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An early community service project the Tennessee Pioneeer Chapter members help the cancer crusade telethon.

Pioneers and the Community

In the March 1953 issue of the “The Telephone Pioneer,” there appeared a story entitled “Every Day is Christmas for Archie Cairns.  It began like this: “What Archie Cairns likes best is repairing toys.  He is a year-round Santa to crippled Children in San Diego institutions.  When he isn’t making brightly painted wooden trucks, trains, horse sticks, wagons and a variety of push and pull toys, he is busy making and repairing orthopedic apparatus.”

His skill, imagination and devotion were called upon many times in creating special wheelchairs and crutches.  His work was well known in his home community.  Stores gave their broken toys to Mr. Cairns for his magic rejuvenation.  Children in hospitals found many a gift beneath their Christmas tree because of his year-long work.  Mr. Cairns, a life member of Ladd Chapter, devotes his retirement years to this type of community service.

In another approach, life members in Missouri’s Durant Chapter took charge of a pilot study.  They appointed a committee to do these five things:

1. Let organizations that need volunteer workers know that the Pioneers can help.

2. Let all Pioneers, particularly life members, know what kinds of volunteer work was available.

3. Help Pioneers choose the kind of activity they would like and would be best equipped to do.

4. Help Pioneers get started by introducing them to the proper agency directors.

5. Keep in touch with volunteers to see that the works is progressing satisfactorily.

“Operation Community Service,” as the chapter project was called, also became the subject of a nine-minute slide film.  It was shown at the April 1959 meeting of the Association executive committee and was made available to all chapters.  Both the brochure and the film were joint ventures of Durant Chapter and Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.

These are but two examples of how Pioneers set out, in a well–organized fashion, to find the communities needs and then to fill them.  Sometimes opportunity knocked at the back door.

In the years since its inception, Pioneer community activity has flourished like a sturdy young tree, with roots deep in the service tradition.  This program requires that new skills be learned all the time.

In all these activities, however, Pioneers find ways to apply a personal interest, compassionate understanding and an earnest desire to help  those less fortunate.  They supplement the work of professional and trained specialists.  The scope of their work is dictated by imagination, aptitude and need.  

This is how the Pioneers developed community service and our motto “Answering The Call Of Those In Need”.  Our projects cover a wide range of community needs including Education, Environmental, Health & Human Services, Life Enrichment and Military.

A Banner in Tribute

When community service was adopted as a universal Pioneer goal, it also inspired the design of new banner.  First displayed at the Chicago meeting in 1958, the banner showed six crests, symbolizing the areas of community endeavor — Civic, Health, Education, Youth, Welfare, Church.  The crests were placed around the traditional Pioneer emblem.  The following year they added a final touch to the motto “United to Serve Others”.

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