Thursday, April 02, 2009

to walk or not to walk

Fundraising has become as much a part of Spring as flowers and showers.

“showy fundraiser walks, … upbeat copy about how you’ll be ‘making a difference’ or ‘bringing hope’ or ‘changing lives’. It all sounds great, I know, but my advice is “don’t walk”.”
Duncan Cross “Don’t Walk”

"I, for one, used to donate to MS charities. … I like to support charities where I can actually see my support making a difference --- today! Because suffering - today -- is what needs assistance, in my opinion."
Disabled Not Dead “Numbers Game”

Excellent questions and concerns about organizational fundraising are raised in the above entries. In our story, we NEVER participated in a MS Walk for the first 20 years of Patti’s diagnosis. Why? In the beginning, NMSS was simply NOT friendly to those with progressive MS.

Surprisingly and suddenly 4 years ago Patti remarked that she wanted to attend a MS Walk and we have been participating since (I push, she rolls).

By participating we discovered that NMSS had become friendlier to ‘living with MS’ not just ‘a race for the cure’. Today a NMSS assistance grant helps us to afford our wheelchair accessible van which in turn dramatically impacts the freedom of Patti’s daily life.

Progressive MS does get the short end of the stick, I suspect, because it is not ‘seen’.

It is a challenge to get Patti out and about. So when a grocery chain raises money for MS by asking at checkout if you would like to donate a dollar to MS, it can get interesting asking Patti and I that question depending on who answers first. (If I were to quote Patti's answers this would have to be an 'adult only' entry.) Clerks always LEARN more than a dollar’s worth about MS.

Fundraising walks and awareness rallies also create a brief sense of community. Let’s face it, any chronic illness or disease is isolating. While not everyone will agree with the course of any organization, for a couple hours it is refreshing to be around others ‘like’ yourself. Certainly not identical, maybe not even similar, but there are enough shared experiences, fears, hopes, and laughs to go around.

Patti's Pride: Central PA 2009 Walk MS Camp Hill, PA - April 19

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:
musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. So many people belong to organizations that need to raise money. Fundraising is becoming a way of life for many. If you need to raise money I would recommend you explore the different options at Easy Fundraising Ideas. They have lots of options for groups of any size. Many do not require any upfront money too.

  2. ((((((((((((((PATRICK))))))))))I know,its been ages since I been here,I dont keep up with the Blogs,like I did with J-land,it was so much easyer,I am going to try and keep up more.You always give good advice.I have Arthitis,I have Rh Rheumatoid Arthitis,I kate shots,every other week,also have Porises.I should get more invloved with helping people who have arthitis,like me.

  3. All good points and the only reasons I see depth of advantage in such WALKS. Good for the Mrs.! Roll on, Baby! (And keep educating cashiers)


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