by Greg Jones (22) 66-68
Friends of Nigeria is a membership organization. Actually, anybody who served in the Peace Corps in Nigeria is enrolled as a friend and people who choose to enroll and pay the membership dues are actual members. The new Friends of Nigeria website is both a website and a system for servicing our membership. But if we don’t have a valid way of getting in touch with our membership, then our ability to be of service to our members goes way down.
There are three ways for us to get in touch with our members: mailing to their physical addresses, their email addresses or by phone. We have 1750 people in our database who, to the best of our knowledge, have not passed away. Of those, we have 1476 with a mailing address, 1519 with active phone numbers and 1190 with valid email addresses. Since the new website uses the email address as the userid, and since the best way to get in touch with a subset of our members is by email, we recently mounted an effort to contact those for whom we have a phone number but no email address. Eighteen people volunteered to make 21 phone calls each, and we are in the process of trying to contact almost 400 people.
We have the results of 250 of those contact attempts. (I say “attempts” because the most prevalent results are a bad phone number (71) or lack of a call backs (60). The good news is that we have obtained 59 emails we didn’t have before. We also discovered that we have good phone numbers for 24 people, but they have no email address. Many of the volunteers making the phone calls had wonderful discussions with some of the people they contacted recollecting their experiences in Nigeria or comparing their experiences since Peace Corps.
If you got a message to call someone back from Friends of Nigeria, that wasn’t a hoax message. Do call back. Or if your email address, phone number or address has recently changed, please let us know by emailing email@example.com or phoning me at (978) 562-3613 or our membership chair, Barbara Bush, at (617) 241-8643. You can go to our website (friendsofnigeria.org) and check to see if we have accurate information for you. Unfortunately, for confidentiality reasons, you need to log in before you can see any personal information, and we need to have your email address in our database for you to log in. But if we do have your email address, you can log in. Then you can inspect the information we have for you in the Members and Friends Directory. If you see any errors, please contact us.
Ultimately the purpose of keeping accurate information is to to maintain close contact with our members. After all, how else are you going to swap stories or compare notes on that time in our youth when we traveled half way around the world and experienced something completely different?