Keeping Your Group Alive
The following are ideas that the members said kept their parent groups active:
- We directly and respectfully addressed "hot issues".
- We found that members came back after being educated through our workshops.
- By using a variety of speakers and topics at meetings, parents attended meetings more often.
- Updating and adding videos and books to our lending library was a helpful way to keep members coming back.
- We always sent thank you cards and publicly thanked members.
- Showing videos requested by the groupís members kept interest high.
- We helped more members by alternating monthly speakersí presentations with support group meetings.
- Listening to everyoneís wants and needs made the members feel valued.
- Personally calling each new member helped him/her to feel part of the group.
- Even though it was sometimes difficult, we addressed membersí likes and dislikes about the group.
- We worked hard to keep the meeting positive, even when there were difficult issues.
- Making sure news releases/posters/announcements went out on time gave people advance notice of the meeting.
- Making phone calls and sending postcard meeting reminders were helpful to busy parents.
- We made sure the groupís activities were based on membersí needs rather than just following the way we had always done things.
- Parents of older children mentoring the parents of younger ones in positive ways helped to strengthen our group.
- Listening and respecting the views of all parents, regardless of life experiences, helped to build a strong group.
- Having a parent as the group facilitator fostered trust among the members.
- Utilizing parent to parent support - for advocacy or emotional needs - worked very well.
- Involving everyone with a small job, being careful to match skills & tasks, helped parents feel a sense of sharing and ownership of the group.
- Wonderful family picnics and free sitter services at meetings were key to building our group.
- Networking with other groups provided parents
with more resources and helped our group to grow and stay active.