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Support for MS- Which Organizations and Why?
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Support for MS- Which Organizations and Why?

If you were going to recommend an MS related organization for charitable donations or financial support, which one(s) would you choose and why?

My purpose for posting this question is twofold. Firstly, it will provide an opportunity to educate others in terms of organizations that do exist and the work that they do, along with an assessment of forum members’ priorities in terms of supporting these organizations.

The other reason revolves around pure fantasy on my part. I bought a few lottery tickets for Mega Millions the other day when the jackpot was $254 million. In my state, after taxes, taking a lump sum distribution would amount to $115 million. Even splitting this prize with my sisters would leave an obscene amount of money which certainly would be enough to make a significant difference for organizations that support MS.

There is also the Charity Pledge, founded by Warren Buffett, to encourage wealthy individuals to pledge at least 50 % of their wealth to charity. So far, he has had a good degree of success in his efforts; perhaps some of these individuals have some personal connection to MS and receiving information from a group such as this might help to steer a portion of their pledge where forum members see the best bang for the buck.

No one hit the jackpot on the New Years Eve drawing, so the prize has now gone up to $290 million. Think of all the good that amount of money could do!

So what are your priorities and favorite organizations? Disease research, treatment research and development, MS awareness, assistance program for MS patients and their families or something else?

It is my hope that people ponder this seriously with feedback generated over time after careful consideration and research.

Audrey
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I give through payroll deduction to my local MS society.  I am a member of the national MS society, but the local society is more involved with helping us at the local level and that is more what I want my contribution to do.  

If I won the lottery, and you can bet I thought about the Mega Millions jackpot the other night, I'd start off by helping my own family.  Two of my siblings have chronic health issues and don't have medical insurance, which likely will impact how long they live.  I would also give much of the money to organizations that help people who are uninsured so they can have access to medical care.

As far as giving to MS research, I give by being a participant in clinical trials.  That is how I'd contribute if I had more money than I needed to live on.

Julie
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Locally I give to my MS Society mostly in time and my husband raises money with the bike ride. I go to the Legislature, to D.C, basically anywhere they need me.

Our local chapter funds scholarships for children with MS or Children of parents with MS to go to college. They have the first ever program for Physical Therapists specializing in MS in the Nation at UNC and we hope to take the program to universities state wide and then country wide so there will be physical therapists specifically trained to work with MS patients. I am excited about this and serve on this committee.

Our chapter helps with Veterans with MS. They have a $200 scholarship for people in the first year of diagnosis for a physical activity. They have a free summer camp for kids whose parents have MS.

They have support for insurance and SSI. The MS Society helped start the state's high risk insurance pool. The Society works with other disability groups in the state to gain funding for disabilities and to not lose as much funding as we can.

Then there are many affordable programs usually $5 to help those and there families living with MS. As well as a free lending library. The support groups are great.

We will address in issue our members wish us to. We take surveys to see what people want us to address.

Then our chapter raises a lot for the National Society for Research.

I do not have the money but I do have time. People give to my husband with the MS bike ride because they know the MS Society is not just an abstract.

The truth is it saved my life. I was so lost. My Doctor told me I had MS when I was alone and said what do you think about that bye. I saw a poster in the waiting room about the MS Society and called. I did not know what to say. They called every so often to check on me the first months.

Oh and all the book, literature and web mails I have gotten have educated me to what this disease is and is not.

Getting involved has given me my life back. Sometimes when I am meeting with someone important I ask myself what have I gotten myself into, but then it just comes out and I say what I need to.

There are other worthy causes as well.

Alex
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