BE A P.E.O. SUPERSTAR! Leann Drullinger, Nebraska State Organizer The narrator will be placed off to one side and the chapter scenes will happen center stage. NARRATOR: Super heroes have long been a popular part of our culture with young and old alike. Many have been created out of the need for hope, a need for a way for good to always win out and conquer all. Movies, television shows, and comic books about our heroes have been commonplace in our society for decades. They have been fighters of evil, conquerors of bad guys, and saviors of weak and small. Enter 2005 and the “It’s OK to Talk About P.E.O.” campaign. Such a stir this has caused! We all have been introduced to catch phrases like “tagline” and “elevator speech”, tools that help us get comfortable with the expanded opportunities to share information about our beloved sisterhood. The greatest of these new tools may be the mission statement: “P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate each other to achieve their highest aspirations” And now, because of this amazing program, created to lead our organization into a bright and positive future, a new superhero is on the horizon; a true P.E.O.—Positive, Enthusiastic and Optimistic; a champion for all that is good and positive and right in the realm of P.E.O. I give you---SUPERSISTER. SCENARIO #1: Three members are sitting around a table following a P.E.O. chapter meeting. Remnants of dessert are on the table-coffee pot and cups, plates, napkins, etc. Well, that was another disappointing meeting! The attendance was so low again. I can’t believe we have so many members that don’t come to meetings anymore. It really does get discouraging. I think it’s to the point that members don’t even want to propose a name because it’s embarrassing to bring someone new into the chapter when there are so few of us here. Sharon is a fairly new member, but we hardly ever see her either. If she does come, she comes alone and seems uncomfortable being at the meeting. Maybe she’s shy or standoffish, I don’t know. I, for one, am getting really weary of trying to keep this chapter afloat. The few of us that are always here have to do everything. And that closeness I used to feel at meetings—I don’t feel it anymore. So many members just don’t seem to care or want to take the time to attend. Life is so crazy anymore! Schedules are hectic and we all get torn in a million directions and something’s gotta give—and P.E.O. suffers. We seem to be dealing with so many struggles —low attendance, lack of participation, maybe even some apathy. It’s like we’re in a downward spiral and there’s no hope for turning it around. What is the answer? LIGHTS FLASH OFF AND ON and “Here I come to save the day!” plays. SuperSister makes a grand entrance, wearing a superhero costume including a cape and a SuperSister shirt. Ladies, ladies…..help has arrived! I am SuperSister, a champion for all P.E.O.s, a conqueror of woes that plague chapters, and a cheerleader for everyone who needs, well, cheering up! I may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but I have heard your cries of despair and have come to your rescue! I know that sometimes things look pretty discouraging, but let me give you some helpful ideas and possible solutions and see if we can get your chapter back on track. It’s time you learn how to CELEBRATE P.E.O. First of all, let’s look at your attendance issues. I know they sure can feel overwhelming, can’t they? Have you ever looked at changing your meeting time or day? Or using the new social meetings to mix things up a bit—maybe meet for Saturday brunch or a different evening for a girls night out? You can even use these times as a way to meet women that could be your sisters someday by inviting them to your socials and giving them a chance to meet the chapter members. Get your members together and do some brainstorming! Maybe some compromising is in order to meet the demands of varied schedules. Find some new and fun ways to meet—celebrate your chapter’s birthday or honor your long time members in a special way. Make sure to especially invite nonparticipating members and any unaffiliates you may know in your area. So, what about Sharon, our newest member? What can we do so that she’ll begin to feel like a part of us? SS) Great question! Remember how awkward you felt at your first few meetings- you didn’t know but a few people, you had no idea what was going on in the meeting….. Well, change that for Sharon! Always provide your new members with a mentor—someone that will bring them to meetings, so they won’t have to walk into the room alone. Someone that will sit next to them at the meetings, answer questions, and just make sure they feel welcome and comfortable right from the start. And another important thing—get your new members plugged into the chapter right away with involvement on a committee or a fundraiser or the like. We started a membership committee in our chapter some time ago, but they haven’t quite figured yet what they’re supposed to be doing. Any help there? Oh, wow! It should be one of the most active committees that your chapter has. There’s a great tool for them to use on the International website called, “A Guide for the Local Chapter Membership Committee. The committee can be instrumental in many ways by addressing your problems and concerns and helping to find solutions. By inspiring membership awareness and educating the members on membership issues, hopefully chapter growth will be promoted and attendance and participation will increase. The committee can help members develop closer relationships, which can help prevent sisters from going inactive. The Nebraska state membership committee is also a great resource for help and information. You need to get the spirit of celebration back into chapter life! Celebrate who you are as sisters! Find ways to instill chapter pride and bring back the enthusiasm for the sisterhood. Dig back into the chapter archives and give a historical program about the chapter highlights and successes over the years. We have a great heritage and a strong foundation, things we can be proud of and continue to build upon! Are you up to the challenge? (They all nod their heads and voice their determination to follows