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By Rick Hall
Eastern Region Vice President
I have been a member of the National Auxiliary for a couple of decades. Joining the organization turned out to be a good decision for me and my family.
As a new member, I volunteered to work wherever and whenever I was needed. I met various members and made friends from all over the country. During that time, I was given the opportunity to learn and understand just how important the Auxiliary was to NAPS.
The Auxiliary has an awesome responsibility and is very effective at providing continuous support to NAPS, including raising funds to support SPAC initiatives. We have demonstrated our wholehearted loyalty and unwavering dedication over the years.
As the years progressed and membership grew, the Auxiliary became more than just a support organization; we became an extended family. We saw each other several times a year at conventions and events—always happy to greet one another and work together as “Team Auxiliary.”
As decades passed—yes, decades—amicable feelings evolved into genuine feelings of love, respect and concern. We provided emotional support to each other during challenging and unbearable times in our lives, such as the deaths of parents, children and loved ones. We held prayer vigils to encourage each other during periods of sickness or catastrophic circumstances.
We also celebrated our good times together when we overcame hardships and celebrated birthdays, children’s weddings, college graduations, the birth of children and grandchildren and so much more.
We did all this while continuing to support NAPS as the organization championed national causes and events on behalf of its members. In short, we became each other’s surrogate family. “Sister Sledge” sums it up perfectly with its timeless song that echoes the lyrics, “We Are Family!”
We certainly are family, but, more importantly, singer Bill Withers’ soul-stirring song illustrates just how prolific this bond is when he sings, “Lean on Me.” This sentiment reminds us all why we do what we do in this organization:
Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on
Over the decades, this has become the Auxiliary’s mantra and battle cry. Our clarion call—Lean on me! Lean on us! I thank God for the good graces of our Auxiliary.
Mi familia; our familia!