Communications 2 From the Bridge 3



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Membership Matters



Partnerships

Forming partnerships with other organizations to promote the image and raise awareness of the FRA can be a worthwhile effort. Some of our branches already have partnerships with organizations that share goals, missions and purposes similar to those of the FRA. Let’s take a look at what they are doing:

To advance your branch’s involvement in youth activities, it may be helpful to form an alliance with the JROTC programs in your area. In doing so, you are automatically in a partnership to mentor the students and raise awareness of the FRA. In conjunction with these partnerships, FRA Branch 159 (Pasadena, Texas) offers Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard ROTC and JRROTC medals for sale. (Contact Branch Secretary Leo Vance at snlvance@comcast.net or 713-920-1558 for more information.)

Be on the lookout for other school-related partnerships, too, such as supporting school-sponsored clubs or activities that may be interested in FRA’s American Essay Contest.

This annual contest (see pages 32 and 33 for more information) is another way to partner with local schools to give students the opportunity to express their views on patriotism. Encouraging students to participate and then recognizing local and regional winners advances FRA’s mission and also contributes to the community and country. Branches can offer various awards to the most deserving students, including certificates, plaques and other awards. Mo-Kan Branch 161 (Kansas City, Kans.) sells spinner trophies and wooden logo plaques for the Essay Contest winners. (Contact PRPNC Norm Combs at bilgerat@sbcglobal.net or 816-847-6562 for more information.)

Partnering with other local veterans service organization in observance of Memorial and Veterans Day is an extraordinary way to collectively focus on the heroes of the past and present. If your community hosts a stellar Veterans Day program, your branch could play a role in gaining recognition at the national level. Since 1954, the Veterans Day National Committee has recognized select observances throughout the country that represent fitting tributes to America’s heroes, and there are several states that have no programs recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If you would like to know if your state is one of them, please contact Chris Slawinski, FRA’s National Veterans Service Officer at 1-800-FRA-1924, x115, or vafra@fra.org for further information.

Joining forces with other military and veteran organizations can strengthen both the FRA and the community. Ogden Branch 185 (Salt Lake City, Utah) partners with the VFW Honor Guard to participate in many funerals throughout the year. There are occasions when two or three funerals are scheduled at the same time and, by working together, the two organizations are always ready to provide this important tribute. They also work together conducting Eagle Scout ceremonies and Cub Scout flag folding lessons.

Many of our members have skills and professional connections that can produce powerful partnerships. Following the recent tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma, Branch 268 Secretary Susan Hammond (Oklahoma City, Okla.) used her professional affiliation with the Salvation Army to help fellow shipmates. She had been working 12-hour days with disaster relief efforts and helping to coordinate five Multi-Agency Relief Centers in Oklahoma, so she was acutely aware of the needs of shipmates affected by the disaster. She identified a shipmate in the local area who needed assistance and applied for Disaster Relief through the FRA. Her quick efforts and knowledge of FRA’s ability to help made a difference for this shipmate.

Working as a team toward a common goal can be fulfilling and usually creates more meaningful results. Service and support are what FRA is all about and I hope each shipmate and branch will work to create partnerships to advance FRA’s important mission.

Penny Collins is FRA’s Director of Membership Development and a member of FRA Branch 24 in Annapolis, Md. She can be reached at penny@fra.org.

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Member Benefits



TAKE ACTION!

FRA provides the Action Center on www.fra.org and a pocket guide called Communicate With Your Elected Officials to make communicating with members of Congress easy and convenient. On the Action Center, you can access a list of hot issues and send pre-written messages (or write your own) to your legislators to weigh in. You can also look up your senators and representative to see how they’ve voted on issues of importance to FRA shipmates. Both the Action Center and the Communicate With Your Elected Officials guide are free benefits brought to you by FRA. If you would like a copy of Communicate With Your Elected Officials, please e-mail Eileen@fra.org and include your name and mailing address.

Communicate!

FRA offers Communities on www.fra.org to help shipmates keep in touch with their branch, communicate with HQ, and get information. Use the Communities and be involved! Login to www.fra.org and click Communities. You will see the communities to which you belong — each branch and MALs have individual communities. There are also communities for FRA Today and OnWatch readers, people concerned about health care, and more. This is a place to ask the experts or share your opinions or frustrations.

NewsBytes

NewsBytes is a free weekly legislative e-mail update designed to keep recipients up-to-date between issues of FRA Today. To subscribe, e-mail newsbytes@fra.org and include your member number (found above your name on the cover of this magazine). To listen to NewsBytes by phone, call 1-800-FRA-1924, ext. 112.

Provide Input!

FRA is very interested in hearing from you. There’s always a survey available at www.fra.org/survey. The surveys are quick, easy and help us share your concerns with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Like FRA!

Visit www.fra.org/fb to view FRA’s Facebook page and join our growing list of fans who “like” us. It’s a great place to post photos, videos, have discussions and find old friends. If you’re already on Facebook, you can invite others to check out FRA and use the page as a great recruiting tool! Our fans also are the first to hear of breaking news, get links to items of importance and shortcuts to other pages of interest.

Take control!

When you login to www.fra.org, not only can you access members-only information, you can also control your membership record. Would you like to subscribe to NewsBytes? Simply click a box. Are you needing a replacement membership card or invoice? Click a box and we’ll send you one within 24 business hours. You can also donate directly to FRA online and even print out a copy of your donation history for your records.

FRA Affinity Partners

FRA also has partnerships with several companies for the benefit of FRA members. When you use these companies, not only do you get a discount, but FRA receives a royalty as well. It’s a win-win situation — and a fantastic way for you to help FRA while you are helping yourself!

FRA MasterCard from USAA

FRA is partnering with USAA to administer a new FRA MasterCard program. This award-winning financial services company is committed to providing outstanding customer service to our shipmates.

GEICO Car Insurance

Call 1-800-MILITARY (1-800-645-4827) and ask for the FRA member benefit discount.

Capella University

FRA members and spouses are eligible for tuition discounts at Capella University, an accredited, military-friendly, online university that has built its reputation by providing high quality online degree programs for working adults. Visit www.capella.edu/FRA for more information.

Columbia Southern University

In an education alliance with FRA, Columbia Southern University offers competitive tuition rates, waives application fees for service members and offers discounts to FRA shipmates. Visit www.columbiasouthern.edu/Partners/LearningPartners/fleet for further details.

FRA Endorsed Insurance Programs

As an FRA member you can choose from high quality, competitively priced insurance plans to help protect you and your family. Each quality plan has been designed for FRA members like you. You can select insurance protection to meet your family’s insurance needs at economical group rates. Request information regarding the plans of your choice through this website: www.FRAinsure.com or call toll-free 1-800-424-1120.

Navy Times/MARINE CORPS TIMES

FRA members qualify for a special subscription rate of 52 weeks for $39.95. Call 1-800-368-5718 to start or renew your subscription. Use FRA priority member code: 1516N3.

Avis Car Rentals

When making reservations through Avis at 1-800-331-1212 or www.avis.com, be sure to use your FRA membership benefit discount: AWD#T867500.

HERTZ Car Rentals

When making reservations through Hertz at 1-800-654-3131 or www.hertz.com, be sure to use your FRA membership benefit discount: CDP#332104.

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