Let me tell you what the NMRA Member Aid Program is and what the NMRA's mission is, and then I'll tell you about the benefits of Member Aid.
The NMRA is the National Model Railroad Association.
The NMRA helps ensure the future of scale model railroading through the sharing of education that expands members’ knowledge and skill, the development of standards, and promotion of fellowship among model railroaders of all scales and interests.
Member Aid is a benefit of your membership in the NMRA.
Member Aid is where you obtain answers to almost any question for your hobby.
Your Membership status and similar issues should be addressed to the Headquarters staff.
Similar issues are: Not receiving your NMRA Magazine, if you subscribed, Loss of your membership card, When does your membership run out and similar questions are most efficiently addressed by the Headquarters staff.
MEMBER AID is a benefit of your Membership which entitles you to ask questions related to the hobby. This program; is a large benefit of your membership and provides a place for you to seek answers to questions about any detail on modeling in this fantastic hobby. IE: How to do what you want to do? What or how did a particular railroad accomplish their tasks? Â What color was a particular piece of railroad equipment or facility, etc?
You can also volunteer, and become a resource to others. The interest of members in helping others continues now as it has for decades. This is what Member Aid is all about, helping others learn new ways of enjoying the hobby. You can benefit by taking advantage of the services of this committee by e-mail or snail mail. If you use snail mail, a self addressed stamped return envelope is very much appreciated since there is no budget for incidentals such as postal mail or telephone calls. All Member Aid people are volunteers, who like to help.
Don't know who your region Member Aid Chair is? Contact your region President or Area Director and ask them to put you in touch with the chair.
Member Aid is made available to you through the efforts of numerous volunteers, who give of their time to help you. It may take a while to answer your questions. We usually have to do some research, or locate an appropriate volunteer to handle it. Volunteers also have jobs and responsibilities beyond this hobby, but don't despair; we will get to you with an answer. We are fortunate in having many knowledgeable friends who have volunteered to help with this committee's efforts, and we may refer your questions to some of them where we know they have expertise in the area you asked about. If you do not receive an answer within 3 weeks please contact again [with any additional details you can offer] so we can follow up and resolve the delay. We do forget, sometimes, probably age related? So, ask by a follow-up message.
Our first tip about Member Aid to you is about how to get the most out of your membership in the NMRA and your region or division. First, get involved with your division and region! Attend those meetings and activities being offered locally. Go to the educational clinics that are held, even though you may think the subject matter is not your current interest. But, and it's a big BUT, do not just attend and take a seat in the back, listen, and go home. You have to get involved and meet those folks who gave of their time and knowledge. Now, we know the organization should take the responsibility to make you feel welcome and draw you into the group. However, we humans are uncomfortable when asking for help. Though, in our hobby, all of us enjoy helping others to savor our hobby.
It's not that we want to exclude you. We are always happy to make new friends who share our hobby. Perhaps we don't recognize you as a new person. Most Divisions and Regions don't have first time attendees wear a special badge or some way of conveying the fact that you are new to the group. Remember, we are all seeing folks we only see at these meetings, and the meetings are all too short for getting up to date on each others activities since we last saw them.
If we don't invite you into our conversations, it's not because we want to exclude you, JOIN right in. Tell us your name, and what your interests are. No doubt someone at the meeting shares your interest, and we can introduce you. Some divisions, for instance, have a modeler's roundtable at their meets where anyone can bring up a topic for discussion. Why not say "I'm new here, and don't know anyone nor where I might learn about the ..." how do I do? I know that you'll find model railroaders are the friendliest and most helpful people there are. Give us a try, you'll like it.
Now, if you have a question and you think this program can be of service, or you would like to volunteer to serve on the committee, please contact the NMRA Education Department at educate [at] nmra.org (subject: Member%20Aid%20Question) (The Education Department Chair)