Thursday, January 26, 2012

Be Loud, Be Proud, Be Visible

We all know the good work the Elks do, but does your community? ENF Community Investments Program grants can help Lodges to not only serve their community but also to gain the community’s notice. The more people see and hear about the good Elks are doing, the more they’ll want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things.

Throughout 2012, the ENF will follow Redlands, Calif., Lodge No. 583 as members work to raise their Lodge’s profile through community service. Here’s what the Lodge has done so far.

In December, Lodge member Sam Trad contacted the ENF looking for advice on how his Lodge could most effectively use its ENF grants. We sent brochures, videos and other information to help with the process, and he took off running. We recently had the chance to ask Trad a few questions about his commitment to and enthusiasm for raising his Lodge’s profile. Here's what he had to say.

What inspired the Lodge to start using ENF grants to raise its community profile?
I found the video “ENF Grants: Raising Your Community Profile” on the ENF web site. ENF Director Jim O'Kelley did a very good job communicating the purpose of the ENF Community Investments Program. He repeatedly said that the ENF is there to help our Lodges succeed.

What are your plans so far?
I put together a focus group of 10 members to come up with ideas about how we can use ENF grants to make our Lodge vibrant and sustainable. After three meetings, we will now be making some important decisions on our goals to present to the Lodge leadership. We plan to have them all watch the ENF video (below) as well. 


What do you hope will come from this?
I hope our service puts focus on the good work that Elks do in our community. This, I feel, will help us grow our Lodge membership. Redlands is a city that has significant community involvement through a number of non-profit organizations. There are people who want an avenue to give back to the community. By raising Redland’s profile, we will show them that there is no better way to give back to the community than by becoming involved with the Elks. 

Stay tuned for our next check-in with Redlands. Email us your stories of how your Lodge is using ENF Grants to raise its community profile. Contact us if you would also like materials to start a similar conversation at your Lodge.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Oak Ridge, Tenn., Lodge No. 1684
A concertgoer takes advantage of the free face painting!

Oak Ridge, Tenn., Lodge No. 1684 used its Community Investments Program Promise Grant to hold five separate Drug Free Safe Zone concerts! The concerts, geared specifically toward providing a drug-free environment for youth, were a big hit. Popular local bands played music for kids ages 2 to 18, and each guest received a healthy meal and drug education materials.

The Elks National Foundation awards $2,000 Promise Grants to the first 500 Lodges that pledge to host an event that helps build the character and competence of youth in their community. To find out more about Promise Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Hoxie, Kans., Lodge No. 2415

A student concentrates on a relay game—
can he balance six dice on the popsicle stick
before time runs out?
Hoxie, Kans., Lodge No. 2415 used its Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant to support a drug and alcohol free after-prom party for local high school students. Elks volunteered at the party, which gave teens a fun and safe place to celebrate with their friends.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Orange, Calif., Lodge No. 1475

Orange, Calif., Lodge No. 1475 used its Community Investments Program Gratitude Grant to promote literacy. The Lodge purchased dictionaries for all the 3rd graders in the county—a total of 2,400 students! Here, students are showing off their brand new books.

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.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Elks Community Builder of the Week

Cocoa Beach, Fla., Lodge No. 2387

Elks from Cocoa Beach, Fla., Lodge No. 2387 know the importance of extracurricular activities. That’s why they partnered with the local high school, and last year raised a record $28,000 to help student groups ranging from the athletic department to the robotics team.

With the help of an Elks National Foundation Promise Grant, the Lodge helps students hold car wash fundraisers. Check out this news coverage of the Lodge’s partnership with the school.

The ENF awards $2,000 Promise Grants to the first 500 Lodges that pledge to host an event that helps build the character and competence of youth in their community. To find out more about Promise Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.