TOM SMITH, CO-DIRECTOR
816 4th Street
Three Rivers, MI  49093

269-858-8305​




FAMILY  ACTIVITIES
JULY/AUGUST 2021 GRANGE NEWS

This article is going to be a little different from how I usually do it. So bear with me.

​There are three parts to this, and then some feelings I’d like to express.

​Part 1. A couple years ago, I became a Golden Sheaf (50 year) member of the Grange. Yes, a proud moment for me, and then I remembered both of my parents, one grandmother and one great grandmother also belonged 50+ years. And ours is a five generation Grange family going back to the 1870’s. Ok, so I am bragging a little but there must be a reason why multi-generation families and long-time members hold their membership. The easiest answer is fellowship. As a Grange kid I thought it was pretty cool to have so many 
grandparents in that white building all at one time.

​Part 2. Just a few months ago at our Pomona we honored a long time (70 year) member for his service. We 
gave him a framed certificate, a boutonniere, a beautiful cake and had a special toast to Bob Latterner. I’m so glad we did this for him as he passed away in May. What if we had waited? For service like that you need to be recognized and saluted.

​Part 3. One of our members moved out of state a few years ago, but kept her Michigan Grange membership. She has belonged 60 years and going strong. To recognize her service was a challenge. She wouldn’t be 
coming back to Michigan, and us taking a group field trip to Oklahoma City wasn’t going to happen. But,
with a lot of creativity and coordination we pulled it off. The seal for 60 years was sent to OK, a beautiful pin, ordered from MI and shipped from CA to OK and with the help of a new Grange friend, a dozen red roses were ordered. Yvonne Merrit, Communication Director for the OK State Grange made the local arrangements.  With all this, and hundreds of miles apart we were able to honor Virginia Buel for 60 years of membership.  From all reports, she was thrilled, surprised and grateful to her Grange Brothers and Sisters for remembering her.

​Now comes my feelings. Many Granges in Michigan have been lax in membership recognition. It’s not 
that hard (or expensive) to see that our members are recognized in their Granges. In our State we even have pins for 10 years of membership.
I don’t know in your Grange who could arrange this. The Secretary should have the number of years, the Lecturer could make the presentation part of the program, and Family Activities could take care of refreshments. Another reason to have a piece of cake, a scoop of ice cream and a warm handshake for the honorees.

​One last thought, if we can’t say thank you to honor our long-time members, how well are we treating new 
members? Everyone likes to be appreciated and it isn’t hard or costly to say “Thank you for your dedication!” Now that I’m done with the soap box and down from the pulpit. Please think about this.

​We can do better!

​Don’t forget the Convention in Bay City is coming up quickly, let’s do that final push to get more entries in 
all of our contests.

​​Till next time, Happy Granging!
MAY/JUNE 2021 GRANGE NEWS

Greetings from the south-west corner of our great state. Seems as though when you watch or read the news, there’s a lot of craziness out there. But, I’ll still take our state easily over any other.
Has everyone still got their 2021 Program book? Hope so, because my co-director and committee as well as the judges want to be busy with tables covered with articles made by our talented Michigan Grangers.

​I’ve said it for ten years as your State Lecturer and the last 5 with Family activities, if you have any questions or concerns don’t be afraid to get a hold of Barb, Russ or myself so we can help avoid any misunderstandings later.

​One of the pharmacies I use (a well known national chain) sent a letter that their 
“security was breached...nationwide. It was no fault of the pharmacy themselves, but by another firm who does file transfers for them. The good news is that no debit or credit or financial information was impacted.

​But they do have names, phone numbers, E-mail addresses, prescription info, medical 
history and many more.
You never really think about these things until it impacts you.

​Anyway, it’s getting worked out (slowly). Here are some tips from a flyer I picked up at my local bank, 
with some good common sense ideas to help protect you and your family from this bit, worrisome headache.

​Identity Theft…
Identity theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains key pieces of information, such as a social security or drivers license number to obtain credit, merchandise, and service in the name of the victim.
They may obtain this information by:
  • Stealing wallets that contain personal identification information and credit cards.
  • Stealing bank statements from the mail.
  • Diverting mail from its intended recipients by submitting a change of address form.
  • Rummaging through trash for personal data.
  • Stealing personal identification information from workplace records.
  • ​Intercepting or otherwise obtaining information transmitted electronically.
​The victim is left with a ruined credit history and the time consuming and complicated task of regaining financial health. Failing to shred banking and credit information is just one of the ways you increase your risk of being a victim of identity theft.
Tips to Prevent Identity Theft…
  • Guard your mail box from theft. Consider setting up electronic statements from your bank and others who may send personal information via mail.
  • Be suspicious of telephone solicitors, never provide information unless you initiated the call.
  • Carefully destroy papers you throw out especially those with sensitive or identifying information.
  • Check credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies once a year.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. Consider online bill payment to better monitor your bills.
  • Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, checks or withdrawals were authorized.
  • Guard your social security number. Don’t carry it with you and never give it to anyone unless they have a good reason for needing it. Don’t put this number or your driver’s license number on your checks.
  • Before you reveal any personally identifying information, find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared with others Watch for people who may try to or overhear information you give out orally.
Till next time,
Happy Granging!
BARBARA JOHNSTON​, CO-DIRECTOR
2028 Robbins Road
​Tipton, MI 49287

​Tel: 517-431-2546

Email: tnbjohnston@pc.com​