Thoughts about Giving: Direct Impact

By Erich Fasnacht, Vice President of Development

When it comes time to write a check to an organization, a non-profit organization, don’t you just want the money to have a direct impact on someone’s life? Isn’t that what it’s all about?

There are, of course, think-tanks and orchestras, pure-research outfits, and Washington-DC type activist groups. And I am sure they all have their own type of impact at some point down the line. But doesn’t it feel good to know that when giving to some organizations, like MSAA, you are meeting a daily need of a person who is living with MS?

Over the course of my day, I may be holding a cooling vest in my hand to show it to someone. I can feel that vest, in my hand… the pouches for the ice… the way it fits around the body. This tangible item goes directly to someone who has MS. We can’t buy these without your support. Each day as I walk through our storage facility, I pass by wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and special utensils for those individuals who are no longer able to grip a fork or spoon. I’m proud to work for an organization that provides such tangible assistance.

Direct impact is what we’re all about. Improving Lives Today. It’s been our mantra and will continue to be. While noble folks across our land do address big issues in think-tank type environments, and we applaud them for that, we also want to make sure that the neighbor down the road has that wheelchair, that needed MRI, that cooling vest – to make a direct impact in his or her life. Today.

Please contact me directly with any thoughts you have on donating to MSAA today, or making MSAA part of your legacy giving. Thank you.

Erich Fasnacht
(800) 532-7667 ext. 101

Jennifer Meyer and Walt Mickey

Half-Marathon with Mickey

Before discovering Team MSAA, Jennifer Meyer had taken some time off from exercise after receiving an MS diagnosis. “Unfortunately, I quit running and working out for a bit while I took time to cope with what I thought I had lost from MS,” said Jennifer. However, Jennifer’s love of Disney and desire to help other people with MS inspired her decision to join Team MSAA for the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend. “I realized that I had not lost anything, I already had MS while running before, and I could still run now,” said Jennifer. To prepare for her half marathon with Mickey, Jennifer has mostly been training alone, but her fundraising for MSAA’s free programs and services has been a team effort. Jennifer has implemented a “training run-a-thon” where friends and family pay for Jennifer’s miles as she trains, which helps her to rack up donations. For those with MS who are interested in becoming future members of Team MSAA, Jennifer has some words of wisdom. “Listen to your body, but don’t be afraid to challenge your body and to challenge yourself. Remind yourself that you are an MS warrior and battle on, you are worth the fight. You got this.”

Jordan Amor

A Running Role Model

When Jordan Amor was in middle school, her father was diagnosed with MS after some bouts of numbness in his legs. “As a young middle schooler, I had no idea what this meant – but shout-out to my awesome parents who walked me and my younger siblings through it all,” said Jordan. Currently, Jordan works as a teacher and strives to let her students know the importance of helping others, who, just like her father, fight battles that are invisible to most other people. With the influence of her dad, and her desire to be a role model for her students, Jordan laced up her sneakers and joined Team MSAA for the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend 10K! Jordan’s been working hard to train for her very first 10K in Walt Disney World® – she’s even coaching a local cross-country middle school team, which has motivated her to grow as a runner, increase her mileage, and improve her mental toughness before the big race day. Of course, Jordan’s dad also remains a source of motivation for her race with Team MSAA. “My dad has always been my number one fan, coach, and so much more – he has never let that diagnosis stop him.”

Team DragonFLY

Team DragonFLY Dives Back into Action

In July, one of MSAA’s avid supporters jumped back into the pool to raise awareness for a cause that is close to her heart. Courtney Evers, captain of Team DragonFLY, embarked on her fifth Swim for MS challenge with the help of her teammates, and raised more than $6,000 in support of MSAA’s free programs and services!

Courtney started her annual Swim for MS challenge five years ago in honor of her mother, Elaine, who was diagnosed with MS in 2005. Each year, friends and family of Courtney and Elaine (who live all over the country!) sign up to swim and fundraise. This year, Team DragonFLY had 16 members participating from coast to coast!

Courtney and Team DragonFLY’s initial fifth anniversary goal was to swim a combined 50 miles in five days with the hope of raising $5,000 – not only did the team exceed their fundraising goal, but they also exceeded their mileage goal by swimming a collective 100 miles amongst team members within five days! “I couldn’t have had such great success without the incredible team swimming alongside me, and the over 90 people that donated to the cause this year,” said Courtney. “It’s amazing to see how much this event has grown since our first one in 2011, and it makes my heart so happy when a friend asks when our next event is! It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it – especially being able to support my mom, Elaine.”