At a Special Meeting of the Polish Falcons of America National Board of Directors held on Friday, May 29, 2020, the Board voted unanimously to hold a virtual Regular Convention on Saturday, November 21, 2020, and a Special Convention in July 2021 in New Britain, Conn. Click here for a statement from PFA National President Timothy L. Kuzma that describes the details of the Board’s decision and the plan for the Conventions.
I am on vacation this week, well actually, stay-cation. I made the decision that it makes more sense to stay home, plant a garden, get more things done around the house, read a bit more and simply enjoy! John just finished our deck; the kids are finished with school Wednesday. There are lots of things for the kids to do here – we just bought a new climbing dome, there are the swings, a sprinkler and the sandbox! Plus, books and crafts galore!
Geneva-on-the-Lake is a small area where social distancing would be challenging. The playgrounds aren’t open yet, and the beach is still a mess (even though they clean it constantly). The lake is really cold, and not all of the restaurants/stores are open; it is in another state.
BUT! I have spent this entire morning crying. My heart is so heavy from what is happening. The civil unrest, the virus, just everything! I generally don’t watch much news because I tend to bury my head in the sand and only deal with what I have to. I have never been one to march for a cause (even when I agreed with the cause). It seems that things happen, people protest, there is much discussion, then before you know it, we are back to where we were!
The scope of the violence frightens me! The current state of affairs saddens me, sickens me and terrifies me! I did see a few encouraging photos and stories recently, but these should not be an exception. It should be the rule to talk and be considerate. I simply do not understand why a gathering should turn into an excuse to be a criminal. Talk about a contradiction!
As I have mentioned previously, my parents were not deeply involved with a fraternal. I joined when I was a kid. My brothers were PFA Members, and I was taking dancing lessons (at the same place my Mom had). One night after class, I told my Mom I didn’t want to come back here anymore. Her reply was “Then, you’re joining Falcons!” Obviously, one of the best decisions ever! My point is that even though they weren’t involved, they were truly kind, generous, thoughtful people. We were taught to be respectful of all, treat others the way they treat us, not to judge, not to gossip, to understand, be kind, be helpful, share, support, be considerate of all, be responsible, not to lie (if we lied, that was worse to my Mom than what we lied about!), to work hard, to appreciate, not to take anything for granted, have compassion, be a productive member of society.
My parents were of course not perfect, but they were good people! Now obviously, one can’t be a doormat for others, but seriously, the nastiness is shocking to me. I think some of it has to do with the stay-at-home orders and people being frustrated, scared, out-of-control, financially unstable and uneasy about the future.
Random acts of kindness go a long way! You can be making a difference simply by being nice! Say hello, nod your head, hold a door, allow someone to enter the street, smile (even though you are wearing a mask – at least, I hope so!), a smile can be seen in the eyes, donate blood, donate to a food bank, send a few dollars to someone you know who needs help, do something NICE! Oh! and if the store requires you to wear a mask, wear it on your face, not your neck!
I heard a gentleman say that God didn’t produce any extras (like they have in the movies!), all of us matter. And all of us can make a difference!
I am going to go outside and work in our garden. My Mom always said that gardening was the best therapy! I wish all of you peace and I pray for a gentler, kinder world! Czolem!
05/12/2020 Update: Contributions now being accepted through May 31, 2020.
Support your Nest!
#GivingTuesdayNow (May 5) is a global day of generosity and unity, a day to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, no matter who or where we are.
If able in this difficult time, PFA National Headquarters is asking Polish Falcons Members to make a contribution to support their Nests.
Our Nests have been closed for five weeks or longer. There is little or no income and bills still need to be paid. How much would you have spent at your Nest over the course of five weeks? Are you able to donate that amount or a portion of it?
Today through May 12, let us come together as Falcons for our Nests. This is your chance to show support for your Nest and make a donation to help the Nest get through these challenging times. No amount is too small. Thank you for giving.
Click here to make your contribution.
04/08/2020 Update: Applications Now Available Here.
Several years ago the Polish Falcons of America created a Disaster Relief Program to assist Members who were affected by a natural disaster. Since that time, PFA has provided thousands of dollars in assistance to our Members. In light of the current situation as a result of the world-wide pandemic, the PFA National Board of Directors voted to approve a new program to provide assistance to those Members affected by the virus.
Applications for the program will be available on the PFA website starting on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The program will be open until December 31, 2020, or until the funds available are exhausted. Because of the limited funds available, applications will be handled on a first come, first served basis. The amount of each grant is $250.
