Here's proof that getting involved in trade groups can pay off. Lindsey Hahn, president of custom injection molder Metro Plastics Technology Inc. in Noblesville, Ind. is a former president of Mid-America Plastics Partners Inc., an Indianapolis-based trade group for plastics processors. He sent this email to fellow MAPP members today:
I know you are all busy, so I will keep this short. Last night I had a very serious issue with a new injection mold and reached out to the MAPP network for help and here is my feedback: MAPP is an amazing organization. I posted my request just before 5:00 PM last evening to the MAPP molders in my region and started receiving replies almost immediately. The replies continued to come in throughout the entire night. Even after I went to bed, MAPP members were still responding to my request for help. When I checked my e-mail in box this morning, I was relieved to see that someone had what I needed. My emergency is now OVER, and I want to thank everyone who responded to my request for help! It is wonderful how MAPP members unselfishly respond to the needs of their peers. In fact, people I didn't even know in MAPP showed tremendous concern and empathy for my situation; almost like they too had experienced my problem at some point. MAPP is truly a trade association that helps its members, and an organization that allows its members to help each other!Much has been written about the collapse of civic groups and social communities in America -- check the book "Bowling Alone" (and here) for background. But Hahn's email today is a reminder of the value of being involved.