FCAWM board members Miryam Ehrlich Williamson and Susie Maddern wrote this article for our Spring 2013 newsletter.
FCAWM is pretty spry for a 50-year-old organization, but we're not so vigorous that we don't need a helping hand now and then. And we've come to realize that we've fallen short lately in offering members the opportunity to become involved and share in the satisfaction of helping people with the practicalities of final arrangements. We're going to correct that with this article.
Here is a list of things we do, tasks we'd like to share with you.
We hope you'll read it and mark those that appeal to you. Drop us a note, or call to say you'd like to know more about the tasks you've marked. We'll be calling members at random over the next few months, but please don't wait for a call if you have even a speck of curiosity.
Volunteering with FCAWM is not a sink-or-swim proposition. One of the people already familiar with the task you ask about will call you and answer questions. This will not be a sales call; nobody is going to put pressure on you. We want you to love what you do. When you choose to do something, you'll be paired with someone already familiar with the task. We won't just hand you a stack of papers and disappear.
Here's the list:
1. Pick up mail at Greenfield Post Office, call the relevant recipient(s) and arrange for pickup or delivery.
2. Answer phone calls on a rotating basis. We are in the process of setting up a Google Voice phone number that could be forwarded to your phone when it is your turn.
3. Call new members and contributors to welcome or thank them.
4. Help with the Funeral Home Price Survey (every other year; next one begins in 2014).
5. Help with the newsletter (twice a year). Proofread and suggest edits, or perhaps contribute short articles?
6. Help plan events (annual meeting, movie series, discussion groups, etc.) or offer to bring refreshments.
7. Get trained to do outreach at senior centers, church meetings, information fairs, etc.
8. Enter data into a computer file (membership, price survey, etc.).
9. Help monitor news about the funeral industry in Massachusetts and any proposed changes to laws, regulations, or practices.
10. Write letters to the editor, spreading the word about our mission and how we can help people.
11. Help maintain the FCAWM web site.
12. Help with occasional mailings.
Many hands make light work.
You'll meet some really neat people; we put the fun in funeral.