My name is Jeff Patridge. I am the Interim President of the Missouri School for the Deaf Parents’ Organization (MSDPO). Since I am writing this message to you, that means summer is half over. It seems like only yesterday that I was presenting awards to many of your children at the end-of- year awards ceremonies.
I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to the MSDPO, let you know about the exciting changes that are happening, and ask you to join us as we transform the organization to meet the challenges of the Social Network era.
The MSDPO is a non-profit organization that has supported Missouri School for the Deaf administrators, educators, and students for thirty years. The proceeds earned from fundraising projects are used to purchase objects for the dorms, provide summer camp and college scholarships, obtain supplies for instructors, and for other projects that support its mission of “improving the education, recreation, health, and employment opportunities” for all MSD students. All funds earned by the organization are returned to MSD.
As I stated in a recent article in the Missouri Record (Winter/Spring 2010), the MSDPO is experiencing the impact of changes in our society. These changes have led to families having less time to join organizations like the MSDPO, and parents and friends that are geographically dispersed throughout Missouri. As a result of these changes, participation in MSDPO meetings, fundraisers, and other activities has dwindled.
To reverse this trend, the MSDPO is evolving. We have taken several steps to improve communication with parents and friends, boost participation, and increase our fundraising efforts. Among the steps we have already taken include the purchase of a web domain name (www.msdpo.org) and the creation of a MSDPO web page. Facebook and Twitter pages have been developed, and an organization-specific email address has been obtained for correspondence (firstname.lastname@example.org). Over the next several months, we will continue to do more. Among the changes were are planning to implement include web-based chat meetings, using our web page and social networking sites to inform you of upcoming meetings and activities, expanding our selection of fundraising items, and implementing online purchasing options that allow for the use of debit and credit cards to purchase those items.
As you can see, these are some very exciting times for the MSDPO. Why don’t you join us? We would love to hear your ideas, and would welcome your help in transforming this organization to meet the challenges of this new era.
If you would like to help us move forward, or are just interesting in finding out more about the MSDPO and its activities, visit our web site (www.msdpo.org), select “Join Us”, and complete the online information form. You can also send us an email at email@example.com.
Interim MSDPO President