VOL. III FALL 2003
Servas Information Booths
Communications Committee Meeting
Key Person Workshop
Corrections to August E-newsletter
SERVAS INFORMATION BOOTHS
I ran two information booths with local hosts helping the first and second weekends in August. One was on Vashon Island, near Seattle, and the other in Bellingham. They brought us face to face with a lot of interested persons where we had a chance to leisurely discuss Servas travel with each person who stopped -- about 260 in all. We distributed about twice that number of brochures and cards. The fair organizers in both places charged us nothing and the Seattle group begged us to come back next year.
BOOTH KIT IN A BOX
The experience of the last two weekend fairs shows how effective such booths are for getting information out to the right people. Both fairs had themes close to the purposes of Servas' social action.
The question I want to ask our hosts and other members is this:
Will you help in some way to make these booths flourish? We need contributions of good eye catching posters, pictures and booth designs. We need people who will run booths at their local fairs. Your response to this suggestion will tell us how much work we should put into a "booth kit in a carton" that can be shipped to anyone ready to set one up. It will include:
- A folding map of the world showing the number of hosts in each country.
- Colorful pictures of Servas travelers experiencing many different peace building activities.
- Banners and pennants.
- A complete assortment of handout brochures
- Sample host lists from many countries - not to be given out. They are wired in.
- Copies of Servas International News and US Servas News.
- Brief explanation of how to become a Servas traveler or host.
- Phone numbers of the nearest local Servas interviewers
- Copies of enthusiastic travel reports
- sign up sheet for those who want to be on the E-mail News and to also get more information.
After anyone runs a booth all the materials would be packed up in the sturdy box it came in and send to the next host-booth manager or to a temporary storage place, ready to be used again.
There are thousands of such fairs all over the country at all times of the year from international bazaars to seasonal festivals, to church and club celebrations, to college occasions etc. It is also a good way to enliven your local Servas group. If your hosts, who helped man your booth, became as charged as the ones who worked with me you might find it an excellent means to coalesce your local Servas hosts.
The information booths at first sight look like just a little thing but judging from my experience in the past two weeks they can have long reaching effect. It's an activity that almost anyone can do and it can lay the foundation for a local group initiative, bringing a freshness and enthusiasm to all participants.
FIRST COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING 9-9-03
A communications committee was established at the New Orleans Conference in July. Since communications with members was identified as one of the most important areas for improvement in Servas this year, all board members will be invited to participate on the committee, and volunteers from the membership are warmly welcomed. Our goal is to create effective two-way communications.
Chair: Susan Binch
Mid-month - Debra Heisick
First of month - Bob Luitweiler
Members: Mike Trueheart, David Rigler
Member guests: Pam Sibley, Gail Anerine, Bill Fogle
Compass e-letter (to Key Persons): Bob Luitweiler
Our goal is to create two newsletters per month to go out by email to members. One problem is that not all member email addresses are updated. We urge all members to update their email addresses with the New York office. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org with your new address.
We will be posting the current and past e-newsletter on the US Servas website which is: www.usservas.org. Look for it there if you delete this email and want to bring up a story to read or volunteer want ad you remember and wish to act upon.
Send articles for submission to the editors: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper newsletter, "Open Doors" will be sent by mail to all Servas members. The goal is to print it quarterly. We now have new members on this committee to help meet this goal. You should be seeing the first new publication in about one month.
Many thanks go out to Amanda Wray who has been working on updating & improving the website. She volunteered after reading Bob Luitweiler's e-letter asking for help.
Since Servas is run through the use of volunteers, we will have a column setting out volunteer activities available to Servas members. Servas needs active, volunteer members to run effectively.
KEY PERSON WORKSHOP
2003 New Orleans US Servas National Conference
The workshop was attended by hosts, interviewers, and international travelers. It was apparent from the discussion that all were enriched by Servas and were willing to help the organization. Complete Report.
CORRECTIONS TO THE MID AUGUST NEWSLETTER
Excuse the omission of membership statistics. Hosts last year 1800, to 1664 this year. Travelers last year were 1200, this year we project 929. Since our primary income is from the membership fees this loss puts a serious strain on our already tight budget.
Washington, DC indeed has excellent Servas regular meetings. Apology for my error. In the next E Newsletter you will get a good report of their success.
There were 235 bounced emails from the total list of emails sent to all US hosts. Bob Luitweiler and Grady Busse have started the enormous task of correcting them by writing or phoning all that had out of date email addresses. We need a few more volunteers to do this simple but tedious job. I will volunteers all the materials and information to expedite your the job. Please let me know by return email if you will help so we don't lose more hosts.
Bob at email@example.com
If you are not receiving the email newsletters and would like to please email the New York office. On the the Subject line please indicate that you want to SUBSCRIBE to the E-Newsletter.