Below are the requirements for the program.
- An individual Member who has been infected with the coronavirus.
- An individual Member with an immediate family member who has been infected with the coronavirus. Immediate family member is defined as a spouse, children, parents or in-laws, or someone who is dependent on the care of the Member.
- An individual Member who has experienced a significant financial setback as a result of the coronavirus. These applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- The applicant must be a Member of PFA in Good Standing (which means all National Dues must be current at the time of application).
- Grants are available to one per household.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact Physical Education Director Chris Puskar at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling National Headquarters toll-free at 800-535-2071.
If you would like to make a donation to help support this program and increase the number of grants available to Members in need, please send check payable to Polish Falcons of America, Attn: Chris Puskar, 1016 Greentree Rd., Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.
Random thoughts (some of mine, some of others)…
- Do we need a laundry basket for just clean clothes? I mean we carry dirty clothes down in the basket; is it a good idea to use the same basket for the clean ones?
- Masks protect others from us. Isn’t it simply considerate to wear a mask on those rare occasions when one must go out?
- If you wear glasses, wash them with shaving cream! Not only will they be the cleanest ever, but they won’t fog when you sport your mask!
- Should one take his/her car out every now and then or simply start it periodically?
- Those of us who are still fortunate enough to work now, shouldn’t we be helping others? Possibly make donations to a food bank?
- Our churches still need our weekly offerings.
- Retail workers are working hard; please ask how they are and say thank you. And of course, be nice! (This should be the norm!)
- Get fresh air even if all you do is walk around your yard.
- Have a routine – pretend you are heading to the office even if it is in your home office or your kitchen. (Put clothes on, not fresh pajamas!)
- Embrace this opportunity.
- Think of three positive things as a result of this current situation.
- Imagine how much more challenging this might have been years ago, prior to all of this technology.
- When using reusable gloves (generally at home, latex), be sure to wash your hands while still wearing your gloves.
- Supporting a local, small business makes sense. I am thankful for them.
- Possibly pay your cleaning person, nail tech or hairdresser. Maybe not the entire amount, but they aren’t working now (if you still are).
- Key an eye on neighbors to be sure someone is checking in on them.
- Send a letter or a card. Not all have internet or are on Facebook, and even if they are, old-fashioned mail is always a treat!
- Sing (you know) like no one is listening. Dance like no one is watching.
- Read a book, magazine, something. Do more than watch TV and surf the net.
- Try out a new recipe.
- Breathe, embrace, appreciate.
- Wash your hands and stay home. We will all get through this!
While this is not something any of us are doing by choice, I am finding many things that I am enjoying as a result of this stay-at-home order. I do enjoy working from home, but I truly miss the interaction with the Membership. I have emailed and spoken with a few but not like being in the office.
Of course, I miss my colleagues.
Hang in there; life is still good! Czolem!
The health and safety of all our Members is of the utmost importance to the Board of Directors, Executive Management and staff of Polish Falcons of America. We hope that each and every one of you is coping as best as possible in these unprecedented times. If you, a family member or friend has been directly affected by COVID-19 please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Following is an update from National Headquarters about the status of the organization and the things we are doing to deal with the crisis.
Earlier this week we announced a relief program for our Members. Complete details can be found here, or by contacting National Physical Education Director Chris Puskar at email@example.com. You can also call National Headquarters toll-free at 800-535-2071.
This program, and our Disaster Relief Program, are funded primarily through the generous contributions of our Members. If you want to make a donation to help your fellow Members, please send directly to National Headquarters at Polish Falcons of America, Attn. Chris Puskar, 1016 Greentree Rd., Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.
At a recent meeting, the National Board of Directors voted unanimously to postpone the National Convention scheduled for this July in New Britain, Conn. This decision was not taken lightly as the Convention is the Supreme Governing Body of our organization.
Another important factor here is the fact that Nests and Districts must meet prior to the Convention to elect delegates and nominate National Directors. The Board did not believe there was a safe or effective way to do this in time for the Convention. In order for everyone to plan for the Convention, the decision was made to postpone the Convention.
The obvious question is: What are we going to do about the Convention? We do not have an answer yet. Be assured that the Executive Committee and Board are exploring all the options for the Convention. I expect that an announcement for the Convention will be made by the end of April or early May at the latest. We are mindful that Nests and Districts will need time to plan their important meetings.
