Most Elks learn about the Elks National Foundation after joining a Lodge, but for Aaron Smith, ENF Chair and member of Oak Harbor, Wash., Lodge No. 2362, ENF programs drove his involvement. After seeing how ENF scholarships had a positive impact on his community, Smith was determined to join the Elks as a way to support the ENF.
“The ENF made me an Elk,” says Smith. “I joined the Elks because of the ENF scholarship program.”
|Lake Sammamish, Wash., Lodge No. 1843 used a Beacon Grant to hold a Wounded Warriors snowmobiling trip.|
As ENF Chair of the Oak Harbor Lodge, Washington’s North District and the state of Washington, Smith sees stronger communities continue to grow across the whole state.
Thanks to Community Investments Program Gratitude and Impact Grants, Port Angeles, Wash., is benefitting from a community park. Thanks to ENF scholarships, local students attend the colleges of their dreams.
“Thanks to the ENF, the Elks can contribute back to the community and help the best and brightest,” says Smith.
Busy with his three ENF Chair positions, Smith finds that using online remittances is the easiest way to send Lodge donations to the ENF.
“Online remittances are easy to use,” says Smith. “It’s simple to enter new donors and access member information about existing donors.”
Since Smith has started using online remittances to remit donations, other Lodges in his state have followed suit. This year, Smith plans to encourage more Lodges to remit donations online by emphasizing this process’s reliability in crediting Lodge donations.
|Greater Spokane, Wash., Lodge No. 228 used a Gratitude Grant to provide school supplies for students in need.|
With his Lodge’s per capita ranked third in the state, and his state in the top ten in the nation, Smith and the Washington Elks are well on their way toward another successful year. Support this impressive doesn’t come easily, and Smith works hard throughout the year to get members involved with the ENF.
“To gain membership support, find out what their interests are,” advises Smith. “Figure out the real interest in the Lodge and tailor your programs to match.”
For Smith, his hard work pays off when the end result is stronger communities.
“It’s a lot of work,” says Smith, “but at the same time, I get a sense of accomplishment when I see what the ENF does for those in need across the country.”