Back Page - August/September 2016

The Hidden Impact of the Men Talk Newsletter And More

by Bill Baldwin, Twin Cities Men's Center Office Manager

Every other month over 2,300 copies of Men Talk are mailed out to addresses near and far. Of this number, just under 250 are members of the Twin Cities Men's Center. I can't help but wonder how many recipients actually read each issue and think about the lead article. I always find them thought provoking whether I agree with the premises or conclusions made or not. The article from our Board Chairman Joe Szurszewski does a great job of tapping into the current pulse of the men's center or what's happening in men's lives.

It would be wonderful in this 40th anniversary year to hear from some of our readers. Are you reading Men Talk? Are you enjoying what you read? The easiest way to give us feedback is to email us at TCMC@TCMC.ORG. Let us know what you like and also what you would find useful in upcoming issues. If you have an idea for a front page article or would like to submit one for consideration, feel free to contact us at the same email address.

We have bound copies of Men Talk going all the way back to our earliest issues. It is fun to look at changes in layout, changes in what's on men's minds, as well as how much remains the same in men looking to create healthier lives, healthier families, and healthier community connections. It is really remarkable how our little organization, the little men's center that could, has kept men's issues alive in the Twin Cities and beyond for all these years.

I have often heard the Twin Cities Men's Center referred to as the "best kept secret in the Twin Cities." That makes me kind of sad. We offer great support groups on a variety of topics and are always willing to offer new groups if an interested leader steps forward and wants to give a new group a try. True, most of our groups are fairly sparsely attended. Our consistently largest groups are the Creating Healthy Sexual Boundaries groups. The three offerings of the group each week draw an average of about 30 men per week. Again, I ask for your help and feedback. How can we "break the secret" about the Men's Center and have our groups be better attended? There are hundreds of thousands of men in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. We have men regularly coming to groups from outstate and out of state from Wisconsin. Those who know about us love what we have to offer and find great benefit from our groups, but too few know. How did you find out about the Men's Center? What would help us reach out to more men, younger men, men who need us but don't know we exist? Refer back to that email address above and share your wisdom about growing the organization.

A couple other thoughts come to mind regarding volunteers and support dollars. We have been a grass-roots, shoe string organization running on loving support from our closest supporters for forty years. I love to imagine what we might do if we had a new group of wise men stepping up and saying "I want to help the men's center in any way I can." A very direct and easy way to help is financial support. The board of directors spends way too much of its time just trying to make sure we have money to keep going from month to month. We operate on fumes, so to speak. It would be great if you and other Men Talk subscribers could solicit support from your companies or from your own generosity to help give us a little "fighting money" to cushion us from being so focused on how we're going to pay the bills. We also need donations of things like coffee, pop, creamer, plates, paper cups, and things of that nature. We very much need fresh ideas leading us on the board of directors and staffing committees for special events, fundraisers, and things like the old Men's Conferences that we used to hold.

If you're reading this article you've found your way into this issue of Men Talk. Thank you for taking valuable time to connect with us even if you haven't been to a group in a long time. Send us your loving energy and well wishes. But more than that, if it works for you, give us feedback on how we're doing. Offer your financial support. Offer us ideas on how to make us visible and viable in the 21st century. Offer to facilitate a group. Let us know a topic of personal interest and allow us to train you to start and lead a group. The possibilities are endless.

When our forefathers started the Twin Cities Men's Center in 1976 they probably couldn't imagine 2016 on the horizon, but here we are. And we can't imagine 2056, another 40 years from now. Men then will still need what we have to offer, but it will only be there for them through new ideas, new volunteers, loving financial support, and belief that we are making a difference in the lives of men who bring their health to their families, their work, and their communities.

Thank you for supporting the Twin Cities Men's Center! Happy 40th Anniversary!!