DARKE COUNTY — April is Grange Month, with National Grange said to be thrilled about celebrating its 153rd year.
Once again, it’s time for all to applaud this organization, The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.
Locally, Stelvideo Grange has been Cultivating Connections since 1867. From potlucks to participation in community events, the organization gives its members opportunities for interaction needed in the face of a wired world.
“Today we live in the most connected time in human history, but more people are reporting depression and loneliness than ever before,” said National Grange President Betsy Huber, “Especially during this time of uncertainty as we all adjust to a new normal of quarantine and social distancing. We all hope everyone remains healthy and are being wise and staying home as much as possible in these strange times. Cancellations of Grange meetings and activities seems to be part of the new normal as Grangers are striving to be careful and not risk members’ health or the health of our community. Social benefit societies and fraternal organizations may just be part of the cure for the distance we perceive – and during Grange Month 2020, Stelvideo Grange #295 and the more than 1,700 other local chapters of the organization across the country are highlighting just how membership can positively impact lives by ‘Cultivating Connections.
Huber said it’s important that people feel like they have real and meaningful relationships with others in their community for many reason, and said the theme of the annual Grange Month can be used to discuss the way in which Granges create events that individuals can attend and create shared memories; being part of the organization opens doors for members to interact with legislators about issues of importance; and membership connects individuals to a long line of like-minded individuals who have done great work on behalf of rural Americans, farmers and others.
“Now, we are doing it through social media. The Grange is a family,” said Harvey and Lynne Hinshaw of Greenville. “The connections we make with each other in Darke County and in the State of Ohio and all over the United States; the things we do for our town and for people we may never meet; the things we do for Grangers and non-Grangers and the things they do for us especially in times of trouble; just makes you feel so very good! What a blessing to be a Granger! This year, 2019-20, Stelvideo Grange, along with Stelvideo Junior Grange has given each and every Arcanum third-grader their very own dictionary through the dictionary project, Words For Thirds’, a National Grange project that we have participated in for 15 years.”
The Hinshaws said Stelvideo Grange gives to FISH, adopts a family at Thanksgiving and Christmas, supported its Junior Grange with their recent community service project in donating 233 new (mostly Usborne Books) books to Dayton Children’s Hospital. Stelvideo Grange, they added, has been giving pre-packaged food to State Of The Heart In-Care at Wayne Health Care for several years.
“We have been able to continue to do this through the support from FOPA and Classic Car Club,” said Stelvideo Grange Master/President Harvey Hinshaw. “This is our mission: ‘to make a difference in the lives of others in our community’. This is just some of our community service projects. We do several things in our community and close by, to ‘make a difference’. Stelvideo Grange has also been awarded The Distinguished Grange Award in 2019. This is the fourth year Stelvideo Grange has been given this award from The National Grange.”
Stelvideo Grange meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month in Arcanum at 7 p.m.
“Our meetings are informal but productive,” said his wife, Lynne. “We work to get business done, like planning for our next service event and discussing issues that we feel are important. We prepare to work for the good of the community and remind ourselves that we strive to do well in all we do with our guiding Nof faith, hope, charity and fidelity. None of this is secret, and once you see a meeting in action, I think people will realize how each element goes into helping us become heroes by working for the benefit of our neighbors and our community.”
For more information about Stelvideo Grange, people are encouraged to contact the Hinshaws at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and text or call: Harvey at 937-621-4901.
Since 1867, the National Grange has brought individuals and families together to support their communities and advocate on behalf of rural America and agriculture. The nonprofit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization, which celebrated 150 years of service in 2017, has more than 150,000 members throughout the country. The history of the order is rich with stories of generations of Grangers across more than 40,000 communities, serving others and developing leadership and other personal skills. Today, the Grange is a major benefactor to more than 1,700 communities in which local chapters reside, and our members provide millions of hours of service and dollars in funds to support the needs of their hometowns identified through our grassroots process.
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.