Skip to main content

Maryann Slater—First Week at the ENF

by Elks Scholar Fellow Maryann Slater
 

Hello Elks members and Elks scholars! My name is Maryann Slater, and I joined the Elks National Foundation staff last week as the first Elks Scholar Fellow. I recently graduated from Rutgers University and moved from New Jersey to Chicago at the beginning of the month. My position is a two-year fellowship, and I am in charge of promoting, planning and leading three Elks Scholar Service trips each year. These trips will allow Elks Scholars to travel and serve in a location somewhere in the United States for one week while giving back in the name of the Elks and learning how to become active citizens who are committed to a lifetime of service. Click here to learn more.
It was certainly an exciting first week for me at the Elks National Foundation! I’d like to share with you the top 5 things that I learned during my first week (drumroll please):

1. Don't hesitate to take a leap of faith
Whether it’s moving to a new city, starting a new job, changing your major, or planning that vacation you’ve always wanted to take, there is no time like the present to take a leap of faith and start working toward your goals. After moving far from home to dive into starting a new program, I’ve learned to not ask myself “What could go wrong?” but rather focus on what could go right while learning from and enjoying the journey as it happens.
2. It’s important to learn about all the ENF has to offer
As a member of the Order, as an Elks scholar, and as an ENF donor, I have experienced many of the ENF’s programs. However, I did not fully realize the breadth and depth of many of the programs that we offer until I started my new position. After training with staff throughout the week and learning about our many programs, I have gotten a glimpse into how many different projects are funded by our grants, just how rich the Hoop Shoot’s legacy is, and how constantly evolving the ENF is in an effort to better meet Lodge members’ and communities’ needs. If you’re highly versed in one area of the ENF, take some time to look into its other offerings as well—you will be filled with so much pride as you gain insight into what your donations do for so many different people across America.
3. It’s “pop” not “soda”
As a born-and-raised Jersey Girl, I am still getting used to smiling faces asking me how I’m doing as I walk down the street or enter my apartment building. I’ve also learned that “pop” is another term for soda, well, the only term for soda out here. While the Midwest is certainly a lot different from home, I can honestly say that the transition will be made a lot easier by working with the talented, passionate and welcoming staff here at the Elks National Foundation.
4. Use your talents while appreciating others’
Everyone on staff at the ENF is very talented at what they do. With so many different and highly diverse departments, it is amazing to see how each person brings something new to the table. When the entire staff works together, thousands of lives across the country are changed through Elks programs. This is the exact same dynamic that plays out in each Elks Lodge—each member brings something different to the table, and when members work together they make positive changes in their community as they serve local needs. Never forget to share your talents with those around you!
5. Elks Care, Elks Share
I grew up in an Elks family and have heard this phrase my entire life. I have also seen the generosity of the Elks firsthand in many different settings. And after only one week at the ENF, I have heard so many new stories of this phrase being played out in real life by Elks volunteers, Elks scholars and ENF donors from all over the country. Each individual story of how the ENF’s grants and programs have impacted lives makes me so grateful to work in a place that is having an impact on society through the work of Elks members, ENF staff, and donors just like you!

Maryann Slater
Elks Scholar Fellow


Comments

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

What is Zoom?

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation

(This is the first in a series of articles about the need for Lodges to be relevant during the pandemic. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)

Every crisis seems to have its breakout star. This one has two, so far—Dr. Fauci and Zoom.
If you’re not familiar, Zoom is a remote video-conferencing tool with a free basic package. In these days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Zoom is also a godsend. At the O’Kelley household today, we had three concurrent Zoom meetings going on at one point—Meghan, me, and Jane with her Panda Room preschool pals.
In our new teleworking reality, the ENF staff has been using Zoom through Microsoft Teams for check-ins, standing meetings and impromptu discussions. These conferences have helped us stay connected and feel like we’re part of a team despite our isolation.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that Boonton, N.J., Lodge No. 1405 had installed its new c…

Hope in the Time of Coronavirus

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation What a difference a few weeks make. As I’m sure is the case with you, COVID-19 has upended things around here.

I’d like to take a few minutes to update you on how the pandemic has affected our staff and programs. I’ll start with the staff.

On Monday, there were 18 of us in the office. Yesterday, only five. Everyone else is working remotely from home. We’re all communicating with one another using wonderful technology. And the people at home have access to the network via work-issued laptops, as well as their work phones and email. Contacting us should be seamless for you. 

The skeleton crew in the office should shrink to four at some point this week. We are here to deal with the aspects of our work that do not lend themselves to working remotely.

You can help us further reduce our numbers. If you are a Lodge officer or ENF Fundraising Chair who has been sitting on a stack of donations, please send those in today. The faster we c…

See you at the Julebukking

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation
(Earlier this week, I started a series of posts on the need for Lodges to stay relevant during this time of isolation. This is the second post in the series—technically, the series became a series when I posted this. Anyway, read the first post here. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)
Humans have a fundamental need to connect. Scientists, psychologists, therapists, they’ll all tell you the same thing. Our culture may celebrate individualism, but we are wired to be around other people.
How else can you explain the existence of organizations like the Elks? It’s certainly not the dated titles or the jewels of office that go along with them. It’s not the many meetings that demand so much of our time if we want to rise through the ranks. It’s not even the desire to serve our communities.
The Elks have been around for 152 years because people need other people in our lives. Local Lodges satisfy that need.