Does your chorus have a Sunshine person?
A guest blog by Herb Mordkoff, Morris Music Men in Chatham, New Jersey
Perhaps you are not familiar with the title of “Sunshine Person” or its function. The Sunshine Person is the liaison between your chorus and members who may have missed rehearsals or who have not been seen or heard from in a while. It can be called different names, but the function is the same: to find out why a member has missed one or two meetings or if the member is ill or has some other problem that is preventing him or her from being active in the chorus.
This does not have to be a board position, so it can be done from home and may consist of a telephone call or the sending of a “We Miss You,” “Get Well,” or “Condolence” card. Of course, you should also send happy cards for birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, new babies, etc.
Why is the function so important? Because you are telling a member that you care about them. That you are there for them to share the good times and to give support in the difficult times. Some members may not have a family and may live alone -- your chorus becomes an extended family for that person.
A dual function: Member support and member retention
By providing the necessary contact with someone who has not attended a meeting in a while, you may be able to motivate that individual to come back and perhaps renew their membership. In essence you are performing a dual function: supporting a member who may be going through a difficult time AND advocating for your chorus by helping to retain membership.
So, if you have neither the time nor the desire to be on your chorus or chapter board but still want to support your organization, the “Sunshine Person” may be the right fit for you. It will bring you enormous satisfaction when you reach out to a fellow barbershop who is going through a difficult time and hear the appreciation via phone or email. You know you can do it; why not volunteer for this function at your next meeting?
Why I became a Sunshine Person
Why do I do this for my chorus the Morris Music Men? Because when I joined the chorus six years ago after moving from Long Island to New Jersey, I encountered two major health issues: first, my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and then I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy. The chorus reached out to me with phone calls, email, and cards.
My chorus helped me get through one of the most difficult times in my life.
My chorus truly became my extended family who has shared my joyous times and provided support and comfort during my trying times. So I volunteered to become the Sunshine Person as a small way to say, "Thank you," to the Morris Music Men Chorus. I feel blessed that I became part of that organization and are now friends with some of the most caring men I have ever met. I could not be a board member, but I am providing a service to the chorus in a way that makes me feel good and makes the members I contact feel good as well.
It’s great to be a Barbershopper!
About the Author
Herb Mordkoff is a 32 year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and is a proud member of the Morris Music Men in Chatham, New Jersey, USA.