Earlier this week I was honored to be invited to the Greater Northwest Chapter's Annual Meeting in Seattle. The positive and exciting information shared regarding the "state of the chapter" reinforces my belief that the National MS Society is a strong and efficient organization that is committed to supporting everyone living with MS and, ultimately, a life free of MS.
Awards were presented for Corporate Partner of the Year, Distinguished Service, MS Achievment, and close to my heart - Volunteer of the Year. This year the award for Volunteer of the Year went to a dear friend of mine (and probably of a lot of you too) - Trevis Gleason. You may know Trevis from numerous speaking engagements and his blog for Everyday Health (http://www.everydayhealth.com/blog/trevis-life-with-multiple-sclerosis-ms/).
What you may not know is that Trevis is kind of considered the best "ask" in the business and he has been known to open a lot of wallets for MS with his efforts. This time when Trevis got up to accept his award and "ask" something of all of us, it wasn't to open our wallets, but to ask all of us to commit to promoting Volunteering with the MS Society. He asked us all to commit 20 minutes per week telling our story and encouraging as many people as we can to volunteer. You can do that - right?
There are so many different opportunities to contribute to the work of the National MS Society - participate in the Walk and BikeMS, work in the office a few hours per week, help with a support group (or start your own), provide peer support or, like I do, get involved in Advocacy. We need all the voices we can get contacting our federal, state, and local representatives to educate them on the needs of the MS Community. Join us in Olympia for the Day of Activism in January - our legislators pay attention to those orange scarves! http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/was/volunteer/index.aspx
Please honor my friend Trevis and his wish to increase the volunteer efforts at the National MS Society. As someone famously said "it takes a village" and we ARE that village - 20 minutes is all we ask.
Hope to see you in Olympia! - Holly
Chair, Activism Committee