On Monday, March 16th at 8pm our world changed. For the past two weeks we have had to adjust our lives to deal with our current health situation. I don’t think any of us ever expected to have to live through this experience, but we are and we will persevere. First and foremost, keep yourself, your families and your extended families as healthy as possible.
I am requesting that each of us do a minimum of one “Buddy Check” call a day. Do not count talking to the same person twice in one week. You may want to reach out to someone you normally wouldn’t call; it could mean something special to that person as we all cope with adjusting to this new life-style. IF you know of someone who has the Corona Virus and is in need of help to get supplies, start making phone calls to members in other areas to see if they can get supplies that you can’t. We are all in this together. Chaplain Nick WIngler is also available for support and concerns if you need to talk.
Although our “busy season” has been cut short with activities and events that we typically run, we still have to keep moving ahead with those activities we can still maintain.
Detachment Officers and Committee Chairmen:
Have your reports to the Adjutant, Tom Marsden, by Friday, April 10. I would like you to also send copies or a similar update to our SALute Editor, Gary Crawford by then as well.
We still have to bolster our membership, so I am also requesting all Commanders to take their list of unpaid members and give each of their officers a portion of their list of members, along with their phone numbers, to contact. Approach those phone calls with a “buddy check” mindset—see how your member is doing and feeling. When you remind them that they need to pay their dues you could emphasize that we are still running our programs.
Detachment Vice Commanders:
Keep in constant touch with your Squadron Commanders and see if they need assistance with anything. Remind them that CSR reports are due “soon”, applications for awards such as Son of The Year, Young Citizen’s Award and the Ernie Wilson, Jr. Memorial Scholarship are on-line and can be filled out and sent in. We are also still collecting donations for our programs:
Veterans: Commander’s Project, VA and R and Veteran Homelessness Clothing Drive.
Children: CWF, COTA, and Special Olympics.
Remind them that they can still make donations and give them the contact information they need.
One of my main concerns going into our Convention is the state of our finances. Finance Chairman Carl Albern, Jr. has worked diligently with his committee and Finance Officer Dave Page to get this straightened out. There is a Finance Committee Conference Call slated for Sunday, April 5 at 12pm. We are looking at revamping the existing allocations as well as a potential $5.00 increase in dues, as $3.00 is needed for National and a raise of $2.00 for the state.
I have increased the number of DECs from 8 to 15, but not everyone has filed their paperwork. I do not see the need for me to call you since you volunteered to step up. If you are having a problem getting your signatures, contact me for assistance. Please get that paperwork into the Adjutant ASAP; your input and votes will be needed shortly. If you don’t comply you are putting your own county at a disadvantage.
Not knowing where we will be in regards to health regulations and social distancing could affect our Convention, I am looking to accumulate and assess ideas for alternatives to having a physical convention for a meeting in June. If we wind up shifting our Convention to another date, then we won’t have to worry about this; I just want us to be prepared.
One idea I am thinking about is having a meeting in a chat room on the internet. I don’t believe a conference call by telephone would work as efficiently and would be harder to manage with the amount of personnel that would be involved. I can easily set up a free chat room or look into purchasing a different kind with audio capabilities.
I welcome any and all ideas for assessment. Please email me your thoughts.
Please by safe, continue conducting yourselves in a health-conscious manner and be patient. We will get through this.
For God and Country,
Matthew C. Thalasinos
Sons of The American Legion
Detachment of New Jersey