Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Kimberling County, Mo., Lodge No. 2505
Elks carry their ship to the starting line.
Kimberling County, Mo., Lodge No. 2505 helped fellow citizens by hopping aboard a sinking ship. Elks used their Elks National Foundation Community Investments Program Gratitude Grant to help Chances, a local center for people with disabilities, hold a cardboard boat race fundraiser. Though the Elks’ boat sunk before it reached the finish line, they were still winners, claiming first prize for overall fundraiser and receiving recognition for team spirit.

The ENF awards $2,000 Gratitude Grants to Lodges to directly address local needs. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the GER’s per-capita goal. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Crestwood, Miss., Lodge No. 2053

Crestwood, Miss., Lodge No. 2053 partnered with the St. Louis VA Medical Center to hold a welcome home celebration for returning soldiers. This celebration was made possible by an ENF Gratitude Grant, a component of the Community Investments Program. Elks volunteered their time and served 1,300 meals to veterans and their families at the celebration.

The ENF awards $2,000 Gratitude Grants to Lodges to directly address local needs. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the GER’s per-capita goal. To find out more about Gratitude Grants, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Golden, Colo., Lodge No. 2740

Elks from Golden, Colo., Lodge No. 2740 used their Freedom Grant to supply clothes for veterans in need.The Elks also volunteered at a local stand down, during which 500 veterans got medical and dental check-ups, learned about VA benefits and received housing assistance. Elks helped with transportation, and the Elks’ presence reminded veterans that they will never be forgotten.

Funded by the Elks National Foundation, Freedom Grants, a component of the Elks National Veterans Service Commission, are $2,000 grants that Lodges can use to help veterans or active duty military personnel. In 2011-12, the Elks National Foundation allocated more than $1.135 million to fund the Elks National Veterans Service Commission. For more information, visit www.elks.org/programs/vets.cfm.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Elks Family Dinner

By Programs Assistant Brianne Menges

I have a confession to make: I don’t really listen to country music. It’s not that I don’t like it; I’m just more of a Glee fan myself. So after landing in the country music capital of Nashville, Tenn., I was a little apprehensive about how much I would have in common with everyone there.

Thankfully, our dissimilarities began and ended with our taste in music.

Assistant Director Debbie Kahler Doles and I recently traveled to Nashville to attend the National Scholarship Providers Association’s annual conference. While taking a break from various informational sessions, we were able to meet with some local Elks and Elks scholars for dinner.

In the months leading up to our trip, this dinner is what I had been looking forward to the most. After working for the ENF for two years, this was going to be my first opportunity to meet Elks and Elks scholars in person. I couldn’t wait!

For me, this was a chance to put faces with names, and meet the people who make our work possible and those who benefit from our programs.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, Tennessee State Veteran’s Chair Dalton Jordan, and Tennessee State Scholarship Chair Jim Birdsong and his wife, Paulette, were already waiting for us. My first Elks!

While we waited for our other guests to arrive, we had the chance to talk. I heard about the various projects my new friends were doing at their Lodges and throughout Tennessee. It was amazing to hear all of the outreach projects going on in their communities. These Elks are doing impressive things!

As our Elks scholars began arriving and introducing themselves, it was wonderful to see such a variety of backgrounds, from an alumna working on her Ph.D., to freshmen experiencing their first midterms. They were all excited to meet the Elks who helped make their scholarships possible; for many of them, this was their first time meeting Elks too.

It was such a joy to not only meet the Elks and Elks scholars, but to see them meet each other and swap stories of their times in school. That night, we were all members of the Elks family hanging out and sharing a meal. 

And like most families, we ate a little, we laughed a lot, and we have very different taste in music.

The Elks National Foundation provides more than $3.6 million in college scholarships each year. For more information about our scholarship programs, including eligibility and deadlines, please visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Bridgeport, Conn., Lodge No. 36

Bridgeport, Conn., Lodge No. 36 supports veterans in need all year with its Impact Grant, Serving Those Who Served. Elks provide a well-balanced meal once a month, organize holiday outings and purchase much-needed supplies for veterans at the Home for the Brave transitional center.

The ENF awards Impact Grants to help Lodges significantly address unmet needs in Elks communities. Impact Grants are competitive grants worth up to $10,000 and are open to all Lodges. To find out more about Impact Grants, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.