My Crazy Highlights of Volunteering

Our family has always been very involved with volunteering for the National Psoriasis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation. Not all of our volunteer work revolves around fundraising, but often these make for some of the most memorable moments. Thankfully, I don’t have all of these embarrassing moments captured on video, but in the age of social media, my son is doing all he can to call out and laugh at his mom. It’s all in good fun.

And that’s just the point: Volunteering to make a difference doesn’t have to feel like work. Make it fun. Make it silly. Make it memorable. Make it a group effort.

Fundraising isn’t just about the money

Many times, we use the barometer of how much money was raised to determine if an event was successful. It’s not always about the money. Volunteering and fundraising also have personal benefits:

Meet others with the disease

Attending an event in your area gives you the opportunity to meet others with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. When you feel part of a community, you begin to feel empowered.


Not always easy, but exercise is one way to help ease the symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. In the video, you can see me at the Super Run, where participants dressed up as either superheroes or villains. (Of course, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are the real villains!) While I did walk most of the race, I used my super powers to spread awareness and fight psoriasis. My speed? Let’s just say I wasn’t the last to cross the line, and that was an accomplishment right there.

Spread awareness

Psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis does not discriminate based on age, gender, race or religion. Volunteer to help spread this message.

Challenge yourself

Each May, our family and friends band together to participate in the Walk to Cure Arthritis in Detroit. I usually give our team a fundraising goal. If we meet that year’s goal, I agree to do something way out of my comfort zone, something that makes me face my fears. One year, I had to kiss a snake. This year, I had to hold a tarantula. I think my face in this video really captures all I was feeling at that moment. Everyone should be able to laugh at themselves, and my son makes sure I have plenty of opportunities to do that. A family that plays together, stays together – or something like that.

NPF Award

As a side note, I have to mention the amazing honor bestowed upon me this past summer. At the NPF’s National Volunteer Conference, I received the organization’s Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award. Honored and humbled don’t even begin to describe my emotions. You see, while I am very grateful to be recognized, I truly believe this was a group effort. This wasn’t just recognizing me, but it really was an award I shared with all of the amazing NPF volunteers because the work I did couldn’t be done by one person alone. It took an engaged community, a dedicated family, and supportive friends who stick by all my crazy fundraising ideas. Thank you to these amazing people. I’m so excited to get to work on the next big volunteer adventure.

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