Important Updates 

 

We're (Still) in This Together!

(Last updated September 21, 2020) Fall is upon us, and the winter cold and flu season is not far behind. With this in mind, your TOPS leadership is actively planning to meet the needs of members and chapters as circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic evolve. Please review the information below and share it with others.

Be well. Stay safe. Support one another.

New safety guidelines and updated resources

New guidelines and updated resources have been added for the topics below. Policies apply across TOPS Nation. However, since infection rates and government restrictions vary widely by area, decisions are being made at the state and provincial level. Your Coordinator is your best source for area-specific information. You can find his or her contact information by typing your ZIP or postal code in Find a Meeting.

Questions Members Ask

(Updated  September 21, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. Central time)

Are we allowed to meet as a chapter yet?

Yes, under certain circumstances. TOPS had announced a meeting ban on March 16, 2020, all across TOPS Nation for the safety and protection of our members. In compliance with national, state and provincial guidelines, TOPS chapter meetings (and weigh-ins), KOPS Society meetings and other TOPS-sanctioned events were included in the ban, which was lifted on May 4, 2020.

 

How do I renew my membership so I don't miss my TOPS News?

Members whose renewals are due on or before March 31, 2021, may renew their memberships online during this time or mail in their renewal with a personal check. If you do not have your renewal form, you may use a TOPS membership application, available in the Members Area under Forms Please remember to include sales taxes as outlined on the Membership Application or Renewal form. If you are unsure of the proper tax, you may want to consult your Treasurer or Leader.

Once chapter meetings resume in your area, the rule that memberships must be paid with a chapter check (or renewed by member online) will be reinstated.

Please note that mailing lists for TOPS News are sent to the U.S. Postal Service four weeks in advance of the mailing date as required by postal regulations. This means that if your membership is not active in mid-November, you will likely miss the January/February issue. In this case, back issues are available for purchase in the TOPS Store.

 

May I switch to online meetings during the pandemic?

TOPS is excited to announce that recent recordings of the online chapter meetings are now available for all members to watch at their convenience. Find them in the Members Area under My TOPS Resources in the Video Library

In addition, in-person chapters may hold meetings online using an alternate meeting format. Many video meeting platforms provide their service for FREE and also have a call-in option so that members who do not have a computer (or who are not computer-savvy) may join in by phone. Learn more.

Because our Virtual Chapter meetings are not capable of accommodating that many additional users, there is a temporary moratorium on members of in-person chapters switching to online meetings.   

 

What is TOPS doing to support members during this time?

TOPS has provided a number of resources here on our COVID-19 updates page to help chapters and members stay connected and meet safely.

For additional support, please follow our Facebook page and/or sign up for our email newsletters with wellness tips and pertinent resources. In the meantime, we recommend that you weigh yourself regularly at home to stay accountable and keep in touch with fellow members via mail, phone, email or social media. See more ideas for staying connected.

 

When is Headquarters open?

TOPS Headquarters, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time.  We continue to provide all our customary services for members and chapters, including but not limited to:

  • Processing memberships and renewals
  • Fulfilling mail-in and online orders
  • Offering technical support for www.tops.org
  • Publishing TOPS News membership magazine and accepting member submissions at share@tops.org
  • Accepting forms for new KOPS, KOPS lost status, and KOPS milestone anniversaries as well as Century Award validations

Please note that TOPS Headquarters will be closed on November 26-27 and December 24-25. TOPS is also closed on January 1, 2021, for the New Year.

As always, local Field Staff are available to answer questions and provide basic chapter supplies and support. For Field Staff contact information, click Find a Meeting and enter your ZIP or postal code.

 

What About KOPS Members?

(Updated September 21, 2020)

KOPS are members maintaining their goal weight who continue to go to TOPS for support as they Keep Off Pounds Sensibly. Please note that all KOPS Rules (found in TOPS Rules 15-31) are still in effect.

What if a KOPS was out of leeway at the last weigh-in before an extended interruption in their chapter meeting?

Do you know KOPS members who were out of leeway at their last chapter weigh-in prior to an extended closure of their meeting place due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19?  To maintain status, these members must register a weight within leeway at the first available meeting/weigh-in of their chapter. Those who are not weighed at the first available opportunity lose status as do those KOPS previously out of leeway who are absent for the meeting. This policy does not apply to all KOPS — only those out of leeway at their last official weigh-in.

What if a KOPS member cannot get the 15 weigh-ins required to maintain status this year?

If the Weight Recorder, Assistant Weight Recorder, Leader or Co-Leader is able and willing, an isolated weigh-in may be arranged before or after a meeting or at another mutually-agreeable time. Leader may appoint additional or interim Assistant Weight Recorders if needed.

If you are concerned about being able to get the minimum 15 weigh-ins required to maintain your KOPS status in 2020, please contact your Coordinator, who will advise you of your options under existing TOPS protocol.

 

What if a KOPS is due to receive a Longevity Award?

TOPS Club Inc. presents KOPS with a special pin as a gift for every five years they maintain status. KOPS whose 5-year anniversary date occurs during a chapter closure (or during a time when they are unable to attend for reasons of personal safety) must register an in-leeway weight at a chapter meeting or a privately arranged weigh-in as described above to receive their pin. If unable to attend meetings, KOPS will still be eligible to receive their award once their chapter resumes meeting so long as they register a weight in leeway.