Volunteer efforts are very important to our society and should not go unnoticed. The National Exchange Club’s longest running project, the Book of Golden Deeds Award, recognizes dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live. Ever since the Exchange Club of Huntington, Ind., sponsored the first award in 1919, thousands of unsung heroes and heroines have been recognized.
Honoring a fellow citizen with the Book of Golden Deeds Award is a heartwarming and inspiring act not only for the honoree, but for any Exchange Club. The Book of Golden Deeds Award exemplifies The National Exchange Club’s beliefs.
This project is easy to implement and is an excellent means to promote your club within your community. In fact, many Exchange Clubs have adopted this project as one of their most important annual events. The Book of Golden Deeds Award benefits your club, the honoree and the community by promoting and rewarding community service efforts.
Finding and screening nominees can be accomplished in a variety of ways. In most cases, the committee drafts anomination letter which asks for the names of those who have made significant contributions in the true sense of volunteering. Distribute the letters to local civic associations, churches, boards of education, fraternal and humanitarian groups, local radio and television stations, newspapers, health and welfare organizations, service clubs, veterans’ organizations, hospital boards, physicians, medical associations, bar associations and public officials. Request that a local newspaper insert an advertisement with a nomination form in the community section of the paper. This gives everyone an opportunity to participate. It will also provide positive public relations for your Exchange Club.
After the Book of Golden Deeds Award Committee has selected the winner, be sure to follow-up with a thank you letter to those groups and individuals that submitted candidates. It is also a kind gesture to invite them to the award presentation for community fellowship.
When searching for the appropriate volunteer to honor, keep in mind that it is important to choose a person who is sincere about helping the community, has an exceptional track record of continued, unselfish giving and enjoys volunteering to help others. The recipient can be from any profession or a member of any organization, including Exchange. He or she can be from any walk of life, and should be someone who deserves acclaim, but rarely receives it.
The Book of Golden Deeds Award is not limited to a single volunteer, but can also be presented to a group of individuals such as civic groups, sororities/fraternities, religious groups and charitable organizations.
Many clubs choose to organize an annual Book of Golden Deeds Award banquet which becomes a social event within the community.
When planning for this type of event, be sure to invite local dignitaries, past Book of Golden Deeds Award recipients and other Exchange Club leaders. It is also a good idea to send news releases to the local media in an effort to generate positive public relations for your club (see the Public Relations Resource, available from your National Headquarters).
The banquet can be as elaborate or as simple as your club chooses, but successful results will be achieved if the banquet is held in a private dining room setting with lunch or dinner available. It should be organized to include as many members of the community as possible.
The focus of the banquet is to present the Book of Golden Deeds Award to the recipient, but it is always a nice gesture to ask a local dignitary to provide some brief remarks about the importance of volunteerism in the community. As a part of the presentation, a club member should introduce the recipient, giving some background on his or her accomplishments. It is also a good idea to explain the purpose of the award.
Your National Headquarters has a variety of supply items to choose from when presenting the Book of Golden Deeds Award. For more information on these items, contact the Supply Department at 800-924-2643 or refer to your Supply Catalog or visit our website at: www.nationalexchangeclub.org.