Future Leaders Conference
Since the Conference was going to be held in conjunction with the Convention this year, this event is also being postponed. National Physical Education Director Chris Puskar is also working on alternatives for the Conference. An announcement concerning the Conference will be made by the end of April.
National Golf Tournament
As of today, the National Golf Tournament is still scheduled for this August with Nest 610, Erie, Pa., as host. We are monitoring this situation closely and are prepared to make any changes if necessary. Please watch for any announcements via email or posted here.
National Headquarters Operations
It is important that all Members know that Polish Falcons of America is still open for business. While most of the staff is working remotely, we are still processing all our business as usual. We are accepting new applications, accepting premium and dues payments, and paying all claims. You can contact the office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling toll-free at 800-535-2071.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at email@example.com. Please stay healthy and safe.
Timothy L. Kuzma
The Executive Officers, National Directors and staff at Polish Falcons of America National Headquarters are carefully monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are all committed to providing you the highest quality service, while ensuring the health and safety of our employees.
Due to recent actions from the Governor of Pennsylvania, we have taken steps for most of the staff to work remotely. There will be a limited staff in the office to perform the essential services for our Members, while other staff will be working from home. Our goal is to deal with your matters diligently, efficiently and without interruption.
If you call the office, our automated system will answer the call. Please follow the prompts to leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Our email and website are fully functioning. All of us are ready to respond to any inquiries received via email or through the website.
We are here for you and well-positioned to help you with your needs, whether it is a new application, change of address or a claim. We believe strongly in providing open communication for the Members and will continue to do so throughout this crisis.
We appreciate your understanding and we thank you for your trust. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.
Czolem and stay safe!
Timothy L. Kuzma
Statement from Polish Falcons of America National Headquarters Regarding Coronavirus COVID-19
The Polish Falcons of America is carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation and its impact on the entire organization. As a fraternal organization, we recognize that the social interaction of our Members is a critical aspect of the Polish Falcons. Whether it’s a regular Nest meeting, an awards dinner, or just stopping at the Nest for a drink with friends, we all have to be aware we should take measures to reduce personal contact as much as possible.
To that end, we have already decided to cancel the National Volleyball Tournament that was scheduled for the end of March. In addition, the National Bowling Tournament, scheduled for late April, is also cancelled. While the Bowling Tournament is still more than one month away, we based our decision on the latest guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control which is advising that all gatherings of 50 or more in the next eight weeks be cancelled.
We are considering rescheduling both of these events for later this year. National Physical Education Director Christine Puskar and Bowling Manager Janet Knauber have already started looking at options. All entry fees for the Bowling Tournament are 100% refundable. Information regarding refunds will be announced later this week.
As of today, this does not affect any other of our National events scheduled in 2020, especially the National Convention. However, we are closely watching new developments and if anything changes we will certainly let all Members know.
At National Headquarters, as of today there will not be an interruption of our business operations. Almost half the staff will be working remotely until further notice. The Office will remain open for regular business hours. You will still be able to contact the staff and Executive Officers by email and phone. We will be as responsive to our Members’ needs as always.
Nest and District Activities
National Headquarters recommends the following actions be taken by Nests and Districts as it relates to local activities and programs:
- Follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and cancel all activities scheduled with 50 or more people over the next eight weeks.
- Follow all regulations from state, county and local officials regarding any restrictions placed on businesses in your area. States are beginning to limit activities for non-essential businesses, bars and restaurants. We strongly advise everyone to comply with these requirements. Even though there may not be restrictions in place, we still think it advisable to consider closing the Nest voluntarily until further notice.
- For Districts that have important Plenary Meetings scheduled in the near future, we suggest postponing those meetings until a later date. We are also investigating possible alternatives regarding the schedule for these meetings.
- Consider a method to contact members and ascertain their wellbeing.
- Use regular email communications to Members to keep them informed about important news at the Nest or District.
Additional information is available for Members and their families on the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Keep in mind that the elderly and sick are highly vulnerable to this disease.
Polish Falcons has faced many challenges in its history, and we will get through this as we have done time and again. There will be hardships and sacrifices in the coming weeks, but now is the time to stay true to our dedication to the principles of a fraternal organization where we band together to aid and assist one another.
With all that is happening keep in mind that this is a highly volatile situation and circumstances may change quickly. We will do our best to send notices and keep our Members informed. The best resource is the website, www.polishfalcons.org. As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact National Headquarters toll-free at 1-800-535-2071, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timothy L. Kuzma