the Carnegie Library in order to restore their historic library back to its original condition.  To date, over $80,000 was raised this past year.  One project, in conjunction with Wine and Palette, an events company, was a fundraiser in which 114 participants painted their own works of art while sipping a glass of wine and enjoying hors d’oeuvres.  Fun was had by all! 

Patty Ware, a member of the Crater Lake Chapter, OR, works during the summer with the American Hiking Society which partners with various agencies like Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to maintain the extensive trail system throughout the United States.  This year she worked the first week of June in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area where they greatly improved the Sluice Creek Trail and added cairns to make it easier to locate and follow the trail. 

She also spent time this summer working to maintain the trails in the new San Juan Island National Monument, and on the Lopez, Shaw, San Juan and Patos Islands.

She adds:  “I’m glad that my volunteer work counts in so many ways.  Thank you for recognizing all the volunteer work that DAR members provide to the community.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoy the work.”  

For several years Connie Lizak, Regent of Estero Island Chapter, FL, and Arlene Pulner, Flag Chair, have helped with the Habitat Women Build campaign. This year they again helped on a house rehab for a single mother and her two young children.  As Flag Chair, Arlene had proposed that an American Flag be presented to the new homeowner of a Women Build house.  Although a small American flag is presented along with other meaningful items by the Habitat staff at the house dedication ceremony, a flag to be flown outside the house had not been done before.

What an exciting and rewarding experience as on Mother’s Day weekend, Connie and Arlene presented the flag to the homeowner and two little patriot beanie bears to the children.  A gift bag of information on DAR and a flag lapel pin was included.  This is proof that “dreams do come true” - at least for this young mother. 

Adrienne Danke of the Star of Destiny Chapter, TX, opened her heart and home to a young Honduran boy so that he could have lifesaving open-heart surgery.  Without the procedure, he was not expected to live past his teenage years.  Non-profit agencies, Samaritan’s Purse and HeartGift, arranged the transportation and surgery.  The procedure was a success and the young boy has now returned to Honduras with a long, healthy life ahead of him! 

As we continue to serve communities wherever we find ourselves, please remember to log those service hours using the Online Tally.  If you know a member who is not very computer savvy or does not have computer access, please use your skills to help a fellow Daughter and enter the hours for her.  Entering hours in this way will help the chapter to track hours served by its own members via the eMembership report, “Celebrate America Chapter Tally Report.”

Let’s continue toward our cumulative goal of ten million hours during this administration!

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