This year, ASAE awarded seven Gold Power of A Awards in the category of The Power of Community Support and Engagement. The following associations were recognized for their programs in one of the following areas: marshalling industry or profession-specific expertise and resources in response to an immediate or long-term natural disaster or societal problem; developing solutions to benefit underserved populations; promoting volunteerism and civic engagement; and enhancing public awareness of issues that could impact health and safety.
Connecticut REALTORS (CTR) – CT Recovers
After the son of one their REALTOR® Association Executives died at age 27 of an opioid overdose, CTR officers decided it was time to do something. CTR created an opioid work group including members with direct connection to opioid use. Initial activities included Narcan training for the 160-member Board of Directors; sponsorship of a Mental Health First Aid course; and partnership with the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. CTR’s Board of Directors also authorized a $2 million issues account expenditure which included an 8-month television and media campaign to “End the Stigma,” along with a concert for 7,000 in November 2019 featuring Keith Urban entitled, “A Concert for Recovery.” Keith Urban is in the community of those in recovery and gave a truly heartfelt performance. Over $600,000 was raised and awarded by CTR’s charitable foundation in 23 grants to organizations working on prevention, treatment, recovery, or family support.
ISACA – ISACA CommunITy Day
ISACA CommunITy Day was a global experience in which all members were united in a day of service. While their 221 chapters worldwide serve their local IT professionals in career-based IT experiences, many chapters also help their local communities in volunteer projects and outreach to the next generation of technology professionals. In celebration of ISACA’s 50th anniversary year in 2019, ISACA established the framework for ISACA CommunITy Day, including selecting volunteer management software specifically for the program, training volunteers to use the software, designing the brand, creating marketing materials, and purchasing thousands of t-shirts. 92 volunteer teams organized one of more projects for ISACA CommunITy Day, including ISACA staff who organized 7 volunteer projects for staff to choose in the Chicagoland area. Overall, more than 2,800 volunteers served over 6,100 hours in 51 countries.
Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) – HCPA COVID-19 Response
In early 2020, the coronavirus outbreak began to devastate communities, and the country was faced with more questions than answers about this unfamiliar virus. When the EPA announced that certain disinfectants were effective against the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, HCPA jumped into action to ensure that Americans would continue to have access to these critical products and was one of the lead voices calling on federal, state, and local governments to allow manufacturers of critical products to maintain operations despite stay-at-home orders, social distancing restrictions, and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, cleaning products and disinfectants were included in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During Covid-19 Response. Additionally, HCPA and its member companies worked closely with the EPA, including directly with Administrator Wheeler, to alleviate supply chain disruptions and increase the availability of disinfectants to the American public.
American Society of Microbiology (ASM) – COVID-19 Response
Because microbes were the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASM stepped up to help its members, the government, and the public. ASM shifted into overdrive, working around the clock to address the needs of the public and prevent the spread of the virus. Specifically, ASM worked directly with the White House COVID-19 Task Force, the FDA, and the NIH as a change agent. For example, ASM convinced the FDA to change its regulatory framework to enable rapid acceleration of COVID-19 testing both by hospital laboratories and private companies and overcome a critical shortage of nasopharyngeal swabs and other essential supplies for sample collection and patient testing. ASM facilitated military supply flights and introduced an app connecting labs to its supply chain. ASM launched the COVID-19 Research Registry, a platform curated and vetted by experts in the field of virology and related disciplines to provide immediate access to top COVID-19 research and touted by Dr. Anthony Fauci as a significant contribution to the response effort. They also provided a COVID-19 communications platform for members/public, including access to ASM research, talking points on COVID-19, and articles in major media outlets, including the New York Times.
American Institute of Architects Pennsylvania – Design for Better Initiative | The Borough of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania Central District Revitalization
Pennsylvania is a contrast of densely populated urban cores and large expanses of rural land. Unfortunately, many of the state’s rural regions do not enjoy ready access to such an array of professional expertise and needs-based pro bono support. The AIA PA Strategic Council’s Design for Better Communities Initiative was established to provide grant based and pro bono volunteer support to communities in need. Their goal is to help needy committees envision a brighter future for themselves through design. Through creative collaboration with our volunteer design professionals, the association helps show how sometimes big changes can be achieved through very small and incremental interventions within the fabric of their existing downtowns.
APPA – Light Up Navajo (SUMMIT AWARD WINNER)
APPA’s Light Up Navajo initiative connects unelectrified rural households of the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American territory in the U.S., to the grid. Their unelectrified homes make up 75% of all unelectrified households in the United States. The high cost of connecting isolated rural households to the grid, the sensitivity of families to utility costs, and the limited availability of government loans made progress towards greater electrification slow. To expedite electrification projects in the Navajo Nation, APPA partnered with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA).
Coin Laundry Association (CLA) – LaundryCares Foundation (SUMMIT AWARD WINNER)
CLA’s LaundryCares Foundation engages children and whole families in meaningful reading activities during their weekly visit to the laundromat. The initiative provides families with important early learning activities to meet urgent community needs: strengthened communities, better outcomes for children in poverty, and fewer barriers to libraries and early literacy providers. This program addresses the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success – an introduction to books and being read to at home before beginning school.
Association Spotlight, brought to you by ASAE and The Power of A, was created to showcase how associations strengthen America and world. The next Power of A Awards entry period begins January 2021.