Skip to main content

A Hand Up

By Programs Associate Mary Morgan

In June, I attended a few days of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. Knowing the passion many Elks have for supporting veterans, I attended speeches and sessions geared toward effectively serving veterans, active-duty military members and their families. Along the way, I met many wonderful people and learned about many great organizations dedicated to doing just that.

General George W. Casey
While there were no cookie-cutter solutions offered, there were a great many small success stories offered from around the nation. Most of those solutions started locally, a point which would come up again when I went to hear a speech by General George W. Casey on how communities can aid veterans.

General Casey is a retired United States Army General, and served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army. His speech, entitled “All the Way Home,” kicked off the last day of the conference and focused on ways to help veterans, service members and their families adapt and thrive.

“Start at the local level,” Gen. Casey began. “Don’t wait for government to act. Military depends on public/private partnerships.”

As I listened to his speech and considered what I’d learned at the conference, I realized that as a charitable, community organization, the Elks are in a unique position to reach out and help veterans, military members and their families.

Now that it’s Veterans Remembrance Month, there is no better time for me to share my takeaways from the conference. The Hand Up series is meant to inspire Lodges to use their ENF Grants to do more, or do things differently to help today’s returning service men and women. Veterans have the potential to be great resources in their communities. They simply need a hand up. That’s exactly where the Elks come in.

Click here to read the first installment in the month-long series.

Comments

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

Seizing Every Opportunity

Reflections from the SAB President By Kat Nakamura 2019 MVS Scholar Hi, Elks Family! I’m Kat Nakamura, a 2019 MVS Scholar currently serving as the president of the Scholar Advisory Board. My time with the Elks has been a transformative experience, not only providing me with financial support for my education but opening the door to a nurturing community of like-minded individuals and remarkable opportunities. My journey began when I applied for the Elks Most Valuable Student scholarship, and little did I know it was just the beginning of a life-changing adventure. Months later, my mom encouraged me to apply to join the Scholar Advisory Board. Initially hesitant, I thought there was no chance of being accepted. Little did I realize that this decision would lead me to one of my most cherished experiences throughout college. The Scholar Advisory Board are the representatives that advise the ENF on scholar relations. Apart from being on the board, members attend the Elks National Conve

Finding a Place in the #ElksFamily

by Aleah Hahn, Most Valuable Student Scholar Aleah Hahn received a second place Most Valuable Student scholarship in 2018. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2021 with degrees in Biosystem Engineering and German. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Marine Resource Management at Oregon State. In her free time, she likes to cycle, forage and hike. Over my spring break I was able to partake in the 2022 Spring Elks Scholar Service Trip in Chicago! In 2018, I attended the 150 for 150 Service Trip in San Antonio, where we celebrated the Elks 150th anniversary through service. Both were amazing experiences to serve in the name of the Elks. They were alike but also different in many ways.  In San Antonio, I connected with Elks state leadership from my home state of Michigan since the trip was at the Elks National Convention!  I served with 149 other scholars and met many of them. It was a great opportunity to connect with other scholars. The majority of our service was at Haven

A Boatload of Scholars, a Busload of Clothes

By: Aditi V. Patel,  2019 Most Valuable Student scholar Last week, I had the pleasure of serving alongside 20 other amazing Elks scholars as a part of the Tampa Elks Scholar Service Trip. I did my research before the trip and found that Hurricane Ian had displaced more than 40,000 Floridians in September 2022—I wanted to do something to help! After landing in Tampa, we got right to work by sorting a busload (literally) of clothing that Tampa, Fla., Lodge No. 708 collected from the community for Greater Pine Island. We organized each item of clothing by size, made sure each item was in good condition, and placed them into bags. Whenever there weren’t clothes at my table, I would shift to another station to help others, and I saw other scholars doing the same. It was amazing to see everyone laboriously working for hours without any complaints, learning names and fun facts as we went. We had dinner at the Tampa Elks Lodge, which is where I had my first genuine conversations with the s