Finding a location for your club to meet
In order to keep costs low, MMMA Compassion Clubs are encouraged to use free public spaces such as libraries, community halls or schools. Often private space can be found at no charge in bookstores, progressive businesses and churches. Some organizers are even holding Compassion Clubs in private homes. This is commendable yet we caution members to carefully weigh both the benefits and potential risks of opening a private home to a public meeting.
Compassion Clubs are open to the public. No one may be barred without valid reason that can be clearly articulated and substantiated. Meeting space must be accessible to those depending upon mobility aids
Please use the following suggestions as a guide to selecting your location;
a] Size of location — How many members will you have
b] Ease of access — Is the location convenient and easy to find
c] Ease of entry — Clubs must be handicap accessibility
d] Ease of parking — Is there ample, safe parking available
e] Cost effective — Find someplace that is free or cheap like public space
f] Club friendly — Find someplace that welcomes your group
Compassion Clubs are encouraged to seek the use of free/cheap public meeting places such as libraries, community halls or schools. Often private space can be found at no charge in restaurants, bookstores, progressive businesses and churches.
It's generally not a good idea to meet at bars but they are a viable option. Rural taverns may be the best option in some locations and some remote bar/restaurants have the room and tolerance to permit your group to assemble. If your group behaves and buys a burger or a coke, the tavern owner is increasing their business and everyone is happy.
Your right to use public space
The MMMA is incorporated with the state of Michigan as a Not for Profit education and advocacy group. This entitles us to free or low cost access to public meeting space on an equal footing as any other community group. The equal protections guaranteed in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution apply to us and we cannot be denied use of public meeting spaces in libraries, township halls or community rooms if those spaces are open to other community groups. We are not a marijuana group, we are a patient support group!
Publicizing your Compassion Club
Take advantage of free advertising opportunities such as Craig’s list, community bulletin boards and word of mouth. Contact local condition based groups such as the Cancer Society, AIDS outreach center and Alzheimer’s groups. Talk to pastors of local churches. Send out press releases. Cultivate reporters, this story is hot right now, they’ll take your call. Wear one of our lapel buttons, they catch people’s eye and make great ice breakers. Write a letter to the editor and ask your neighbor to write one, too.