(Rock Island, Ill.) - Planning a family gathering can be stressful and time consuming. Adding extra meaning to your event may seem downright impossible - until now. Rock Island's Modern Woodmen of America has created Gatherings.info's Gatherings with Purpose tool. With a little forethought, any get-together can touch lives beyond the guest list.

"Helping people achieve quality family life and give back to their community is at the core of everything Modern Woodmen does," said Jill Lain Weaver, manager of corporate communications at Modern Woodmen, a fraternal financial services organization. "Our members gather with purpose through local camp (chapter) and youth service club activities across the U.S. Gatherings with Purpose is designed to help people add a touch of goodwill to their own get-togethers."

The trend toward volunteering in the United States has taken off, and more people are taking time out to help. In 2008, approximately 61.8 million Americans (26.4 percent) volunteered through or for an organization, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Gatherings.info now offers Gatherings with Purpose as a resource to help families add a touch of charity to their festivities.

  Site visitors can also ease the stress of planning a gathering by navigating through tips, ideas and checklists. The site provides recipes, themes, and location and travel advice, as well as family reunion planning steps. With only a few clicks, the site's Quick Planner will compile a complete shopping list of the supplies needed for party recipes and more.

  To further enhance family gatherings, Modern Woodmen invites Gatherings.info visitors to register for its monthly Gatherings Giveaway. Register to win one of these great family prizes worth $350: a Sony camcorder, an Apple iPod Classic with docking station, or an outdoor, family prize pack from Coleman® and Omaha Steaks®. Registrants will also receive a monthly electronic newsletter, full of ideas for great gatherings. To be eligible for the Gatherings Giveaway, entrants must be legal residents of the United States and be 18 years or older.

  Gatherings.info is developed and sponsored by Modern Woodmen of America. Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.

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