Sunday, January 23, 2011

Walk MS 2011

I just signed the Hoppers up for WALK MS 2011 for our fourth year, and I am excited to get things going. Each of the three previous years have been such great experiences, and I am really looking forward to participating with the team again. There have been such amazing things that have happened with this team, and I thought it would be nice to share a few here.

In April 2008 the Hoppers were born. I had just been diagnosed with MS, and I found out that Walk MS was just around the corner. I was pretty scared when I was first diagnosed, and I had been through quite a bit the month or two leading up to it, not to mention the previous 2 or 3 years before, and I wanted to do something, anything to make me feel like I wasn't just sitting around feeling sorry for myself. So, I talked to my sister-in-law Jenny, and we came up with the team name and signed up. I really wanted to be involved as much as I could, so I got to work designing t-shirts and sending out emails inviting friends and family to join the team and/or donate in the team's name. I was overwhelmed with the positive response, and we ended up raising two or three (I can't quite remember) thousand dollars in a matter of weeks. Many of my friends and family signed up and came to walk with us, even on such short notice. As we were walking around the first corner during the walk, tears welled up in my eyes as I realized thousands of people were downtown Salt Lake supporting someone with MS, and were trying to make a difference for someone they loved. Needless to say, I was glad I was wearing sunglasses so nobody would notice my tears.

Hoppers 2008

In gearing up for 2009, some of the team decided to do a garage/bake sale to help raise money. Many members of the team and their friends donated items for the sale, and many people baked fresh breads, cookies, cakes, pies, etc to support the cause.That event raised about $450 for the walk, and it was a great thing to be a part of. Later in the year another team member baked and sold doggie treats to raise money for the team. It was fun to see how many dog lovers were happy to help the cause ;-)

Hoppers 2009

2010 touched my heart even more than I could imagine. The Hoppers is made up of people of all ages, and we love to have kids participate with us. In the past the kids would participate just by walking with us, but that year three of the kids on the team (none of which were mine) decided they wanted to have a bake sale to raise money for the walk. They made several different kinds of treats and beverages and sold them out by the park in their neighborhood on a busy Saturday afternoon. They made signs and everything, and I believe they sold every last treat they made. I could hardly believe that little kids cared enough to do all that work and spend a large portion of their Saturday to raise money for the cause.
There is a second story about last year that both surprised and humbled me. One day during the time that I was raising money online I came home to find $500 had been donated through my web page by an anonymous person. Generally I can't tell who made a donation when they mark it anonymous, but somehow I could see their email address on the list of donors. I don't know that person, I have never even heard that name before! Who would donate five hundred dollars using the web page of someone they do not know? I sent that person a thank you email, but since they obviously wanted to remain anonymous, I didn't hear back. Maybe I shouldn't have even sent the email, but I wanted that person to know how grateful I was, and how their donation had brought joy to my experience.
I will never forget either of those stories, and it still warms my heart to think of them giving so much.

Hoppers 2010

Every year has been fun, and I want to throw the invitation out to anyone who is interested in joining our team or donating to the cause. I know that many people have causes they volunteer with and/or donate to on a regular basis, and I also realize you can't be involved in everything... but if you are looking for a way to volunteer your time and energy to a good cause and want to have some fun while doing it, please sign up to join the Hoppers for Walk MS 2011. Follow the link below to either donate, or sign up, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Making My Resolutions

I love making resolutions each New Year. I usually make between 1 and 5 resolutions, and each year I do well on 1 or 2, and drop the ball on 1 or 2. I have a particular resolution that I have made several years in a row now, and even though I have not been perfect with it yet, I have done better and better each year. Last year I did pretty darn well with it, so I think this is the year I kill it!

Resolutions are funny because we really should make them as life happens, as we realize we need to make a particular change. I think we do this occasionally, when something smacks us across the face and makes itself so obvious that we have no choice but to make a change. But at least for me, I make most of my serious assessments for change each new year. Maybe one of my resolutions this year should be to assess my life and tweak my resolutions on a monthly basis or something. Hmmm... I guess I will have to think about that a bit more.

Some of my resolutions are extremely personal, so I don't share them with others. But there are a few that I have had in the past that I don't mind publishing. Here they are:

Lose weight

Exercise on a regular basis

Read scripture every day

Run a half marathon

Write in a journal daily

Pay an full tithe each and every paycheck

Verbalize my appreciation each day

I am grateful for the tradition of New Year's Resolutions because I have become a better, healthier, more well rounded person by participating in it. I have enjoyed making exercise part of my daily routine in the past 3 years, and I have found it personally rewarding to verbalize my appreciation daily. I am going to ponder the needs and desires I have for the coming year to maximize the potential outcome of the resolutions I make for 2011. I haven't decided what will make the list this year quite yet, but I am sure I will have it together in the next day or so.

I am excited to hear if any of my friends that read this blog (meaning YOU!) make New Year's Resolutions, and what some of your resolutions have been in the past. Bring on the ideas!