Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Gift of Membership

     I had a most delightful holiday celebrating with my family & friends and reminiscing about fond Christmas memories of years gone by. The month of December is always a busy time of year... mailing the annual Christmas cards and the hustle and bustle of shopping til you drop. 

     Gift giving isn't my strong suit. I stand in the aisles of stores with eyes glazed over, or pouring over the Internet looking for that unique and "perfect gift."

     But when I think of gift giving with regards to Delta Kappa Gamma, it's a no-brainer! I believe membership is the "perfect gift" to offer any outstanding & dynamic educator. Perhaps, while volunteering in your grandchild's classroom, you discovered that bright-eyed young teacher who has a fresh outlook on education. Why not invite her to learn more about how she could become a "key woman educator who makes a difference worldwide and how to take advantage of all the benefits DKG has to offer?" 

     As I sit at my computer this morning with a cup of hot coffee at hand, I am drawn now to reflect on an excerpt of my state president's acceptance speech regarding the gift of DKG membership that altered my life path...


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     We all have an origin story... You know... That moment that forever changes our life for the better. In my mind’s eye, I can vividly picture one of my most outstanding moments and perhaps one that you will relate to, I’m sure…

     One moment that altered my life path took place 34 years ago, just a couple of weeks into the new school year. I received a lovely gold embossed personal invitation in the mail asking me to join this group called The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Since I had never heard of this Society before, I immediately thought of a college sorority of some sort...I asked myself, "Is this legitimate? How did they get my name? Why did they want me to join? What were these people going to do to me when I get there?"

     But, after talking it over with my husband and out of curiosity, I did RSVP to accept the invitation.  
     
     It was a crisp fall evening on October 10, 1983. At the entrance door of the Town and Country Restaurant in Spokane Valley, I was greeted by Joan Nelson, a lovely first grade teacher. Fearing the “unknown,” I must have looked a bit apprehensive, but Joan was gracious and calming, and though she couldn’t offer me any details, she did assure me that I wouldn’t experience any sort of hazing or embarrassment. So, I breathed a little easier, but I was still a bit anxious…

     As I was escorted into a dimly lit banquet room, I spied a table beautifully set with a white tablecloth, 3 tall red candles in brass holders, in the middle of the table was a vase of red roses, the official DKG crest and a Bible. As we all stood around the table in the glow of candlelight, I listened intently to members reciting the purposes of Delta Kappa Gamma. The final moment came when I was asked to sign the initiation register. We joined hands in a circle and I listened as members sang the DKG song. 

     It was then I realized the pride of membership & belonging to such a group of distinguished ladies, and it made me extremely proud to have been asked to become a part of this honor society. 

Do you remember your initiation?
Robert Frost wrote...
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

     So began my DKG journey that night…I overcame my apprehension and I embraced the opportunity. I chose the path to become a part of this wonderful organization and that has made all the difference. 

     But, I wonder what the difference would have been if I hadn’t received and accepted that invitation. I think of the many excellent educators today who still are unaware of DKG…educators who may never know our vision, the ideals, and the lifelong friendships that are made when belonging to this Society only because that critical first step of being invited was never offered.

     While working on the International Membership Committee with Dr. Lyn Schmid, she often explained “… one critical selling tool that DKG offers is our benefits. We are functioning in a very competitive environment with a lot of organizations vying for our members’ time and resources…” and she emphasized…“we need to be sure every member is fully aware of all the benefits of our organization, so they can share this information to others frequently.”

     I listened once to a TED TALK by Simon Sineck about inspiring action”. He stated quite simply, “If we talk about what we believe, we will attract those who believe what we believe." 

     Together, let's think of the many ways we can effectively share our information, so others believe in the ideals and benefits of Delta Kappa Gamma.

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     Offering the Gift of Membership is one of the best ways I can think of to help make a positive impact on education, to inspire & support educators, and to advocate for women and children's issues. 

     So, give yourself permission to be brave enough to venture out and seek women to gift with this opportunity because....

The Gift of Membership in DKG can and does make a difference! 

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