Forest Park Civic Association officials used to conduct membership drives that went on for months.
Volunteers seeking to add to the rolls of dues-paying members by repeatedly asking residents in the community of 3,000 homes and some apartment complexes to join probably left everyone exhausted by the end of those drives, association President Mike Stone said last week.
To combat burnout on the part of volunteers and the solicited, association officers came up with "Outreach Day," a membership drive compressed to a mere four hours.
This year's Outreach Day will be Saturday, July 13.
"This is one day where we mass as many as we can to do a door-to-door campaign, to seek memberships but also update household data for directories," Stone said. "Mind you, we never, ever share that information with anyone outside our organization, and people can request that information not be published."
Information provided by those who don't care to join the association still helps officers keep track of the demographics and the needs of residents, he added.
Volunteers for the drive will meet at the Sandalwood Shopping Center in Forest Park West at 10 a.m. and then fan out to make visits to people in their own immediate area of the 50-plus-year-old neighborhood. Details about the benefits of membership, including supplemental security that the association pays for, will be dropped off if residents aren't home, according to an email Stone sent out to those helping with the drive.
"Primarily a membership drive, the event also seeks feedback on topics including supplemental security and issues needing city attention," the email stated.
At the end of the four hours, volunteers meet back at the Sandalwood Shopping Center for a party at Sequoia Pro Bowl.
"It's a really fun time," Stone said. "It really helps us ... that we're really all in this together. The impact is huge."
He pointed out that 60 percent of the income from memberships goes to provide private security patrols above and beyond normal police protection.
"It's simple mathematics," Stone said. "The more membership we have, the more security; the less members, the less security."
More information is available by calling Jana Waltman at 614-885-4695 or Stone at 614-844-6893.