I’ve joined other people’s teams for the JDRF walk in the past, but this is my first year creating my own team – The Rowdies!! Was thrilled to receive a nice little packet in the mail about the Raleigh, NC walk on November 2nd today, complete with a hand-written note from the Development Manager of our local JDRF chapter. It included an invite to a free family team “rally” and movie at a local theater, as well as info on an upcoming luncheon and family picnic that will be taking place before the actual walk. Such a simple thing, and simple events, but I am so excited and encouraged by this little letter and communication, that I plan to *make* the time to go to one or more of these pre-walk events.
Maybe I just needed a Friday pick-me-up, or maybe I’m feeling particularly emotional this week, but I’m flabbergasted in the best possible way! I’ve volunteered with several non-profits over the years (and even co-founded a non-profit schnauzer rescue several years ago) so I know first-hand how hard it is to manage, cultivate, and retain good volunteers. It takes a certain mind-set of appreciation, work and effort, and not a lot of non-profits have the time, money, or charismatic leadership to do what it takes.
Now that I’m finally starting to focus philanthropic efforts on more diabetes-related organizations, I’m coming to realize that the JDRF is doing a stand-up job of making me feel wanted and included. Which is totally a surprise, because for many years, I sort of “ignored” the JDRF….I mean, it was for “juvenile” diabetics (right?), and I was diagnosed at age 21, so I sort of felt like I had already aged-out of the target market for the group. I’m beginning to see that my thoughts could not have been farther from the truth. I love the fact that they have family events – things I can take my daughter to and show her other people living normally (just like her Mama!) with diabetes. I love that they took the time to send me a hand-written note (who does THAT anymore?) I love that they are offering up events and meetings where I will have the opportunity to interact with other type 1 diabetics, young and old. I love that (at least, so far) all I have received from them is encouragement with no pressure. THAT makes volunteering all the more sweet and worthwhile for me. And the fact that I am volunteering and fundraising for an organization that may someday have a hand in helping find a cure this stupid disease?? BONUS!!
If you live anywhere near Raleigh, NC and need a walk team to join on November 2nd for the walk, please join The Rowdies!! I’d love to see you and hang out for a bit! (And probably get a little rowdy! Today is apparently exclamation point day!!!)