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CHAPTER ACTIVITIES

The local chapter strives to fulfill the goals of the National Society at the community level.  Our projects and activities focus on enhancing citizenship education, preserving Oconee County and Georgia heritage, and promoting patriotism.   Activities are extensions of national and state initiatives, while others derive from recognition of local needs.  We work with public and private schools within Oconee County.  We support state and national projects with both service and monetary contributions.

American Indians:
 
Our Native American Indians have helped shape our nation through their hardships of survival, religious ceremonies, social, and political contributions.  Native American Heritage Recognition Month was established by Congress in 1990 and is celebrated in November.  The Rev. John Andrew chapter has a proclamation signed and read by community leaders recognizing the contributions of the Native Americans.

Conservation:
Patriot park 1Elder Bird Bird HousePatriot Park Sign
The Reverend John Andrew Chapter, NSDAR, dedicated Patriot Park as a memorial green space honoring the Revolutionary War Patriots buried in Oconee County.  The park is filled with native and historical plants of Georgia.  Work on the Patriot Park garden began in the fall of 2008. The park construction and continued maintenance has been financed by generous donations from individuals and local Watkinsville businesses.

Constitution Week:  Constitution Week included proclamations from the Mayor of Watkinsville and the Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman.  The JAC members were present and the presentation included an old fashion main street bell ringing and cannon firing.  Constitution displays were also assembled for the library and local classroom.

DAR School:  The chapter supports the Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina with preparation of Christmas cards and food as well as significant thrift contributions.  Support is also given by box top collections, coke reward points, sleeping bag fund donations, and more. 

DAR Good Citizens Awards:  Awards are presented to distinguished seniors at Oconee County High schools for outstanding citizenship activities.

DAR Service for Veterans:
 
Patriot park 1Patriot Park Sign
The Service for Veterans Committee established a Homeless Veterans Outreach program in 2013.  The committee assisted the Athens V.A. with donations of household goods and clothing for at risk veterans and their families.  At Thanksgiving and Christmas, five specific families and their children received gas cards, grocery cards, and large gift boxes. 

The committee has also reached out to the Student Veterans Resource Center at the University of Georgia.  Trays of homemade snacks and cards of thanks were placed in the Student Veterans lounge on the morning of Veterans Day.  Chapter members purchased pre-paid gas cards so students in need during the holiday season could travel home.

Oconee Veterans Memorial Foundation and the committee worked in partnership on several projects.  Chapter members assisted with Honor Our Patriots, July 4th, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day celebrations.  The chapter is also helping the OVMF with fund raising for construction of the Memorial's Phase II - Wall of Honor.

Genealogical Research:  The DAR Patriot Index (3 volume set) was donated to Oconee County Library and Oglethorpe County Library.  A transcription of the Eagle Tavern journal of 1819 was copied and also donated. The chapter assembles library displays for Constitution Week and Veterans Day.

 Historic Preservation:
cemetery 1cemetery 3cemetery 6 Remembering those buried in cemeteries is another way the DAR helps preserve our local history.  The Watkinsville City Cemetery is in need of an update on the gravestone marker index.  This index is a list of who is buried here, and an update has to be done with careful research and tremendous care.

The DAR, with its knowledge of cemetery preservation, can work with local families to make sure the gravestones, as well as the cemetery itself, are properly preserved for future generations.  The DAR helps mark veterans' graves sites with American flags for the Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day holidays. 

The DAR would appreciate any personal knowledge of veterans buried in this cemetery. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the chapter at DARjohnandrew@gmail.com

Junior American Citizens:  By reaching out to students across the United States in grade K-12, this program fosters the idea that the rights and responsibilities of citizenship can and should be taught from an early age.  Through clubs and contests, the Junior American Citizens (JAC) program teaches America's children good citizenship, and appreciation of the American heritage and history.  JAC clubs are available to all children.  The clubs are sponsored by a DAR chapter and meeting frequency varies by club.  Members participate in community service and patriotic activities while learning history and love for America.

National Defense:   National defense minutes are reported each meeting, including programs on Homeland Security issues.  Good Citizenship metals are awarded to 5th through 8th grade students.

The Flag of the United States:  The Flag of United States - Awards are presented to Oconee businesses that fly the American flag at their business sites. Flags are placed on Veterans Graves on customary holidays.  The Junior American Citizens and the community celebrated the history of Flag Day with a "Stars & Stripes Birthday Party."  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and a chapter member dressed as Betsy Ross shared stories about the history of the American Flag.  The pledge is recited at all DAR meetings and JAC meetings. Flag retirement ceremonies are conducted with the Boys and Girl Scouts.

Commemorative Events:
Memorial Day 1 Memorial 3 Memorial 2 Memorial 4 Memorial Day celebrations were hosted for families of U.S. service men, women & veterans.  The chapter assists with July 4th and Veterans Day celebrations.

Community Service Awards:  Local citizens are nominated for recognition of outstanding service to the county or state.