Community Story with Lynda Millard, Crown Jewels of Canada SocietyCommunity
Every day new network creators come to our platform and start their own social website. There are so many of us today that we decided to tell more about our members. Today we want to share with you a new story with Lynda Millard, Crown Jewels of Canada Society
Tell us a little about yourself and your community. How did you decide to create your network?
We are a social group for Canadian women and are a federally registered national non-profit. Many mistake us for a similar group in the USA but it is actually a privately owned corporation with their focus being on their bottom line. We are a non-profit with the total focus being on women having fun and being part of a sisterhood that offers friendship and support at a time in our lives when we need it most.
Our objective is to bring women across Canada together and for them to focus on friendship, fun and supporting each other as we enter that empty nest stage of our lives, or retirement stage and wonder “now what”. But we are a women’s non-profit which means all women over the age of nineteen are welcome. We do have some younger members.
What can’t you imagine your community without?
We have just four simple rules which are #1 pay your membership fee ($10/yr), #2 wear something (anything) on your head, #3 dress in our colours (red and white representing Canada, and purple for “Royalty”) and of course, #4 have fun.
We communicate with other members via our Facebook groups, our interactive NING website and via monthly newsletters. In addition, we have a National Convention which is held each year in a different city within Canada, by a chapter or group of members. There are monthly chapter events and provincial gatherings as well as trips where we’ve gone on cruises, to an All-Inclusive or to Las Vegas. Whatever we do – our focus is on women having FUN.
We are “Jewels” because jewels are precious as are women, wives, and mothers.
This spring our President and Vice President will embark on a cross-country tour visiting as many members as possible over a period of several weeks.
As a non-profit, we are overseen by a Board of Directors who manage the society. We have an Administrative Assistant who handles membership and day-to-day issues. We also have regional representatives who are available to help members, send out invitations to events, answer questions, etc.
Members have the option of purchasing liability insurance. In this case, they and their homes are protected should there ever be an unfortunate accident whereby a member be hurt during an activity or should they have someone injured while participating in an event they have planned and are sponsoring.
Do you have interesting stories or people in your community? Tell us about them
Something we did not anticipate when we began is the amount of support our members offer to one another and how we have actually saved lives. I will never forget the day a member approached me at a provincial convention and her words. She had lost her husband and sank into a deep depression and wouldn’t leave her home. She had nothing to live for and was contemplating ending her life. Then one day a friend encouraged her to attend an event with her. Just to get her out of the house and around people again. She said she had so much fun that day and realized that life WAS WORTH LIVING. This member credited me, and what I started for Canadian women, as having saved her life. She is why I continue to work forty+ hours a week as a volunteer, running our society.
We can and do change lives. Our community gives women a purpose. We give them the opportunity to escape their normal daily routine, may it be work, raising a family, caring for an ill family member, or an aging parent. For a few hours each month they can leave all their troubles at their front door and go out and just have FUN.
Tell us a little about your experience with NING?
NING brings us together. We have a website with support groups, groups for individual provinces, places where members can post events, share photos, and stories, and even share a few jokes. We post past newsletters on the site. Some of us take time each day to say happy birthday to those who are celebrating. NING makes this easy for us by posting each day the names of members, who are celebrating that day.
I believe we might have over 60 tabs throughout our NING site all containing information to assist our many members. Ladies enjoy having others post their photo so when we do have the opportunity to get together we might recognize familiar faces. Our NING site is the heart of our organization in many ways but mostly as it is the “melting pot” where we all can come together, regardless of where in our vast country we may live.
What I appreciate most perhaps, and the primary reason we chose NING to host our website was that it was by invitation only. This means only our members had access and there they could share and speak openly and know that those searching the web would not be privy to what we post as often we need to share personal information and I am not aware of any other similar web hosting program that offers this.
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