P.O. Box 577
Robinson, IL 62454
“Making Life Bearable for our Veterans”
Have you ever dug out an old family album from the past, and were amazed by its contents? Maybe you didn’t even remember the occasion until you saw photographs of friends, relatives, and events that were saved in that book. Preserving history, whether it pertains to family or our VFW Auxiliary, is important. If done properly, it provides a legacy of the past for others enjoy when we are no longer here, and can also be a meaningful tool to inspire those who follow in our footsteps.
When we miss the opportunity to capture special moments, they are lost to all time—gone forever, and cannot be replicated or enjoyed by others. The Historian/Media Relations Program provides a means of preserving our heritage and letting others know who we are and what we do through the use of social media, newspaper, flyers, newsletters, etc. These days, almost everyone carries a cell phone that has a camera, so don’t let those special moments go unrecorded!
THE ROLE OF THE DEPARMENT HISTORIAN
The Department Historian compiles a scrapbook of the Department President’s year, which will be presented to President Linda at the end of her term. There will be many events where I will not be present, and will have no opportunity to take photographs, so this will be a team effort. I am counting on our members to be diligent about taking pictures and sending them to me, or tagging me when photos are shared on Facebook and then reporting it as well. I would also love to receive newspaper articles, because they provide a written history of the VFW Auxiliary.
NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S VISIT – NEW PROJECT – NEED 50 PHOTOS FROM AUXILIARY OR DISTRICT EVENTS
This year, we have a new project for the National President’s Visit! Our National Historian and Medial Relations Ambassador, Nicole Koutz, has asked every Department Historian to provide a Power Point presentation that includes at least 5 photos of President Sandy’s Visit. It will also include an additional 20 – 45 photos of events that have taken place in our Department. These photos should be of projects that show your pride in functions of the VFW Auxiliary. After submitting, the photos will be combined into one presentation and shared at National Convention.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see your project highlighted at the convention? I’m anxiously awaiting those photos of your events.
THE ROLE OF THE AUXILIARY HISTORIAN
Ideally, every Auxiliary should have a Historian to record their events, and compile them at the end of the year to give to their President. This is not always done; but at the very least, every Auxiliary should have a Historian who will take pictures, submit newspaper articles, or post on social media—and most importantly, report their work to the Department Chairman. The Historian Program is part of the x-sheet, and every Auxiliary needs to file an online report (or mail if necessary).
One event that is often overlooked is the District President’s visit. Every Auxiliary Historian (or at least someone) should take a photo and send it to their District Historian, so there will be a record of their visit to your Auxiliary. It should also be sent to the local newspaper (or posted on social media), with information on who the District President is, where they live, what they discussed, or anything else that is interesting, including both Auxiliary and District events.
Newspaper reporting is one of the best ways to attract new members, because it makes the general public aware of who we are and what we do as members of the VFW Auxiliary. When submitting articles, be sure to talk about the programs of the VFW Auxiliary at all levels (including the National Programs), and how we work to support our veterans. Most nonmembers don’t truly understand the magnitude of what we do.
Sending out newsletters can be very helpful to an Auxiliary. Many members are not aware of upcoming events or projects, and therefore do not participate. Communication is key to the success of any Auxiliary! Who knows…you might find volunteers who have skills that are not being utilized, or have never found a reason to become actively involved. Find out what their interests are, and encourgage them to use their talents within the Auxiliary.
Posting on social media reaches hundreds… maybe even thousands…of individuals, and it’s not hard to do! Share your stories and photos to help create awareness. Report this and you can get credit on the x-sheet!
THE ROLE OF THE DISTRICT HISTORIAN
The District Historian collects photos, articles, and other media from the Auxiliaries in his/her District, and prepares a memory book that is presented to the District President at the end of the year. Be diligent about taking photos, especially when the Department President or other Line Officers attends various functions or makes their official visit during a District Meeting. PLEASE…send me these pictures so I can include them in the Department President’s Historian Book. The goal is to have at least one photo from every District in the Department of Illinois—and I need everyone to help with this.
