A message from The National Haunted Homeowners Association
“NHHA Mission Clarification Statement, September 2009”
A very few of our Chapter Leaders seem to be unclear on the mission of the NHHA. The following memo is meant help clarify this essential point:
WHAT THE NHHA IS ABOUT:
The National Haunted Homeowners Association was established to enable those who join us as Local Chapter Leaders to give out The NHHA Awards in their neighborhood each Halloween, to those neighbors who participate in the Halloween fun, decorate their homes accordingly, and dispense safe candy/treats to the Trick-or-Treaters who are the reason for the season.
The NHHA is not a "what's-in-it-for-me"-oriented organization. The NHHA is not about “showing off” your own haunt (great as it may be) – there are many other places to do that online (and if your home haunt is great, by all means you should show it off). But those persons who care about their own decorations to the exclusion of their neighbors’ participation (however grand-or-humble) don’t really understand the NHHA’s purpose, and are not suitable candidates as Chapter Leaders.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF NHHA LOCAL CHAPTER LEADERS:
In choosing to join the NHHA, Chapter Leaders affirm that they have read and understand the NHHA Guidelines and Rules of Participation, and accept the responsibility and personal expense of printing out the NHHA Awards (in color or in black-and-white, according to each Chapter Leader’s resources) which they will distribute in their neighborhoods on, or around, Halloween night.
This is the primary and sole "obligation" which NHHA Chapter Leaders accept upon joining the NHHA.
This is all the NHHA asks of its Chapter Leaders, in lieu of any membership fees, dues, mandatory merchandise purchases, or any other kind of financial participation. To join us is to acknowledge and accept this sole responsibility.
Those Chapter Leaders who do not print out and distribute The NHHA Awards which their Chapter’s neighbors have merited, and who fail to submit their NHHA Awards Tally during the first week of November following Halloween are, in effect, abandoning their responsibilities as NHHA Members.
The NHHA does not "reward" Chapter Leaders for participating. NHHA Chapter Leaders understand that participation in the NHHA is a SERVICE to their neighborhood communities, and are dedicated to bestowing NHHA Awards in their areas of influence with the express intent of keeping the Halloween Spirit and the Trick-or-Treat Tradition alive and well.
If laying out a few bucks at your local copy store (or for the home printer ink) to print the NHHA Awards your neighbors deserve is too great a financial burden…, and / or if distributing The NHHA Awards on (or near upon) Halloween night at those homes which take the trouble to show that Trick-or-Treaters are welcome is too demanding a task…, then please don’t join us.
“TRICK-OR-TREATING IN REVERSE” – DISTRIBUTING NHHA AWARDS:
Remember how much fun it was to Trick-or-Treat…? How delightful it was (and is) to discover the “special touches” at your neighbors’ homes – their jack-o-lanterns, their window-dressings, and whatever other “embellishments” great or small, that say, “Happy Halloween!” to the Trick-or-Treaters (and their parents) who make the effort to don their costumes and walk the walk. Well, NHHA Chapter Leaders (and their friends) get that back, with every NHHA Award they distribute in their neighborhood.
Most NHHA Chapter Leaders and friends of the NHHA (myself and my neighbors included) quickly discover that distributing NHHA Awards throughout their neighborhoods can be a truly delightful experience – comparable to “Trick-or-Treating in reverse”. It’s a chance to gather with friends, walk the neighborhood, judge displays, and place Awards on the porches, at the door screens, in the mailboxes, etc., of those houses in their community who keep the Halloween Spirit alive.
After the Trick-or-Treaters have all gone home with their swag and their memories of the evening…, we go out into our neighborhoods, into the night, not to Trick-or-Treat, but to (politely) distribute the NHHA Awards our neighbors have earned. And you know what? Many neighbors may let you know that they appreciate getting their NHHA Award. The real reward of NHHA participation is when our Chapter Leaders know they’ve done their bit to help maintain – or grow – their own neighborhood unity.
As Linus might say, “That’s what the NHHA is all about, Charlie Brown.” The Great Pumpkin flies through the night – and so do NHHA Chapter Leaders, who “treat” their neighbors to a bit of esteem for helping to keep a bit of traditional Americana alive.
There is plenty of room in the NHHA for showoffs (and we know who we are, don’t we?) -- but not for showoffs who don’t care about their neighbors (and this includes the neighbors who can only manage to carve a humble jack-o-lantern, or tape a paper witch on the door).
IF YOU’RE NOT HAVING FUN…:
Those few NHHA Chapter Leaders who have pledged to adhere to the NHHA Guidelines, but do not distribute NHHA Awards in their designated areas, or who fail to return their neighborhood Awards Tally (when called for in early November) for two successive Halloween seasons, will be dropped from the NHHA Chapter Leader Roster, so that their designated zip code areas can become available to someone else who better understands what participation and membership in the NHHA means. ‘Nuff said.
AND IF YOU ARE…:
In conclusion, to all those NHHA Chapter Leaders who have bourn the expense of printing, and have taken the time to distribute The NHHA Awards in their neighborhoods, Bloody Clotgratulations to you! May your spiritual swag bags ever-brim with good karma…
And to our newest Chapter Leaders -- don't be too surprised if, after acting as an NHHA Chapter Leader in your area for a couple of Halloween seasons, your neighbors tell you they're actually looking forward to -- and expecting to receive -- their NHHA Award on Halloween…, and/or if you also discover that there are one or two more “haunted houses” in your neighborhood this year than there were last year…, thanks to your Local NHHA Chapter Leadership!
Happy Halloween, and Carpe Noctum!
NHHA - The National Haunted Homeowners Association -- Cosmic Associates