I have a confession to make.
In the past, I haven’t been good at fundraising for the causes closest to my heart. Now, I’ll volunteer all of my time and give my own money in a heartbeat, but I never really been comfortable asking others for their time or money. Why?
Well, that requires some story-telling and sharing with others my connection to the cause. Until recently, I wasn’t really comfortable doing that. I’d just tell a soft story in a small voice by simply saying something like, “Oh, my mom has/had MS.” Well, who does that really motivate? Who does that really inspire?
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?”
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, start thinking about how your story can make a difference. After all, you never know who’s listening or being inspired at that moment.