SuperSister’s advice. As SS continues, she places gold star deely boopers on their heads.) Congratulations! Because of your willingness to serve the sisterhood in such a great way, you have earned the right to be called Superstar!! This title is available to all who are willing to make a difference in their chapter and have accepted the responsibility of being “super” with their “sisters”! Go and celebrate! NARRATOR: So, we get our first glimpse of SuperSister, assisting a chapter with their membership struggles. Her super ideas and suggestions will no doubt make a difference in the life of this chapter. I, for one, feel better already having her on our side. The world of P.E.O. cannot help but benefit from such a positive influence. But, surely, her task is not done yet! I have the distinct feeling that there is more than one chapter in need of her expertise and contagious attitude! SCENARIO #2: A chapter meeting is in progress. The president is in the process of asking for the committee reports. Thanks, Ann, for the courtesy report. Now, on to our project reports. PCE? (everyone looks down in their laps, no one making eye contact with the president) Ok, ELF? (members look around the room, shift in their chairs, etc. as the president waits for a response) Then…um…Scholar Awards? (members clear their throats, cough, squirm in their seats) Is anyone from the IPS committee here today? (Everyone is quick to shake their heads and loudly proclaim “No!”) LIGHTS FLASH OFF AND ON as before and once again, SuperSister makes her grand entrance. Ladies, ladies……..help has arrived! I am SuperSister! With my super hearing and telescopic vision and of course, unequalled talent for eavesdropping,, I am well aware of the state of your project reports today! Our projects have the capability of being stronger than a locomotive with the powerful way they change women’s lives. Have you forgotten the philanthropic nature of our wonderful sisterhood? You definitely are in need of learning how P.E.O. EDUCATES. You may even need some education yourselves! How can my super sister powers help you get your projects program back on track? First of all, it seems pretty obvious that we have very little interest in the projects in our chapter. Even when we do have a project report, no one really listens to it and takes it to heart, so it goes nowhere. We haven’t sponsored a recipient for so long. It would seem to me that if we had invested time and effort in finding someone to sponsor and were successful in that, we’d be more enthusiastic about the whole project thing. How right you are! Having a personal connection with someone who has benefited from your efforts can give a chapter a great shot in the arm! Keeping in touch with them as they complete their schooling and getting updates of their progress can give a chapter a great sense of accomplishment. A part of our mission is to educate women, so don’t miss out on being involved with this most important aspect of our sisterhood. I think most of us haven’t been very good at stressing just how important our projects are. They really are part of the basic foundation of who we are, aren’t they? Exactly! Teaching members about the projects can be done in many ways. The best place to start is at the beginning—with pre-acceptance counseling. Tell your new prospective member about our philanthropies. Give them a P.E.O. Record to read and show them around the public part of the International P.E.O. website. Encourage your chapter project chairmen to give exciting and informative reports during meetings. These reports deserve our very best, not just a few sentences put together at the last minute. Remember the new CARE issue of the Record holds all of the application information you may need. You mentioned using the Record and International website to gain information. Aren’t there other sources of information as well? Yes! There is no excuse for anyone not being able to find information about them. Two places to look that have more local facts and news are the state convention proceedings and the Nebraska state website. Both places are super spots to find reports by our very own state project chairmen. You know, the state chairmen are always ready to help in any way they can, too. And one of the coolest new ways--- is the latest folder put out by International! It sports our new logo and colors and the inside is jam packed with all kinds of project facts and application information. So, sisters, are you with me? (again, as SuperSister continues the members are all in agreement, get more excited as each question is asked) Are you ready to set some project goals? Maybe increase your giving? How about finding those recipients? And the reports given in the chapter—how great are they going to be? That’s what I want to hear!! Because of your newfound enthusiasm and infectious attitudes toward the projects, you deserve the great honor of being called Superstars! Wear your stars with pride, my sisters! Go out into the world and educate! NARRATOR: Another serious problem has been averted by our heroine. She does have a way of getting to the heart of the matter, doesn’t she? I’m sure we can all appreciate her passion for our projects and I hope we all caught a bit of her excitement and spirit. SuperSister should be our role model, the one we aspire to be like as we continue to fulfill our mission of educating women. Let’s all make our philanthropies, both state and international, priorities as we plan for our chapters’ futures. Set your goals high—and then attain them! (Pause) Oh, no, it appears there is another chapter in need of SuperSister’s aid and encouragement. SCENARIO #3: Chapter members are sitting around a table discussing the yearbook for the upcoming year and the difficult time they are having completing it. Ok, from what I can tell, we are still short four hostesses and five programs. Is that what the rest of you have also? (everyone nods and agrees) So, where do we go from here? We have all called everyone we can possibly think of to get our next year’s schedule filled and we still have all of these openings. This is NOT a good thing! Lots of the members that I called had any variety of reasons and excuses for why they couldn’t host-house