By Diana Muska
Have you ever had a friend or family member volunteer you for something that you never asked for or knew you wanted? A while back, my husband, who was Vice President of the Belmont Heights Community Association (BHCA) at the time, told me that the Board was looking for someone to take over membership duties. He buttered me up by saying things like, “They need someone who is reliable and has great attention to detail.” He told everyone that he knew just the right person for the job and before I knew it, I was researching the exciting world of membership management platforms.
Prior to my contribution towards automating the membership process, two very diligent and dedicated past Board members, Dianne Sundstrom and Linda Pemberton, spent their free time keeping track of memberships by manually updating membership data into excel spreadsheets. They meticulously and patiently sent out reminders via snail mail and email to members. To date, some members still prefer paying their dues via check and mail reminders, so I have continued the tradition by sending out reminder letters via mail twice a year. With each batch of reminder letters sent out, the BHCA receives an average of 28 renewal checks.
Join us at our community-centered activities like our Monthly Food Drive or bike rides through Belmont Heights.
BHCA has compiled a Neighborhood Problem-Solving list of agencies to assist with a variety of needs.
Belmont Heights Clean Up picked up over 60 pounds of trash within an hour. We get a lot done when we work together!
The database that I created has a history of our membership dating from 2009 to the present. In 2009, there were approximately 43 paying members, and our membership has steadily increased with a slight dip last year, in large part, I believe, due to the pandemic. We currently have an average of 250 active memberships; my hope is that memberships will steadily increase again as we revive events like the Egg Hunt (page 5) in the Heights and our community meetings (back page). In addition to our annual paid memberships, we also have a database of over 730 people who signed up to be on our email subscriber list.
During my two plus years as membership liaison, I have learned some amusing tidbits of BHCA information. For example, did you know that Belmont Heights has had some form of a community association, on and off, dating back to the 1910s (e.g., Belmont Improvement Association, Belmont Heights-Belmont Park United Citizens)? And that the BHCA, as known today, started in 1985? Did you know that the $30 annual membership fee has not changed since 2007? Did you know that there are 23 active members who have maintained their memberships every year from 2009 to the present? That’s 13 consecutive years! I find that dedication so impressive; it is fantastic to know that we have such a loyal and devoted fanbase!
So next time someone volunteers you for something or suggests how you should spend some of your free time, I say “Do it!!” You never know where it could lead and, in the end, it may bring you joy to be a part of something positive and to contribute even in a small way.
If this article has perked your curiosity and you would like to check your membership status, feel free to contact me at BHCAmembership@gmail.com. S
BHCA is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood through the actions of residents who volunteer their time, skills and energy. Membership is only $30 a year!