Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meet the ENF Staff

Christine Robinson
Donor Services Assistant

How long have you worked at the ENF?
I’ve worked at the ENF for four months.

What projects are you/your department working on right now?
Donor Services is busy processing donations. I’m running the individual cumulative recognition process this week. Every donor who has met a new level of giving will be receiving their recognition—either a pin or a pin and certificate—in the mail within the next two weeks. 

What’s your favorite part of working at the ENF?
I love the chances I get to interact with Elks—helping donors who may need a replacement pin, assisting ENF Fundraising Chairs who have questions about how to submit names with remittances, and seeing just how generous the Elks are. I started in March, and was blown away by the generosity of the Elks. I thoroughly enjoy sending out the monthly recognition.

Describe your average day at the ENF.
My day always starts with a cup of coffee. Then it depends on the day. If it is a Monday, I print out of the acknowledgment letters. I work on processing donations, either through a CLMS remittance import or manually. 

What are you looking forward to this summer?
This is my first summer living in Chicago and I’ve already had the chance to experience so much. I went to a Blake Shelton concert at Wrigley Field, enjoyed the beaches of Lake Michigan, and have gone to all of the street fests this city has to offer. 

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?
People might be surprised to know that I am fascinated with weather! One of my favorite classes in college was Severe and Hazardous Weather.
    
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Lisa Kudrow

Monday, July 28, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Xavier Shiu   
2014 Legacy Awards Recipient
Case Western Reserve University—Biomedical Engineering Major
Sponsored by Sioux City, Iowa, Lodge No. 112


Empowering others to believe in themselves is a goal of Xavier Shiu. He achieved this by incorporating his love of science into community service.

An integral part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Youth Advisory Board, Xavier helps plan science lectures and summer activities for hundreds of under-served students, promoting an interest in health and science careers.

Xavier also developed and coordinated an outdoor exercise program for neighborhood children, to keep them active by making exercise fun and helping them build friendships.

“They never wanted to go in for the evening,” he remembers.

Xavier is looking forward to his studies and plans to use his education to help advance the field of mechanical medical devices, such as surgical robots to help improve the impact of medicine.

“Being an Elks scholar makes me feel like there are others who see me as more than a test score,” says Xavier. “They feel that investing in me will make this world a better place. I am proud to say I am an Elks scholar.”

In 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $1 million to fund 250 scholarships for the children and grandchildren of Elks. If you know any Elks children who are high school seniors, encourage them to visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars for information, including eligibility and deadlines.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Victoria Crynes
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

Arizona State University—Global Politics with Pre-Law Major

Sponsored by Sapulpa, Okla., Lodge No. 1118


Elks scholars know the importance of helping their local communities. They also know it’s important to be responsible global citizens. For Victoria Crynes, both come naturally.

In high school, Victoria sent care packages to soldiers stationed overseas, spent many hours tutoring students, and developed educational curriculum on college readiness for at-risk youth. These college-prep workshops aimed to minimize the student dropout rate and earned Victoria a Girl Scout Gold Award.

In addition to her community service, Victoria cultivated an interest in politics and other cultures by hosting foreign exchange students, spending time on political campaigns, and shadowing judges and corporate attorneys to learn more about the legal profession. She plans to combine these interests in a future career as an international lawyer and then an ambassador for the United States.

“The most important part about being an Elks scholar is the opportunity to continue my service to my community and my nation,” says Victoria. “Being an Elks scholar enables me to make a difference in many communities.” 

Watch Victoria's thank you video to the Elks National Foundation here.

For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Double your Gift. Strengthen your Community.

If you could double your gift to the ENF without personally giving twice as much, would you do it?  With more than 19,000 companies offering a matching gift program, there’s a good chance you could double the impact of your donation by requesting a matching gift through your employer. To learn more about matching gifts, we asked Donor Services Associate Jon Flaherty to answer some frequently asked questions about company-sponsored matching gift programs.  Here’s what he had to say.

Q. What is a matching gift?
    A.  It’s when an employer will match a donation dollar-for-dollar to an organization.

Q. What is a volunteer grant?
    A. It’s when a company will match volunteer hours with a check to the ENF. When employees volunteer at the Lodge, they record their hours volunteered and turn them into their employer. Then, their company matches the time volunteered by writing a check to the ENF.

