By Dave “Mac” McGalliard, Exchange Club of Indiana, President—
Muncie, IN—Exchanging ideas is a simple concept. There is a club that has helped charities in Delaware County for 100 years. We come from varied occupations, lifestyles, faiths, and walks of life.
We have four purposes in our club: Building Patriotism, Building our Communities, Creating Children’s Opportunities, and The Prevention of Child Abuse. With these four common goals, the Exchange Club of Muncie has become a positive force in our Delaware County’s web of citizenship.
Why EXCHANGE? Have you ever seen the one thousand United States Flags at Minnetrista? We erect the “Fields of Honor” every year to celebrate the patriotic members of our society. By selling yellow ribbons, to attach to the flags, we celebrate our community heroes. Our profit from the sale of those ribbons helps us continue our mission of helping the causes and charities of our county. We sell ribbons to help Delaware County Prevention of Child Abuse, an organization that regularly profits from our donations.
The club also picks a Veteran’s cause and a community charity to receive the our donations. “The Kids’ Comfort Zoo” is an effort to assist, fire, ambulance and law enforcement and is helping children on the worst day of their life. Stuffed animals are donated for the express purpose of distracting kids from the trauma they are going through. Carried in fire trucks, patrol cars, and ambulances, all over the county, the donations stopped during the COVID-19 Pandemic but will soon return.
Every week is a good time. Granted, some are more laugh-filled than others. We strive to keep everyone up on local issues and how the club can help. Since we come from every political and social arena, we always have some good natured ribbing going on.
“Give a Kid a Flag” to promote patriotism and citizenship is a big part of Exchange Club. Ball State ‘s Homecoming, Fourth of July at Minnetrista, Minnetrista Farmers Market, Memorial Day, Veterans Day Events, and of course our “1000 Flags of Honor” are opportunities to give small United States Flags to children and Veterans. Every year we hand out thousands of small flags purchased with Club funds. It provides opportunities for parents to teach flag etiquette, too.
Exchange Club has an annual drive for a special cause that needs a helping hand. We, as members, offer ideas for the charity we would like to help. Members donate to the cause and then a check is presented to the selected organization. Over the years , we have fed food-insecure children, bought clothes for those in need, helped women’s shelter, aided the Muncie Mission, Salvation Army, supported United Way’s project by buying books for children to take home, sent kids to the YMCA Camp, and helped Muncie Veterans Affairs, American Legion, and VFW.
In the past we have helped the Christmas toy giveaway at the Depot. We assisted funding the Veterans Day meal and program at Muncie Central. We placed the Freedom Shrine at City Hall. The Shrine is a celebration of documents that made the United States great. It is in the first floor hall by the Clerks office. We have started a fund at the Community Foundation and are joining the Chamber of Commerce. We maintain a section of the Cardinal Greenway. And much more is to come.<
So think about joining us. Check out our web page. Attend a few meetings and see what you have been missing. Our mailing address is Box 1234, Muncie, IN 47305. Drop us a line and give us your name, phone, and address. We will send you the link to our meetings and information about joining our dynamic club. Meetings are held at 11:45 a.m. EST on the first and third Thursdays of each month.
Never been a joiner? Me neither. But you can be a part of positive change in our community. We live by our motto, “Unity for Service.”