Member LV/DVG America - DVG - DHV - VDH - FCI




Submitted by Carole Patterson

Updating the membership database every year is always a challenge, one that results in much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not to mention a few nasty emails to the regional membership officers and member clubs.

On many club roster forms for 2004, new addresses were listed for club members. In a whole lot of cases, no address change form was ever sent though normal channels to inform the Kreisgruppen membership officers or the LV of the change of address. You know what? No address change form, no magazine. No address change form, no correct address on your membership card, scorebook etc. It ain't rocket science, folks. If you move and you or your club doesn't bother to let anyone know, your magazine goes in that big round file in the post office building. Then you bitch to your club officers who in turn bitch at the LV officers. The form has to be filled out and sent either by you or the club to the KG membership officer. This is the reason why membership cards issued at the first of the year may contain incorrect addresses. The roster forms used by LV America are not sent to Germany. These roster forms are for the use of the KG's and LV only. Only by sending an address change form (to be found in the LV Handbook or printed off from the LV web site) through normal channels will an address change be registered at the' KG and LV levels and also be sent on to Germany. As keeper of the flame, so to speak, the flame being the LV membership database, I am copied on all address change forms so that you can receive your magazine. Ah, but there's a catch.

What's the catch, you ask? It's quite simple. The magazine is mailed by bulk mail. The US post office directive requires that the post office make every possible effort to deliver First Class mail. So, if an address on a First Class letter is missing the word or abbreviation for Street, Avenue, Circle, Lane, Road, etc., or N, E, S, or W, the post office will find a way to deliver it. This is not true for anything mailed via Bulk Mail. If your address is actually 5331 S. Simpson Road, and your club roster or membership application simply says 5331 Simpson, or even 5331 S. Simpson, your magazine could disappear in a puff of smoke. Why? Because there may be a Simpson Road, a Simpson Avenue and a Simpson Circle, all within your zip code area. There may even be a "N Simpson Road", so if you don't put the "S" in, even if you do include the Road designation, your magazine will still probably wander away, forever lost. Addresses for anything mailed Bulk Mail have to be Post Office Certifiable, which means everything on that address must be absolutely correct. If it isn't, the post office simply trashes it. No Bulk Mail is ever forwarded. If you move in March, don't send in an address change form through your club, and suddenly realize in October that you haven't received your magazines, well, too bad. They ended up in the trash barrel at the post office. It doesn't matter that you put in a mail forwarding form at your old post office. Bulk Mail isn't forwarded. You can have the back issues, but you'll have to pay First Class postage to have them sent to you, because no address change was sent through and the magazine was never notified of your change of address. Please be sure to include the correct zip code, also. You'd be amazed how many zip codes listed on roster forms as well as membership application forms that are not correct. Usually it's simply a typo problem, but sometimes simply way wrong. Club secretaries or whoever takes care of membership renewals? Just check these things to be sure, please. It's really easy to do. Just go to www.usps.com and click on zip code information. You'll be doing a great favor for all of us. When you do that, the address shown with the zip code will also be the absolutely correct USPS certifiable address. You can't imagine how many people truly don't know what their "real" address is. Because first class mail is delivered no matter how screwed up the address might be, a lot of people really don't know what their exactly correct address is.

Last but not least has more to do with the clubs than individuals. Many club rosters for 2004 also contained changes of officers for the year, but no change of officer form was sent through channels. The same problem exists for changes of club officers that exists for address changes. I received no less than 4 emails from Germany asking me where to send membership cards because the only club president they had on record dropped his/her member­ship for 2004. If clubs do NOT send through change of officer forms, Germany will have no record of the new officers. Important material, such as membership cards, may be sent to the wrong person, possibly someone no longer active in the club. Listing the new officers on the annual rosters just doesn't do it, because the DVG office in Germany never sees the club rosters. A change of officer form (also available in the Handbook or on the LV web site) must be sent through channels.

Okay, now that I've beat up on you, please try to help your KG, your LV; Germany and me all have correct information for you. Believe me, it will make life much simpler, you'll receive your magazines and Germany will be very happy not to have clubs bitching because their membership cards went astray. Speaking of membership cards. All clubs should have received theirs and by now should have distributed them to the club members. Do YOU know where your membership card is?

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