March 31, 2020
Dear OGS Family,
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well in these challenging times. OGS continues to strive and be a good neighbor by following the recommendations from Governor Stitt, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. President Trump and the medical experts from the Center for Disease Control.
As of this writing, we are adhering to the April 30 emergency shelter in place orders that state non-essential businesses are closed. There are indications that Oklahoma’s peak will occur within 17 days and extensions of the policies might occur.
To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our members, guests, board members and volunteers, our Resource Center remains closed until further notice. In some of my previous communiques to our membership, I said the OGS Board is looking at ways to do business a little different. We are in uncharted waters and have been looking at different online platforms to do our monthly meetings. We will continue to review these but in light of the upcoming April 7th OGS Monthly Meeting, we unfortunately will need to postpone the meeting. I will be working with the speaker to reschedule.
As you may know, 2020 marks OGS’s 65th birthday. Last year when we started planning on a yearlong celebration in no way did, we anticipate the historical chain of events that have and will continue to unfold. Thanks to those that came before us, OGS is a strong and vibrant organization. Your OGS Board of Directors has the same focus to continue on this legacy. Last night at our first online board meeting, the board authorized the six officers to develop a short/long range plan of action to identify the needs of OGS before, during and after pandemic. Long term planning may be 4-6 months as things change rapidly. I have and hope you as well, have full faith in the board to accomplish this. The board members love OGS and want what is best for OGS.
To our members, you are our most important piece of the OGS family. Your safety and wellbeing has weighed heavily on my mind in all of the decisions we have made to date. I have been humbled and honored to speak or exchange emails with many of you since this situation came up. Your comments of support and appreciation have been uplifting and I have expressed the flavor of these to the board.
Oklahomans are known for the Oklahoma Standard. We respond in crisis by taking care of our friends, families and those we don’t know. In all likelihood, OGS will not be receiving any funding though the balance of this fiscal year which ends June 30.
We ask that you please support OGS by staying current or extending your membership, getting someone to join OGS or make a donation. Any amount of donation will be helpful for us to maintain until we can re-open. The recently passed Care Act will allow individuals to deduct up to $300 off their federal taxes even if you do not itemize.
We have been touched with the acts of kindness toward OGS during this critical time. Several have extended their memberships with one increasing their membership to a lifetime membership. Some have made donations and to date 51 out of 57 contacted have kept their Spring Seminar registration for the rescheduled time of November 21, 2020.
We will get through this and OGS will be stronger. In the days/weeks ahead we will continue to update you and work toward making it fun to interact so we can go back to what I am sure will be a changed new normal life.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support and being a part of the OGS family.
Mike Birdsong, President OGS