District Historians should also focus on publicizing events through newspaper, newsletters (especially upcoming events), social media, etc. Make your photos interesting and be creative!
An excellent resource for obtaining publicity can be found on the National website, under the “Resources” tab. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review the helpful information, which includes a Publicity Guide, talking points, how to share local story ideas and events, and much, much more: vfwauxiliary.org/resources
If you are not sure where to start, or just need some ideas, this is the place to go to learn all about promoting the VFW Auxiliary.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR TAKING PHOTOS
First, take lots of photos, so you have a choice as to what to share. It is embarrassing when a person is shown in an unflattering manner…i.e., eyes closed, crying, mouth open, or distracting objects in the background. Nobody likes to see a humiliating photo of themselves shared for everyone to see, so review the pictures before using them in any type of media.
As always, it is important to identify photos with the following: WHO is in the picture; WHAT they were doing; WHEN the photowas taken; WHERE; and WHY you captured the moment (a/k/a the “5 W’s). This is extremely important!
Department Program Awards:
- Citation to each Auxiliary that provides a photo to be included in the Power Point presentation. Must include a description of the event, i.e, who, what, when, where and why. Deadline to Department Chairman is March 31st, 2021.
- Citation to each Auxiliary that partcipates and reports in the Historian/Media Relations Program by December 31st, 2020.
- Citation to the Auxiliary Chairman that publicizes the District President’s Visit (using any media) within 60 days of the visit. Copy must be sent to Department Chairman by May 31st, 2021.
- An award to one Auxiliary that submits a monthly/quarterly newsletter promoting Auxiliary news and events and sends a copy of each newsletter to the Department Chairman by May 31, 2021. The winner will be entered into a drawing at the Department Convention.
- A citation to all District Chairmen who publicize the Department President’s Official Visit to their District (through the use of any media). Must be mailed to the Department Chairman by May 31st, 2021.
- A citation to each District President that sends out a minimum of four quarterly newsletters. Copies must be sent to Department Chairman by May 31, 2021.
- An award to the District Chairman with the best coverage of the Historian/Media Relations program at District Meetings. Please send a copy to the Department Chairman after each promotion. Must be submitted to Department Chairman by May 31st, 2021.
National Historian & Media Relations Program Awards
AWARDS FOR AUXILIARIES
- Most outstanding Historian & Media Relations report.
- Citation to every Auxiliary that submits a Historian & Media Relations report to their Department Historian & Media Relations Chairman by March 31, 2021. Report form (required) available at vfwauxiliary.org/resources.
The Department Historian & Media Relations Chairman must send a copy of all submitted report forms to National Headquarters by April 30, 2021.
Citations will be mailed directly to participating Auxiliaries from National Headquarters.
Citation and $25 to one Auxiliary in each of the four Conferences with the most outstanding Historian & Media Relations report.
The Department Historian & Media Relations Chairman must sign and send a copy of the completed Department-winning report form to the National Historian & Media Relations Ambassador by April 30, 2021 for judging.
AWARDS FOR DEPARTMENTS AND DEPARTMENT CHAIRMEN
- Citation to each Department Historian & Media Relations Chairman for participation in this Program.
- $25 VFW Store Gift Certificate to one Department Historian & Media Relations Chairman in each of the 10 Program Divisions for the best promotion of media relations training.
- $25 VFW Store Gift Certificate to one Department Historian & Media Relations Chairman in each of the 10 Program Divisions for the best PowerPoint presentation based on criteria listed on page 26.
- Outstanding Performance Award in each of the 10 Program Divisions based on criteria listed on Page 5 and for the promotion of Program Goals on Page 28.
There are numerous resources available on the National website, www.vfwauxiliary.org to assist you with this program which I encourage all Auxiliaries to use.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
We have provided a place here for you to download all of the information that we distribute to you through our Program Book and Bi-Monthly Chairmen’s Bulletins. You will need Adobe Reader, it is a Free program and can be downloaded here Get Adobe
2020-2021 Department Historian/Media Relation Printable Report Form (click here for online reporting)