Written by Jared Couch
Jared is our Learn & Discern Brand Marketing intern. He is going into his senior year of school at Houghton College in western New York, where he is double majoring in Integrated Marketing and Business Administration. As a part of his role this summer he will be writing a series of blog posts. They will be released each week and will have a different International Order of the Kings Daughters and Sons (IOKDS), based topic. We would love for this to be an opportunity for the IOKDS community to interact with Jared so please be active in the comments and reach out with any questions or share any reflections you may have!
Statement from Jared: “This week I wanted to take a look at and analyze what the future looks like for the International Order of the Kings Daughters and Sons. Since the overarching idea of the Learn and Discern internship program as a whole is to move the Order forward in terms of revival of membership and connectivity, I figured that taking an in depth dive into what that actually looks like would be interesting and intriguing to you all. The idea is to also make you aware so you may play a part in the revival of the IOKDS.”
As not to assume that we all are aware of the backstory, I will start by giving a brief history of the IOKDS.
It was started in 1886, yes not a typo actually 134 years ago, by a group of ten women who wanted to have a service organization made up of “Circles” that would conduct their own service projects. If you are interested in more on the IOKDS history, you can CLICK HERE to read more. Anyway they were madly successful, and interest came pouring into their New York City headquarters. Now in the early days of the IOKDS people reached out via handwritten letter and that is how business was conducted. It didn’t matter if it was a local or global scale, mailed letters and other business correspondents were the norm. Pretty soon they had thousands of members all over the world. This was mostly accomplished through the power of word of mouth, a big part of the spread of IOKDS still today.
Fast forward to now, 2020, 134 years later. We have an organization with a beautiful history that is colored with amazing stories but struggles to get the word out to the world. For an organization that so impressively pivoted to adjust to an online remote internship program, I know the IOKDS is capable, that’s not even a question for me, it’s a question of how do we get there? There are some things where technology could be used more effectively and that is where I hope to make an impact with writing these very blogs as well as doing work with LinkedIn to draw interest to the Learn & Discern internship program among other things. I along with the other interns are taking on projects to, as much as we can in five weeks, leave an impact in the improvement of IOKDS.
For the readers who may not be as familiar with the format of the IOKDS, there are several levels to the organization. Locally there are Circles, groups of at least three people, and they perform their own independent service projects in their own community. Each Circle is attached to a Branch which is a regional group of circles. Then there is the international leadership which includes the international president who run the organization. There are also members “at large” who are not connected to a Circle but are still a part of the IOKDS. The international headquarters are located in Chautauqua, NY on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution.
When there are so many different avenues and platforms over which to communicate today, I couldn’t help but feel that there are missed opportunities to connect an international community. In talking with several members, and you may feel the same way too, there seems to be a disconnect and a lack of awareness for the IOKDS as a whole outside of one’s own Circle.
This to me is very sad. That’s what makes being a part of something like this so fulfilling, is to feel a part of something bigger than yourself, bigger than your Circle, Branch or even your country!
The IOKDS has so many different parts and that is what makes it unique from other such service organizations. Each Circle has a level of autonomy to perform whatever service projects they see fit for their own community. There is everything from knitting projects to whole entire hospitals that are ran by Circles each project looks a little different. But no one project is more significant than another! They each have their own special story and meaning.
King’s Daughters Medical Center in Mississippi an IOKDS run hospital
I hope you share, or at the very least see, the passion that myself and the other interns have for revitalizing the IOKDS and bringing it back to its glory!
Its 2020 the age of social media, emails, and a whole bunch of other forms of electronic communications. It’s time we joined in!
And this is where YOU come in! You each have your own way of being involved and I want to hear about it! So if you would, answer the question below in the comment section that would be great! Or even better if you would like to share this post on Facebook and leave your answer in the post on your timeline that would be perfect too!
What does your involvement in the IOKDS look like?
Use this platform! This is one way to share your own story, to connect with others from around the IOKDS. If you say, “Oh well I’ll wait and see if anyone else posts something first.” No that’s not it you have to be that change if you really want to see IOKDS change and evolve, you be the first one to comment and share! Start the trend you take the lead on this in your Circle and who knows maybe you’ll be the one person that motivates someone else to share their story. So first thing you do is comment!
So what is the next thing I should do after I comment?
- SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! Share this article on your Facebook by hitting the share button on the post of the link to this article. That way more people can read it and see your story! Shares are huge for getting impressions and views, don’t just like the post also share it!
- You should connect with people who interact with this article or with the different Facebook posts. Friend them, send them a message to get to know them and hear more about their IOKDS journey. Maybe even start a Facebook for your Circle or Branch. Get people talking and connected!
- Visit Chautauqua. Now I know I am advertising for something that I have never experienced myself, but I have heard enough about it to know it is a must. I also know I will be following my own advice and will hopefully be able to make it to Chautauqua in the near future. If you didn’t know this already the IOKDS has several houses on the grounds at the Chautauqua Institution! It’s a beautiful spot to vacation and the IOKDS does several events throughout the summer on the grounds at Chautauqua!
Bonnie Hall on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution
As the brand marketing intern in the Learn & Discern internship program I have just a short time to try and leave my mark on the IOKDS. I have a vision for what the IOKDS could be that is much bigger than just the 5 weeks of work I have this summer. I hope to lay the foundation for a great and bright future. But the greatness and the brightness of that future is entirely in the hands of the members of the IOKDS. You all have to be the ones to take the action to connect on Facebook to share posts and comments on blogs, use and interact with the new things posted on the website. None of this happens without your involvement. It is up to you to make this change to connect this community on an international level. If the IOKDS wants to grow and find its way into the modern age it has to start with the members it already has, and then new members can be added.
Keep an eye out throughout the rest of the summer for the new things that are happening, do your best to embrace them. There is already exciting stuff happening! Our Learn & Discern Interns are working on a wide range of projects, from these very blogs to new programming to connecting with past Chautauqua scholars. The Learn & Discern interns are also working together on a project to have an active donation button on Facebook. Many other things are also in the works so stay tuned!
This is an exciting time in the history of the IOKDS. As a Learn & Discern intern I can tell you that we are not looking to change the rich history of the IOKDS but are looking to build the next chapter with a few small blocks that will hopefully be built upon as time goes on! Personally I hope to see an increase in member connectivity as well as an increase in membership. This entirely depends on your willingness to take action! I hope you chose to join me in pursuing this goal, the IOKDS is something very special and worth doing everything possible to preserve and I hope you agree. Let’s join together in interaction on this blog to start and be open to some small changes that will ultimately be for the greater good of the IOKDS for years to come!