Q. How do I know if my employer does matching gifts?
    A. There are several ways to find out.  The easiest way to check is by using our online database to see if your company sponsors a matching gift program. Search now! Your Lodge’s ENF Fundraising Chair also has a printed copy of companies who participate in workplace giving. Ask him or her if your company is on the list. Or you can always check with your HR department.

Q. How do I start the matching gift or volunteer grant process?
    A. Simply donate to the ENF, and let your employer know. After your company confirms that we received the monetary donation or volunteer hours, it will write a check to the ENF to match the donation. Some companies even allow spouses or retirees to participate in the matching gift program! 

Q. How do I send in my donation?  
    A. You can donate to the ENF as you normally would, either through your Lodge or by sending the donation directly to our office. Read through your company’s matching gift guidelines beforehand, and follow the instructions for requesting a matching gift.  Some employers will ask you to send the matching gift form to us with your donation, while other companies will ask you to submit the matching gift request online.

Q. Will my Lodge get credit for my company’s contribution?

    A. Yes.  Any matching gift or volunteer grant sent from your company will count towards your Lodge’s per member-giving total, and it will count toward your personal recognition total too.

Q. Who do I contact at the ENF with questions about matching gifts?

    A. I’d love to hear from you! Contact me, Jon Flaherty, at JonF@elks.org or 773/755-4862.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars


Rohit Gupta
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar

Rice University—Biochemistry and Cell Biology Major

Sponsored by Englewood, Colo., Lodge No. 2122


Mentor. Advocate. Leader. These words only begin to describe Rohit Gupta’s high school involvement. As a freshman, he started a nonprofit tutoring program to provide free educational services to underserved youth in his community. In the last four years, he has taught hundreds of students from pre-school to college, helping them build a foundation in math, reading and writing.

In addition to providing face-to-face educational support, he also developed educational apps. Downloaded by over 20,000 people worldwide, the free apps provide personal assistance and additional guidance to students.

“I am focused on making students positive and independent self-learners,” says Rohit.

Besides advancing educational resources for countless learners, Rohit has found time to pursue his interest in medicine, assisting hospital staff and advocating for better treatment of mental health at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

“Being an Elks scholar has truly helped me in reaching my goal of attending a top university,” says Rohit. “It has also given me further motivation to continue my efforts in bettering my community and reaching my dreams.”

For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit
www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars

Kayleigh Arcos
2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar


Georgetown University—International Business and Relations Major

Sponsored by San Antonio, Texas, Lodge No. 216

Kayleigh Arcos is a young woman with vision. As a leader in the Hispanic community, Kayleigh was selected as a 2012 High School Latino Leader for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where she promoted Latino involvement in politics and leadership with other Latino youth.

Inspired by her experience, she interned at Communities In Schools of San Antonio, where she helped low-income children improve socially and academically in school through fun and educational projects.

These experiences, coupled with a desire to combat stereotypes and promote education, have motivated Kayleigh to help others through charitable acts and community projects.

“Being an Elks scholar means being a role model for change and opportunity,” says Kayleigh. “We are symbols of hope and passion who have excelled not only in the classroom, but throughout our community.”

With her passion and vision, Kayleigh will ensure real change in her communities at home, in college and beyond.

For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meet the Class of 2014 Elks Scholars


Sahil Suri
2014 Most Valuable Student Recipient

Purdue University—Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Business Major

Sponsored by Sparta, N.J., Lodge No. 2356


Sahil Suri knows the power of education. With this in mind, he co-founded an organization to help refugee students achieve their full potential despite their circumstances. Dreamers Without Borders has already provided free educational resources to thousands of refugee students worldwide. Sahil, who is in charge of technology and social integration, is hoping to expand the organization’s reach by working with the Boy Scouts to create a badge to spread awareness of refugee issues.

With the help of his Elks National Foundation scholarship, Sahil will continue to initiate social change.

“Global efficacy says that each individual has the ability to make real change in the world,” says Sahil. “Elks scholars genuinely encompass that belief and incorporate it into their everyday lives, striving every day to make a positive change in the world.


For 2014-15, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.44 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year Most Valuable Student Scholarships. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit
www.elks.org/enf/scholars.