Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
FMCA has made it a goal to find ways to give back to the communities the association visits for its conventions. When FMCA members depart Redmond, Oregon, following the association’s 78th International Convention this month, they will have touched lives in the community through their support of several charitable programs, which I’d like to describe.
An organization called NeighborImpact has been selected as the official charity for FMCA’s Redmond convention. Founded in 1985, NeighborImpact is a private nonprofit group dedicated to serving and speaking out for economically disadvantaged people in Central Oregon. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty by helping to remove the barriers that prevent people from achieving economic self-sufficiency. NeighborImpact’s funding comes from federal, state, and local sources; grants from private foundations; and donations from individuals and businesses.
This organization provides a diversity of services that not only meet basic human needs for food and shelter but also enrich people’s lives by providing access to increased education, skills, and hope for the future. Its services help people to become more independent and self-sufficient, empowering individuals and families to succeed and become engaged citizens in the community. NeighborImpact gives people food; helps them pay utility bills; helps them weatherize and rehabilitate their homes; and offers Head Start services for area youngsters.
FMCA members attending the Oregon convention are asked to bring nonperishable food items, personal products (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.), paper products (toilet tissue, paper towels, diapers, facial tissues), detergent, and school supplies (ruled paper, pencils and pens, markers, crayons, glue sticks) to the Information Center, located in the High Desert Activity Center beginning on Sunday, August 12. Your donations will be greatly appreciated. More information about NeighborImpact is available by visiting www.neighborimpact.com.
Another way FMCA members help those in need is through involvement in the activities of Habitat for Humanity, an ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide. In fact, FMCA has a chapter whose members donate their energy and talent throughout the year by participating in Habitat for Humanity building projects. Following the convention in Redmond, members of the FMCA Chapter: Habitat For Humanity® will build a home in Bend, Oregon. FMCA members can make donations for future projects by mailing a check to FMCA, c/o Round Up Programs, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244. Make checks payable to FMCA, and send a note indicating that you want the donation directed specifically to Habitat for Humanity. All contributions received will be donated in FMCA’s name to Habitat for Humanity; no administrative fees will be retained by FMCA.
A group of FMCA members who enjoy quilting have been stitching special gifts to leave behind in Redmond. The FMCA On-Road Quilters will donate children’s quilts to Grandma’s House of Central Oregon. This nonprofit home and outreach program provides a safe, nurturing, stable shelter for homeless and/or abused pregnant teens, and parenting teen mothers between the ages of 12 and 19 and their babies. It is the only home of its kind east of the Cascade Mountains meeting the needs of this high-risk population.
Based on the number of quilts donated at past conventions, FMCA members likely will bring and donate 75 to 100 homemade (or “coach made”) quilts to Grandma’s House. The quilts will be on display at the FMCA Information Center in the High Desert Activity Center on Thursday, August 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This has become an FMCA tradition and is another means of leaving something positive behind in the community.
Yet another way to give is to bring your used eyeglasses with you to the Redmond convention. In this way you can support the Lions Foundation Eyeglass Program, which helps to ensure that needy people are able to enjoy the benefits of vision correction. Look for the drop-off box at the Information Center.
These represent only a few of the ways in which you as an FMCA member can help others. Each year, many of FMCA’s 10 area associations hold rallies, and during these events there are opportunities for attendees to leave something behind in the local community. On top of that, if you belong to a chapter “” and there are more than 480 of them now “” you have a chance to support a worthwhile cause of your choosing year-round.
Plus, throughout the year FMCA members have the chance to add a bit to their dues in the association’s “Round Up” program, which benefits Habitat For Humanity, the National Center on Family Homelessness, ProLiteracy Worldwide, and the Good Will-Hinckley Homes For Boys and Girls, organizations that provide a helping hand to families throughout the country. To date we have donated more than $1 million to these organizations. For more information about this program, refer to the “FMCA Round-Up Program” ad that appears in each issue of Family Motor Coaching; check the Advertising Index for its location.
It’s no accident that “family” is the first word in the Family Motor Coach Association’s name. Association members place great value on “family matters” and have chosen to help families in need whenever possible.