Make a Difference

Denise

Make a Difference

Denise
CaregivingAdvocacyand Awareness Volunteer Corp(5)About 18 months ago, I participated in a roundtable discussion on how technology can help individuals who care for a family member or friend (family caregivers).

During the day-long meeting, we discussed several issues family caregivers face, including the lack of awareness within our communities and families about the family caregiver experience. A meeting attendee then said, "I don't know why family caregivers haven't organized a movement to bring awareness and help. They haven't bonded together like mommy bloggers do, for instance, when they want to take a stand against a company's advertising issue or for an issue that affects their families."

Since that meeting, I've been thinking about that comment. And, last weekend, it finally occurred to me: No one has asked us to bond together to improve the lives of family caregivers.

So, I'm inviting you to join a group I'm launching called the Caregiving Advocacy and Awareness Volunteer Corp. As a group, we'll work together to create awareness of the family caregiver experience and advocate for better help and services. Each month, we'll set an agenda for how we'll bring awareness and advocate. We'll use our connections in our community and our online social networks to make a difference. We'll work together to create our artwork and slogans, which we'll use to promote our message. We may decide to hold special events on Caregiving.com, to promote my Family Caregiver Awareness Days, to share special messages on social networks, to coordinate community events, to lobby politicians for more funding for programs and services, to help create awareness for diseases, taking inspiration from awareness months for diseases. We'll use our collective energy and power to do our best to truly change the family caregiver experience.

Our Caregiving Advocacy and Awareness Volunteer Corp will operate through my non-profit, The Center for Family Caregivers. Because it's part of my non-profit, we can apply for grants and other means of support. (Our Caregifters program, through which we send $500 to family caregivers in need, also operates out of The Center for Family Caregivers.)

We'll begin our work after the first of the year. I'd love one of our primary goals to be how we can minimize the stress family caregivers experience. To get involved, just join our group, Caregiving Advocacy and Awareness Volunteer Corp, and look for updates from me. If necessary, we can schedule regular chats in our chat room on Caregiving.com to brainstorm ideas and share suggestions.

Why get involved? It's a great way to work with like-minded individuals to make a difference. It's a great way to build your resume if you've let the workforce because of caregiving responsibilities. It's a great way to turn your caregiving experience into one of greater purpose and meaning. And, volunteering helps if you plan to apply for a future scholarship for our Certified Caregiving Consultant training program. (I'll share details about our scholarship program on December 10 when I announce the scholarship winners for our January session.)

Who can get involved? Any former or current family caregiver can join our volunteer corp. In addition, you'll want to join Caregiving.com so you can join our Caregiving Advocacy and Awareness Volunteer Corp. (Create your free Caregiving.com acount.)

How much time do volunteers commit to helping? Volunteers help as much and as often as possible without any minimum time commitment. If you can help 30 minutes every month, that's awesome. If you can share a current awareness activity once a month on your Facebook profile, that's terrific. If you can do more, that's amazing.

What do you need to get involved? You just need a passion to get the word out.

Join our Caregiving Advocacy and Awareness Volunteer Corp.

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Larry

Count me in!