In May of this year, we were introduced to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Indiana. We were actually introduced by a tweet. A tweet requesting volunteer help for the upcoming fundraising walk in the eleventh hour. We jumped at the opportunity to serve and help where help was needed. In the process, we met an unbelievable staff that was passionate about the cause and the people that they served. A staff, and board of directors, that openly appreciated our time and valued our service and the service of other volunteers. We learned about an organization that works hard to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Indiana and northwestern Kentucky and raise funds for critical MS research. During a normal volunteer experience on a chilly Spring morning, we garnered a respect and a new love for a great organization.
For those that do not know, multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information with the brain, and between the brain and body. It is a disease that affects more than 400,000 in the United States. We know individuals and families that have been impacted by MS and we are committed to doing our part to advocate and spread the word.
Bike MS: Cruising The Crossroads is NMMS of Indiana’s annual fundraiser that gives cyclist the opportunity to ride 30, 50, 75, and 100 mile routes in honor of MS. The organization’s website says that it is an event “that is more than a bike ride — it’s anticipation, camaraderie, personal accomplishment, and the knowledge that you’re changing lives… making every mile that much sweeter.” As volunteers at one of the rest stops along the course, we would agree.
We volunteered at rest stop #3. We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cut bananas, and whipped up some ice-cold Gatorade. We interacted with riders as they passed through making sure that they were hydrated, nourished, and safe. Unfortunately, we had to fight off a persistent swarm of bees throughout the day. It was typical for a late summer day in Indiana. Bees were everyone and they loved the sugary Gatorade. Thankfully only one rider was stung during the ride (our team didn’t fare so well on that end.) In addition to the drinks and snacks, we used our vehicle as a shuttle vehicle to get riders to the closest bathroom. Our toilet (the one at the park) was inoperable that day and cyclists who had completed 50 miles were ready for some relief.
The day was great. We enjoyed our time as rest stop attendees. TAKE THAT BEES! You lose.
It is always great to serve together as a family. This week was extra special because my mother and brother joined us. I have seen the impact that this service project has had on my brother. He is looking for opportunities to make a difference and moments to share positive words and encouragement. He, and my mother, have joined us in the decision for a better community. They understand that we cannot just be human beings on this planet. We must all be human doings. We must seek out those opportunities to serve in our community. We must do something. We have to take action.
Are you ready? Will you make the decision for a better community? Are you willing to sacrifice and give of yourself to positively impact the lives of others around you? Do not wait. You have time to give right now. Just make the decision to do so. When you do, your life will be changed. I promise you.
If you are interested in learning more about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Indiana you can visit their website. Educate yourself and get involved. You will be glad that you did.