This post is part of a sponsored campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a cause that I adore and am thrilled to support.
When I took a job with the Greater Washington D.C. chapter of MDA at 24 years old, I thought I was just accepting an offer for my first grown-up paycheck. But, it quickly became more than that. It lit a fire in my heart for non-profit work, for helping others, for inspiring and empowering people to get involved and make a difference. It was a formative experience for me. It changed me for the better.
Imagine, 11 years later, the joy on my face when I opened an email inviting me to visit an MDA Summer Camp, and then tell you all about it. YES. Yes, I would do that. In a heartbeat. What an honor.
What I already know about people with muscular dystrophy is that they are more than their disease, and my day at camp was a beautiful, living example of that.
With the help of MDA and it’s supporters, kids like these campers are able to defy their physical limits every day. They are able to #LiveUnlimited even though muscular dystrophy weakens their muscles (including their hearts and lungs) and limits their mobility.
Tell me these kids are having anything less than the best camp experience ever.
Fun facts about MDA Summer Camp:
1. There are nearly 75 week-long summer camps across the country that MDA offers at NO CHARGE to children 6-17 years old who are registered with MDA.
2. Every camp is completely funded by donations.
3. Every camper gets their own counselor who has volunteered their time for the week.
4. Typically nearly 4,000 kids go to MDA Summer Camp every year.
In addition to camp, MDA helps fund research for cures, and services to care for individuals of all ages, including adults with ALS.
MDA and the families they serve will always have a special place in my heart, and I hope that you feel moved to support them in some way.
To start, and this won’t cost you a penny, would you please participate in the #LiveUnlimited challenge? All you have to do is create a Live Unlimited image at this link, and $5 will be donated to MDA on your behalf! It will take you just a couple minutes. Share how YOU are living beyond your limits, whatever they might be.
Have more time to give? Consider volunteering for an MDA Summer Camp near you! They are especially in need of male counselors. Or volunteer at their office or one of their many fundraisers.
Have more money to give? Remember to support your local firefighters when you see them out for Fill The Boot. Buy a Shamrock at your local grocery store next spring. Purchase a Live Unlimited bracelet and $6 goes to MDA. Or just go here to donate right now.
My heart is so full and so grateful for this full-circle moment. Thank you, MDA, for teaching me to value giving and helping, and for bringing me on to tell your story 11 years later.