Ellen L. Timmerman, Auxiliary National Commander

Together we are stronger

We’re quickly approaching the holiday season, and as such, I’m reminded of the hope and camaraderie that first attracted me to this wonderful organization. We are part of something bigger than ourselves, and we are in it together.

However, we’ve found ourselves struggling to promote growth and active involvement within our membership. I’d like to challenge each of you to reflect on your history with the organization and think about what initially motivated you to become an active member of our community.

Our goal is to promote the growth of the DAV Auxiliary by becoming more welcoming and supportive of new methods and ideas while still maintaining the traditions of the organization. This proves challenging when considering the broad diversity of our members. In our strategic plan, we’ve come up with some tactics to help each of you attract new members and motivate current members to be more involved.

Encourage and train members to take active roles and leadership positions within the organization. Every member has something special to contribute. Urge each other to use those strengths to maximize the effectiveness of our ranks.

Promote and enhance communication among members and leadership at all levels. True success comes from effective communication.

Encourage suggestions and new ideas at all levels of the organization, and embrace the membership age span. We should welcome members of all ages and backgrounds. Inspire a spirit of change to attract new and younger members. This means reaching them where they are and stepping out of our personal comfort zones.

Identify the unique needs of veterans, caregivers and their families, and develop programs to meet those needs. The Auxiliary has been an integral pillar in the push for comprehensive caregiver benefits for veterans of all eras. With the passage of the VA MISSION Act, we need to keep our members aware of changes to benefits, as well as continuously listen to new or developing needs from our members. We can do this by promoting caregiver and community awareness for veterans and their families.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to seeing how each of us can help our beloved organization grow and flourish.