Family is one of the cornerstones on which the Grange was built. This is evident just by the way we refer to one another as Brothers and Sisters. Family values in farm, rural and suburban communities are promoted, taught, and woven into Grange activities and events. We serve as a safe environment for every member of the family, from newborns to great-grandparents, to spend time. Unlike many other social organizations, there is a place for everyone at the Grange.
Many of our Grangers have attended meetings and events since birth and looked forward to the time when they turned 5 and could become a part of the Junior Grange. The Junior Grange allows children to have fun, participate in activities, learn leadership roles and responsibility, and make a difference in their community. At 14, young adults become members in the Subordinate Grange, with full voting rights and the ability to hold any office at any level of the organization.
If you and your family are looking for an organization that you can join together, or if you’re looking to make friends and find an extended family in a new town, the Grange is the place for you. We understand the meaning of family and at the end of the day, we welcome all of the Brothers and Sisters who join us.
“My earliest memories are at Grange functions, so it only seemed natural that when I became old enough I would join. However, I did not really know how much it would change my life. The friendships I have made and the experiences I have had in Grange helped me to be a more confident and outgoing person. Through the Youth Program I have made lasting friendships with people from around the country, but more importantly having the opportunity to be a leader in Grange has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and become more confident in public speaking and my ability to lead.”
“When I was a junior in high school, my parents literally forced me into a car avan and drove me to Washington D.C. for a youth experience. I wanted nothing to do with the trip. I just wanted to stay home for a week and a half all by myself. When we got to D.C., I met some of the best friends I currently have from all parts of the country. I have been a part of three weddings with people I met that summer. The following summer at the Midwest Youth Conference, I met my best Grange friend to date. I stood up with him at his wedding a couple months ago and even though, through our jobs, I technically should call him Sir and salute him, we are just the same friends we have been since that summer.”
Outreach & Values
Since 1867, Grange members have been committed to the betterment of their communities. From community service initiatives to grassroots legislative action, Grange members believe that what they do to strengthen their hometowns today can have a lasting and positive impact tomorrow.
Why are there so many fourth-, fifth- and sixth-generation members within our ranks? Maybe it’s because the Grange is an organization that allows family members of all ages, from newborns to great-grandparents, to serve together, be entertained together, and make decisions together. Maybe it’s the fact that when you’re a Grange member, you’re part of an extended family within your hometown and across the country. Whatever the case may be, the Grange is at the heart of many families across America.
The National Grange strives to provide superior programs, benefits and services to all of our members. From discounts on energy and prescription drugs to discounted dictionaries Granges can purchase to donate to school children, the Grange is an organization determined to help people, and people helping people.
Community Service is an integral part of the Grange that allows local members to interact and serve the communities where they reside.
Granger members participate in big and small projects, partner with other community organizations, they fund-raise for various causes within their community and nationally. Serving our communities whether it is helping our neighbor in need or bake sale to raise money for the local school, you can always count on the Grange being involved.
Our local Grangers recognize outstanding citizens in their communities, like fireman and policeman and sponsor local 4H Club and Girl Scout troops. This allows for Grange families and other citizens to participate in community service.
If you want to be more involved in your neighborhood or you community then the Grange is the place for you. Connecting Communities through Service is the Grange way.
For many years the National Grange has focused on establishing programs that promote deaf awareness. Programs and other initiatives to aid in medical, educational and recreational assistance for the deaf have impacted thousands across the nation. Some of these programs include, a partnership with Gallaudet University, the Deaf Awareness Grant Program in conjunction with the National Grange Foundation and an ongoing supportive relationship with Dogs for the Deaf.
Many state Grange’s across the country have taken deaf awareness even further. The Mandy Project, established by the Kansas State Grange has been proliferated by the National Grange throughout the country. The Mandy Project provides financial assistance to families experiencing hardships due to a child’s hearing loss.
Colorado State Grange, while supporting the Mandy Project, also collects Campbell’s product labels to help raise money for the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.
Many other of our State Granges such as Florida, Washington and Ohio have comprehensive programs that aid in deaf awareness as well. Each of these programs, and programs developed in local Granges across the United States, are provided assistance and fraternal support through the National Grange programs and communications departments.
Legislative initiatives related to deaf awareness, support, technology and protection have been a priority in our lobbying efforts at the National Grange. Further, the National Grange offers many opportunities for members to interact with the deaf community, learn basic and advanced American Sign Language and raise awareness about hearing loss and its causes.
Deaf Awareness Grant Program
For many years the National Grange conducted an active Deaf Awareness Program which led to many valuable projects that enabled our members to learn more about deaf people and their challenges. In many cases, great relationships were also built with the deaf community. A fund was developed within the National Grange Foundation for the purpose of supporting deaf activities within the Grange. Because funds are still available, this grant program is being offered to assist states with funding various deaf awareness activities.
The Grange strives to allow each individual to reach their full potential. As part of the original design of the organization, an officer position was created that was solely responsible for bringing to the members entertainment and activities which expanded their knowledge of different subject areas. This officer, the Lecturer, is vital to Grange meetings because they planned and conducted programs. Moreover, Grange members often attend cultural and educational forums, political rallies and hearings, and research topics of interest to bring information to their fellow members.
Today, Lecturers plan programs, help to identify what issues the Grange should focus on and what members want and need to learn more about. They put on programs not just for Grange members, but also for the community at large, hoping to expand the knowledge of every citizen in their community. Grange programs use readings, lectures, multimedia and more to inform the audience. The National Grange is happy to provide many tools Granges can use to learn about issues that are important to rural America as well as our organization.
Building Character and Leaders
For generations, people have credited their involvement in the Grange with personal growth, character development, leadership skills and confidence. The Grange’s structure allows everyone an equal voice, and nurtures skills and values through a structured program in the Junior Grange as early as age 5.
Adults serving as mentors and leaders of Junior and Youth programs also find joy in their work with the next generation who will carry the spirit of America forward.
“As a Junior Grange leader for about 20 years, my greatest joy is seeing young people come into the Grange as shy 5-year-olds and grow into great community leaders.” Patty Swing, who with her daughter, leads the Junior Grange that is attached to Aracadia Grange in North Carolina.”
“I don’t know if my girls would have the confidence they have today if they were not Grange members.” Leah Santos, speaking about daughters, Shalynne Santos, 14, and Kasey Santos, 8, who have been Junior Granger members since they were 5-years-old.”
“Following my parents and grandparents, I joined the Grange at 7-years-old. I attended State Youth Programs and activities where I gained the confidence and experience to do more things than I ever thought I could do. In the Grange I gained the confidence and ability to handle anything set before me. In employment, I became a Child Protective Services Investigator, a difficult job requiring confidence and finesse in difficult situations. The Grange helped prepare me for life, to handle anything that comes my way.”