While I am a stellar volunteer who will give all of her time, I’ve never been comfortable fundraising for those causes. I’m talking about making the ask of people to separate with their hard-earned money and giving it to an organization that they may or may not know about.
Doing so requires some story-telling on my end and being vulnerable enough to share my connection to the cause. Let’s take my connection to multiple sclerosis. Until recently, I wasn’t really comfortable talking about my link to MS. I’d just tell a soft story in a small voice and simply say, “Oh, my mom had MS.”
While touching, I’m not sure that it was the most inspirational way to reach others.
This morning, my mind drifted back to a conversation that I had with my uncle. A couple of summers ago, we were walking along the Chicago River, and he said that he couldn’t understand why his sister (my mother) had to live with this disease. He asked the question that we had all asked ourselves at one point in time, “Why her?” As the warm wind blew across our faces, I turned to him and said, “Through it all, she’s never stopped being positive, loving, or caring. God is using her story to inspire people.”
When my mother passed away at the age of 49, I asked myself a very serious question, “If I had only 25 more years left on this Earth, what is the story that I want others to tell about me?”
Better yet, “What is the story that I want to start telling others?”
These questions helped jumpstart the process of finding my voice. The unshakable, unwavering voice of a person who knows what she wants to say and won’t be silenced.
This year, I’m REALLY pushing myself to step it up as it relates to two issues: multiple sclerosis and young caregivers. I hope that telling my story will motivate others to find their passion, follow their dreams, and support their causes. And, I refuse to let it stop there.
I know that we are all busy, but I’m challenging you to find a cause that you believe in. Then, figure out how you can take action to make a difference and inspire others. Build your story to influence and inspire others.
It is what we are all called to do.