Most volunteer work is accomplished by chapters on the local level that focus on the committee missions of the DAR. Listed below are volunteer and leadership opportunities available to Arlington House Chapter members.
Local middle and elementary school students are invited to participate in essay contests on assigned subjects in American history. This committee works with schools for the purpose of awarding certificates and medals to outstanding essay authors. Entries are judged by the chapter, and the best are forwarded for an additional award consideration by state and national levels.
At each meeting, we observe an "Indian Minute" to recall the contributions of our first Americans. Recently, our chapter established an Indian scholarship fund, and the annual interest benefits the Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and the Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon.
For over 20 years, representatives from our chapter have attended naturalization ceremonies in Alexandria, Virginia. We express words of welcome to our new American citizens and give each one a small American flag.
This committee acts as liaison to the C.A.R. and encourages our members to support the activities of the C.A.R. societies at local, state, and national levels. Visit the C.A.R. website to learn more.
The Constitution Week Committee observes and celebrates September 17-23 to emphasize the responsibility of protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States of America. We believe in preserving it for posterity to understand that this document is our great heritage and the foundation of our lives. Our chapter traditionally rings bells on the 17th and places a display in a school where the study of historical events that occurred during September 1787 is the theme.
We actively encourage everyone to plant trees, recycle, and conserve water. The committee attaches a monthly "Conservation Minute" to our meeting agenda, and these "minutes" offer members tips on conservation of resources.
The DAR Good Citizens Committee sponsors "DAR Good Citizens Essay Contest" for seniors at two Arlington County high schools. Each high school selects a "DAR Good Citizen" to whom the chapter awards a pin, certificate, and a U.S. Savings Bond. One essay is chosen to represent our chapter in competition against winners from all the DAR chapters in Virginia's District V. It is our hope that our student's essay will compete at state and regional levels, culminating in a national winner representing the entire United States.
The committee monitors activities at the DAR Museum located at the national headquarters building in nearby Washington, D.C. Reports are returned to the chapter regarding new exhibits, special events, and volunteer opportunities, such as museum docent training.
Chapter members donate a variety of needed items and collect labels for education to help support students at two schools founded by DAR state societies: the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School in Alabama and Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina. Clothing, gift items, and labels are submitted to four other DAR supported schools that help educate disadvantaged students. These schools are: Crossnore School (North Carolina), Hillside School (Massachusetts), Hindman Settlement School (Kentucky), and Berry College (Georgia).
Arlington House Chapter supports veterans at the Veterans Administration medical centers in Washington, D.C., and Virginia by collecting donations at meetings and by volunteering.
The major objectives of this committee are to keep the flag flying, protect it continuously under all conditions, and educate citizens regarding its correct usage. At each chapter meeting, our members observe a "Flag of the United States minute." Upon request, this committee provides flags to schools, youth groups, and other concerns. The committee also collects worn flags then schedules and conducts the appropriate disposal ceremonies.
There are two on-going DAR Library projects that provide volunteer opportunities in genealogy. One opportunity is helping to collect and index unpublished genealogical records. The second opportunity is helping to create a master "Every Name Index" of every name in the nearly 20,000 volumes currently in the DAR Library collection. These projects aim toward making the records in the DAR Library more accessible to researchers locally and all over the world via the Internet.
Any DAR member age 18-35 is a Junior member. She holds full DAR membership and may serve as an officer or chairman at the national, state, or local levels. Each year the Junior Membership Committee supports the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund by selling Innisbrook products (wrapping paper and other items) and assisting with sales of "Junior products." A percentage of these proceeds directly benefit two schools founded by DAR state societies: Kate Duncan Smith DAR School in Alabama and Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina. This committee also plans fun events for Juniors.
This committee promotes opportunities to work with adults and children in the areas of reading, writing, and language. Examples include: volunteering in schools as a mentor, tutor, special events speaker, assisting with English as a second language classes, and GED preparation. In addition, this committee donates books and/or dictionaries to students at schools in our area.
When a prospective member expresses interest in our chapter, the Membership Committee immediately contacts her, and she is invited to join us at a monthly meeting. Prospective new members may ask to join the chapter after attending two meetings. This committee encourages her to seek the available assistance in her required genealogical research until final approval of her application papers. However, if at any time during this process, a prospective member is interested in looking at other chapters, the Membership Committee will assist her in doing so.
The National Defense Committee seeks to promote an enlightened public opinion. Chapter meeting programs occasionally focus on national defense topics; but, when national defense is not a featured topic, a brief message is read. This committee also works with the American History Committee to talk to students in grades 5 - 11 about "good citizenship," and each June we award medals and certificates to students recommended by their teachers. In addition, we award a JROTC medal to an outstanding student in the JROTC Program at the Arlington Career Center.
DAR Project Patriot Committee supports America’s service personnel in current conflicts abroad. The national committee currently assists the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany.
This committee is dedicated to informing DAR members and their community about the historical preservation, educational, and patriotic activities of the DAR. The chapter looks for opportunities to publicize our mission and activities through the media and to attract new members.
A generous member of the chapter donated funds in 2002 to establish the Gladwell-Vautrin Memorial Scholarship. Each year, the Scholarship Committee selects a deserving young woman who is a U.S. citizen, by either birth or naturalization and is graduating from a local public high school, to receive a $1,000 college scholarship.
This committee maintains this website and forwards communications received through the website to the appropriate chapter officers and committee chairmen. Our website is designed to publicize our efforts, keep our members informed, and provide contact information to prospective members looking for a DAR chapter in Arlington County or the Northern Virginia area.