The True Value of Associations in Times of Trouble and Uncertainty

Association trends continue to indicate Americans are joining less and do not always understand the value of membership. Households where adults work more than one job and personal declarations of “not enough time” all make it challenging for associations to maintain, let alone grow, membership.

In recent years, things moved along nicely – job growth was up, unemployment was down, and the stock market yielded amazing results. Most Americans were feeling pretty good about the state of the country. Then came an announcement that rocked the world – a severe, possibly deadly virus that would make its way from country to country. A pandemic. Suddenly, our economic euphoria fell to anxiousness, fear, and worry. Americans now wake up and go to bed hearing the same word – Coronavirus.

In the midst of panic, the first groups to offer solutions for our kids were educators and PTAs. School districts and teachers quickly moved to offer curricula online, and PTAs mobilized to help provide meals and resources to students.

It’s easy in the good times to feel we don’t need nonprofit associations or a community of others, but what do we say now? Belonging to your Council and Local PTAs provides a network of support, love, and encouragement when others are throwing up their hands. We’ve heard it time and again: it’s not about the crisis, it’s about how we respond to it.

Belonging and joining do matter. PTAs and educators are driven by a selfless desire to help their students and communities. They are an army bearing no armor yet equipped with an arsenal of personal gifts and tireless motivation.

It is my hope that we will see a growing trend of more Americans joining PTA – supporting their communities and proactively, not reactively, realizing we are stronger together.

Hopefully, there will never be another pandemic in our children’s lifetime, but undoubtedly, there will be something again challenging us to work together. Let’s face it head-on as PTA.

Kyle Ward

Kyle Ward

Since 2006, Kyle Ward has served as Executive Director of Texas PTA. An advocate for children and parents all his life, Kyle formerly was the Director of Field Operations for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He and his wife and their two sons hail from North Texas.