How do you feel when you get an email or postal mail request for a donation from someone you know or are related to? Do you find yourself thinking or mumbling...here we go again, what is it this time? I think we are all guilty of that, myself included. Do you give because you truly support the cause or because you will feel some level of embarrassment if you don't? Let's face it, we are feeling and caring people who have a heart for supporting a cause or two, just not every cause that may come our way. In other words, SjoDry's pie is not large enough to support everyone who would like a slice or even a nibble. Yet, after previously having worked in the non-profit world for many years and seeing the difficult funding challenges, I understand why fundraising must happen at a very grass roots level.
I think we all have a tendency to support those causes which affect our family, friends, co-workers or ourselves. Or the other exception, anything our children or grandchildren are fundraising for. But at what point do you become passionate for your most heart-felt cause? Is it when you have completed total immersion into volunteering in various capacities for your cause? Is it when you have obtained the title of Leader, Co-leader or Group Chair? Or maybe it happens when you realize that you have developed fuzzy boundaries and don't know how to say, " No ". Okay...I am guilty. Take your pick of any of those descriptions and you will be looking at my profile.
It started with becoming a phone contact for the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation, which then led to the role of a Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Ambassador. Of course it was easy to see that I was the logical contact for the foundation for the city I live in. When suggested, I was in total agreement that Pittsburgh surely needed a Sjogren's Syndrome Support Group...of course I will co-lead a group. It only follows that if leading a support group, one should be as knowledgeable as possible about all current Sjogren's Syndrome Information. What better way to do that then to attending the April 12th and 13th Sjogren's Patient Conference in Bethesda, MD. Done..I'm there. What? A Sjogren's Walkabout? A fundraiser to help raise support funds for the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. Sure. Let me get my comfortable tennis shoes with good foot inserts. So how does it raise money anyway? I get people to financially support my walkabout efforts (okay, I vaguely remember my kids participation in efforts like this. But instead of my kids, who have long flown the coup, it has become my totally committed (albeit fatigued) new cause.
While sending out donation requests to family, friends or other people I know is slightly uncomfortable for me, I am passionate about the need for answers to Sjogren's Syndrome and the visibility and awareness that the disease so desperately needs. And guess what folks, that starts at the grassroots level (which is where I reside).
So here it is, SjoDry's story and fundraising page: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/SandyBurkett/2013-greater-washington-region-walkabout
I have often heard it said through the years, that if one is going to complain and whine/wine, they should be willing to help make changes happen. So here it is, I will quit whining about my pain and do my little SjoDry part to make a difference. It only takes one Sjoggie to hydrate the issues. Care to join me?