When McWaters learned that Carey was a professional website developer he signed him up to be their communications officer. Since then Carey has ...
Korean War Veterans Association reaching out to chapter members (copy)

Gen. John McWaters, commander of The Villages chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association, said the group is working to connect with members during the COVID-19 crisis.

Korean War Veterans Association reaching out to chapter members (copy) Korean War Veterans Association reaching out to chapter members

Gen. John McWaters, commander of The Villages chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association, said the group is working to connect with members during the COVID-19 crisis.

Staying in touch with members of The Villages chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association is a high-priority but challenging task for Gen. John McWaters. This has been an especially difficult time as the organization attempts to check on the health of each and every member, which is complicated by their lack of electronic connections. 

“We’ve got a very elderly membership core of veterans who fought in the Korean War,” said McWaters, commander for the chapter. “For the future of the organization, as we who fought are aging, we’re bringing in veterans that have since served in the defense of Korea against North Korean aggression.”

Recently the Villages chapter of the national organization became the largest chapter in the nation, surpassing the Boston chapter with 160 members. 

Regular meetings and their spring picnic have been canceled due to the coronavirus, and McWaters needs to notify all of their members of these changes.

“This coronavirus came along and knocked us in the chops,” said McWaters, of the Village

With the added urgency of wellness checks, McWaters is looking for a better communications solution.

The Villages chapter now has 212 members, but only 152 have email addresses and 60 do not. That’s further complicated by the fact that physical addresses and phone numbers don’t check out for some. They’re currently reaching out to those members. 

“A lot of these older members don’t have a computer, and don’t want to have an email address,” McWaters said. “We don’t know if they’re not answering the phone because they’re ill, out of town or God forbid, they’ve passed away. We need to know.” 

One of the club’s new members has provided a solution, through his electronic expertise. 

Mark Carey, of the Village of Pennecamp, served in Korea’s defense force from 1970-78. When he read about the club in The Villages Daily Sun he contacted the general, came to one of his introductory breakfasts and signed up. 

When McWaters learned that Carey was a professional website developer he signed him up to be their communications officer. Since then Carey has rebuilt the club’s website, making significant improvements to its content and usability. That URL is .

The next thing Carey undertook was setting up an account with Constant Contact, a group communications organization. 

“They send out a personalized postcard to every member that doesn’t have an email address,” Carey said. “That saves us a lot of hand work and it’s cheaper.” 

The next challenge they face is tracking down the ones that return as undelivered and that’s what they’re waiting for now. Another service they provide is an accounting for the email. 

“Now we’ve got another problem,” McWaters said. “They tell us that only 52% of the people on our email list opened the email. I can’t understand why they don’t see it and at least open it to see what we have to tell them.”

He has set up another email to those who have not opened their first message. Another possible reason for the lost contact is members moving to another home within The Villages or moving into assisted living facilities. 

“The cards have been mailed out, so it won’t be long before we either hear back or try to reach them by phone,” Carey said.  When the cards come back they’ll start calling the numbers they have, and continue the hunt until all members are personally contacted.

Sunshine. High 88F. Winds light and variable.

Partly cloudy skies. Low around 65F. Winds light and variable.

Partly cloudy skies. High 86F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.

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source http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com/local_news/korean-war-veterans-association-reaching-out-to-chapter-members-copy/article_3a0caec6-773b-11ea-b2de-9b37a9b8c763.html

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