Monroe group works to help veterans, students
The Daughters of the American Revolution may have strong ties to its glorious past – but its vision is fully focused on the future.
“If you only focused on past you wouldn’t grow,’ says Barbara Moore, Regent of UnioN County’s John Foster Chapter said. “We grow by focusing on the future.”
Formed in Monroe in 1916, the 95-year-old John Foster Chapter is the only DAR chapter in Union County, and has grown from 16 original members to close to 70 today.
The chapter’s namesake Captain John Foster, an Irish immigrant from Waxhaw Creek, was the highest-ranking Revolutionary War soldier recognized for wartime service in the area later named Union County in 1842. Today, the chapter, along with the national DAR organization, places emphasis on historical preservation, securing America’s future through educational efforts for children, as well as patriotic endeavors in honor of today’s veterans, Moore explained.
Enhance the present, invest in the future
DAR members across the globe volunteer more than 250,000 hours annually to veteran patients, award thousands in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and support schools for the underserved – and the John Foster Chapter has more than done its part to contribute to these totals while living the national DAR theme “Enhance the Present, Invest in the Future.”
The DAR Project Patriot is close to the chapter’s heart, Moore said, and the group fundraises to purchase wish-list items vets and their families during the holidays, helps to purchase international calling cards, and assists the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center housing wounded vets in Landstuhl, Germany.
The chapter also helps support Crossnore schools, in South Carolina and North Carolina respectively, both private, non-profit schools that serve as a home and refuge for students suffering from abuse and neglect while teaching them academics and life skills.
“In addition to fundraising, we make sure these children are not overlooked during Christmas time,” Moore said.
The chapter also works to honor and call attention to individuals in the community who have contributed to their communities, and gives out DAR Good Citizens Awards to outstanding high school students for their contributions to their communities and schools. On Nov. 9, the chapter introduced its membership to its ten award recipients selected from Union County’s public high schools—nominated based on good citizenship, grades, letters of recommendation, and contributions to the community.
Strong ties to the past
As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 170,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally, according to the DAR national website. As a result, all chapters including the John Foster can serve as an excellent genealogy source for Union County.
“I’ve been a DAR member for six years,” Moore said, “but my interest began with a love of genealogy.” Moore said she joined to honor her ancestors, but realized the mission of honoring vets, and helping students become good citizens, was perhaps even more important.
Any woman 18 years or older who can prove a direct tie to a Revolutionary War patriot is eligible for membership.
“Your relative doesn’t have to be a soldier,” Moore explained. “They just have to have helped the effort in one way or another from the years 1775 through 1783.”
The group meets eight times per year to accomplish its goals via committee, and each year committee chairs submit its accomplishments to the national organization to help monitor chapter activity levels. “We are a very active chapter,” Moore said.“We are not little old ladies who live in the past. We want to respect our past, but more importantly want to make the world a better place.”
For more information, go to NCDAR.org, or contact Phyllis Walton at 704-753-2285 or Moore at 704-289-1435.