too small, busy schedules……. And it was the same way with programs—they didn’t have the time to prepare, they didn’t have anything to share…. It was really disheartening hearing the same thing from so many that I called. I hear the nominating committee is having a bad time, too. No matter how hard they try and how many people they call, the slate of officers still has a couple of holes in it. We’re getting down to the wire here. I’m afraid we’ll never get all of these positions filled by the deadline. Then, what? How are we ever going to get out of this bind? LIGHTS FLASH OFF AND ON again, and SuperSister makes her way to the table. SS) Ladies, ladies……..help has arrived! I am SuperSister! I cannot leap buildings in a single bound, but I am just the person you need to get your chapter out of this major slump! I am a P.E.O. stimulator, activator, inspirator, propellor, pusher, mover and shaker! I will show you how to provide stimulation and inspiration, inducement and incentive, ambition and determination! I will spur you on and give you get-up-and-go! Lots of words, you may say? And to what end? One word-MOTIVATE!! Motivate? Motivate whom and to what? You to P.E.O. excellence! It sounds to me like your chapter needs to rediscover the love of our sisterhood and to “motivate each other to achieve their highest aspirations”. P.E.O. was not created to be a burden to its members, but rather place to grow and learn and feel better about ourselves because we are members. A place where we are inspired to be the best we can be. That sounds all good and fine, but how do we begin? We’re all feeling pretty overwhelmed and discouraged right now. You know, I think a lot of your problems might boil down to a few fundamental P.E.O. principles that have somehow gotten lost in your chapter. I have a feeling that if you would work on these areas, this chapter could be turned around! Any of you have any ideas about what I’m thinking of? (Pause as they think for a few moments) Well…one thing I think that has changed is that we’re all so busy with our lives, we haven’t taken the time to build relationships within the chapter. I feel like I’ve lost touch with so many of our members. SS) Exactly! Relationships! They are so important in the life of a chapter. And there are a variety of things that can be done. Support and offer assistance to your officers! Let them know just how much you appreciate them and their willingness to serve. Encourage all of your members to be active and contribute within the chapter. Take the time to get to know everyone and what’s important in their lives. Let them know that they matter! Find ways to maintain contact with all members, especially those who can’t attend as often as they’d like: send newsletters with the latest chapter news, find special ways to involve them in a committee or program. If you have older members, hold a meeting in their resident facility, send thinking of you cards, and visit them! You know what it feels like to tread water? That’s what I feel like our chapter is doing. Keeping our head above water, but getting nowhere! Motivation ought to come into play big time with this issue, right? Big time is right! I always say it’s hard to know what path you’re on and to stay on that path, if you don’t have a destination in mind. Chapters and chapter members need to set goals. Goals can be very unifying because everyone is working together for a common purpose. Short term or long term, either way, make them purposeful and attainable. Whether is has to do with membership, mentoring, project giving, anything your chapter sets their mind to, it can be a great motivator to getting a chapter on the move again. Find a local charity or fundraiser that would benefit from P.E.O. assistance. Individual members should also set goals for themselves. Step out of your box, take a risk and take on a responsibility you never had before. Give a program, head up a special committee or fundraiser. just be a positive presence in your chapter. Maybe even be on officer! Officers have so many tools at their disposal: Local Chapter Officer Workshops, Instructions to Officers of Local Chapters, the President’s Book, even visitation is a great time of learning. And the outstanding state executive board is always willing to help!! The leadership skills you gain from being an officer are immeasurable and what better way learn about our sisterhood! I must admit your ideas are great and you have given us much that we can put into practice, but I’m still feeling like we are missing out on something essential……I just can’t put my finger on it. You know what it is? Plain and simple—fun! Contagious, light-hearted, laughter- causing fun! Who doesn’t want to be a part of an organization that allows you to enjoy those around you? Never leave the meeting without having laughed! It’s bound to bring greater enthusiasm to your meetings. Keep that enthusiasm going strong by plugging people into the chapter, using their natural talents in a way that you know they will be successful. Everyone likes to know that they make a difference. Include interesting and good quality programs, ones that no one will want to miss. Keep them coming back for more! Another way to have fun is by attending special P.E.O. events together, like reciprocity meetings, founder’s day celebrations and convention. They are wonderful places to get pumped up for P.E.O.! So, can you do it? By building relationships, setting goals, and finding the fun in P.E.O., your chapter can’t help but be motivated on to bigger and better accomplishments and success! Are you ready to take on this challenge? (members enthusiastically nod yes) Your chapter and the sisterhood as a whole will be blessed by your commitment. Because of your willingness to be a P.E.O. motivator, you may now be called Superstar and wear these gold stars as a symbol of your dedication. Go, Superstars and motivate! NARRATOR: So ends today’s adventures of SuperSister. The hope would be that you found several useful tools and fun ways to take home the message of “Celebrate, Educate and Motivate. Make a difference in your chapter, change things for the better, and you, too, can be called Superstar!!
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