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President’s Column – 04/2020

Greetings. I hope this month’s newsletter find you all safe and well.

I am certain that no previous edition of our monthly missive has been delivered under more unusual or disquieting circumstances. So it is through this veil of uncertainty and upheaval that I write -- a stark departure from my usual pep talk detailing our chapter’s recent accomplishments and upcoming events.

As a nation, we are confronted with a public health crisis that is unprecedented in the past century. The Covid-19 pandemic forces all organizations, including nonprofits such as ours, to assess their activities and options during this period. Here is how we must act in response to the current crisis:

We will hold no public meetings or events until such activities are given an “all-clear” message by both government AND public health entities. We will reassess and announce the resumption of activities when we are advised that it is safe to do so.

We will hold no in-person board meetings or committee meetings until we are advised that it is safe to do so. In their place, we will pivot to conducting such meetings through email, teleconferencing, and other “virtual” methods.

All Outreach and Education meetings are indefinitely postponed to prevent contracting or spreading the Covid-19 virus. The Spring Citizens Academy class in Huntsville has been put on hold, and we will not be conducting “Chasing the Dragon,” “Active Shooter Preparedness,” “FBI Day at Children’s Hospital,” “Coffee with an Agent,” and other such programs and gatherings are suspended for the present time; and our planned “Bomb-Making Preparedness” class, tentatively scheduled for May, is presently in doubt -- subject to suspension and rescheduling. Stay tuned for information on when we can reschedule these events, and others like them.

Be aware that, because of your involvement with the FBI CAAA, you may be seen as privy to “inside information,” or that family, friends or coworkers may look to you as somehow better-informed than most, and they may look to you for information and advice in this crisis. Please take care to be properly informed and factually correct in what you say and do – it’s a form of public service and may serve to keep others safe.  If you need sources for accurate information concerning the Covid-19 crisis, please obtain it from such trusted sources as these:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html                                                        
  • World Health Organization:  
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
  • Johns Hopkins Corona virus Resource Center: 
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/   

And another thing – Let me make it clear that we care about each and every members of this chapter, and we care about your well-being. So please follow the advice of the experts and stay safe. We also want to know how you’re doing and if there might be anything we could do to help one another out. So be on the lookout for a notice from us. I’ll be looking into the possibility of holding a chapter “town hall” via teleconference to give our chapter’s members a chance to let us know your needs, and apprise us of your ideas. So until the next time we chat – stay safe; be well.

Support the FBI CAAA with Amazon Smile

And as a far more upbeat note than my earlier column (you’re welcome), I want to tell you about a very simple thing you can do to support our chapter. It’s a form of fundraising that won’t cost you a single penny. Assuming you don’t live in a cave, I’ll imagine that you are familiar with a small start-up company called Amazon. In fact, I suspect one or two of you already have an Amazon account. But have you heard about Amazon Smile? It’s a subset of Amazon, whereby the company makes a donation of a small percentage of your purchase to a charitable organization – again at no additional cost to you whatsoever. And YOU can set YOUR Amazon Smile account to automatically donate a portion of your purchases to the FBI Birmingham CAAA. Here’s how it works:

  1. From your computer, go to: smile.amazon.com.
  2. Log in to your existing Amazon account.
  3. At the top of the page, go to your account and select the option to change your charity
  4. Search for FBI National CAAA and navigate to “location: Birmingham AL.” Select it.
  5. There is also a box to check that will automatically open Amazon Smile each time you go to Amazon. It would be lovely if you were to check that box.

And from a mobile device, it’s equally simple. Get the Amazon app, then open, pull down the menu from the upper left and select Amazon Smile, then follow the steps just like on a computer.

This is a simple, painless step. Amazon will donate .5% of each purchase you make to our chapter. That’s not a big deal on an individual basis, but if you extrapolate that figure out over a few hundred members, it adds up, and can serve to help underwrite our chapter’s service to the community. And my thanks go to our friend and board member, Jacqueline Gray Miller, for this excellent suggestion.

So please take a moment and do us a favor -- visit Amazon Smile, set up your personal charity as the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, Location: Birmingham. And while there, set up your Amazon account as your default setting. You’ll be making donations to the chapter at no cost to you.

--- Paul H. Franklin, President

     FBI Birmingham CAAA



 


            The FBI Birmingham Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBIBCAAA) is a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI.


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