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    Caring = Caritas

    The Alliance works hard to continually reinvent itself. We are always looking for new ways to more effectively deliver the highest quality advocacy, education, information, and networking opportunities to our member societies; to provide the greatest possible value for the investment members make in the Alliance; and to promote the incredible financial and social impact that fraternals have had and can have on individuals and communities across the U.S. and Canada.

    For several years, we have conducted a community service activity in conjunction with the Annual Meeting – painting a local family shelter, refurbishing a YMCA, etc. But members told us that these are the types of activities they do in their societies on a daily basis, and that they would prefer the Annual Meeting focus, in part, on teaching them to be more effective volunteer organizers. We stumbled upon a happy compromise that allows Alliance members to have a positive impact on the community in which the Annual Meeting is held, without taking time away from the educational and networking sessions members tell us is their highest priority. We now adopt a local charitable organization that reflects the shared values of our member societies and raise funds to help them carry out their mission. It’s become one of my favorite “new traditions” about the meeting. Caritas This year the Alliance has selected Caritas of Austin as our “charity of choice.” Now in its 50th year of service, Caritas serves the homeless, families in crisis, veterans, and refugees. Caritas provides a safety net for those experiencing poverty and links them to resources to achieve self-sufficiency. You can learn more about them by clicking on THIS LINK. Caritas was recommended to us by several Texas-domiciled Alliance members, led by Buddy Preuss, CEO of the Sons of Hermann. By the way, Buddy and other fraternal executives in the Lone Star State have gone out of their way to make sure this year’s meeting has lots of “local flavor,” and here’s a shout out in advance for all the effort they’ve put into making the 2014 Annual Meeting a spectacular one.

    Once again, Steve Ollenburg and his staff at Modern Woodmen Bank are providing gift cards for purchase by folks attending the Annual Meeting.  The gift cards, in denominations of $25, can be purchased by individuals or societies throughout the meeting at the Alliance’s registration desk.  And MWB Bank will match the first $1,000 in gift cards purchased!  We’ll turn over all the gift cards to Caritas at the conclusion of the meeting, and Caritas will provide them to individuals they serve so they can purchase the goods and services they need as they transition from hopelessness to independence.

    You can make miracles happen at the 2014 Annual Meeting.  Bring an open mind to absorb the wealth of new ideas and information that will be coming your way through the keynote addresses and workshops; and bring an open checkbook to give back just a little to an organization serving the community that will be hosting the meeting – Caritas of Austin.

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