In May, volunteers from Modern Woodmen, Genesis and other local organizations put together hundreds of Jared Boxes at Modern Woodmen Park. These Jared Boxes were donated to hospitals and included toys and games for ill children.
We were recently informed that this volunteer project won a national award from the National Fraternal Congress of America, who organizes the national Join Hands Day efforts. Only 10 project were chosen nationwide, so this is wonderful news.
In addition to a plaque, we will receive $1,000 to use for next year's Join Hands Day project.
Join Hands Day project in Quad Cities receives national recognition
Local group receives $1,000 for making "Jared Boxes"
A group of volunteers in the Quad Cities was recognized by the National Fraternal Congress of America (NFCA) for its exceptional volunteer project on May 2, 2009 - Join Hands Day. This was one of only 10 projects nationwide honored as Excellence Award winners.
The 10 awardees were selected from hundreds of volunteer projects that emphasized youth and adult partnerships on Join Hands Day. Each award-winning project will receive $1,000 and a plaque. The award money will be saved to use as seed money for a Join Hands Day 2010 project in the Quad Cities.
At Modern Woodmen Park, Modern Woodmen members were joined by Quad Cities River Bandits, Genesis Health System, Scott County DAV/Auxiliary, Cub Scouts, 4-H, Girl Scouts, St. Paul the Apostle School. More than 151 youth and 209 adults made 425 Jared Boxes, shoebox-sized containers filled with toys, games and crafts for children who find themselves in hospitals, bereavement and trauma support.
A panel of independent judges selected this year's top projects. The judges selected the winners based on the project's uniqueness, its youth involvement, recruitment, publicity and the value of the project to people and the community.
Sponsored by Modern Woodmen and America's fraternal benefit societies, Join Hands Day is designed to bring youth and adults together to plan and implement volunteer service projects in their communities. As the generations work side by side, they learn more about each other, sparking a new level of understanding and respect.
"In its 10 years JOIN HANDS DAY has really come into its own. Communities are developing this year's event based on previous projects to further enhance the community and relationships begun a year ago," said Joseph J. Annotti, NFCA President and CEO.
Since its conception in 1999, JOIN HANDS DAY has awarded 100 Excellence Awards. This is the final year for this award program.
About the NFCA
The 123-year-old NFCA unites 65 not-for-profit fraternal benefit societies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The association represents 9.3 million fraternalists in 37,000 local chapters, making it one of America's largest member-volunteer networks. Fraternal benefit societies provide their members with leadership, social, educational, spiritual, patriotic, scholarship, financial and volunteer-service opportunities. Combined, the NFCA's member-societies maintain more than $353 billion of life insurance-in-force and, in 2008 alone, contributed almost $424 million to charitable and fraternal programs, and volunteered nearly 94 million hours for community-service projects. These statistics demonstrate the commitment that fraternals make to those in need and exemplify the true meaning of the NFCA signature phrase: Joining Hands to Touch Lives. For more information, visit the NFCA's Web site at www.nfcanet.org.