Carol Harrison has been volunteering with the Greater Illinois Chapter during summer since 2012. But 50 years ago, long before she started volunteering for the National MS Society, she has already been involved in all kinds of volunteering work. “It is always a great feeling to know that you are doing something to help people. I am willing to do whatever they want me to do, from things as little as stapling envelopes, calling people, to big projects like transcribing videos. I am happy to help with these things so other staff in the organization can focus on even more important things and together we make a greater impact,” said Carol.
She joined the National MS Society because her daughter was diagnosed with MS five years ago. Her daughter is very busy with the job as a clinical psychologist and has little time to get involved with the Society. Therefore, Carol sees the need to connect with the MS community in order to establish a support network and help find the cure on her daughter’s behalf. “One time, I started a conversation with the person I was calling and I could share my story with them about having a daughter with MS. It is crucial for me connect with people who have similar experiences,” she said.
The friendly and warm atmosphere at the Greater Illinois Chapter office is another reason that motivates Carol to volunteer. “People here are always so appreciative of the little things that I do. Those warm hugs and thank-you’s are the perks that draw me to the office every week!”
Carol’s greatest accomplishment is her $4,000 fundraising effort at this year’s Walk MS event. “I don’t even know how this much money came so quickly! I guess sometimes you just need to feel it and do it from your heart. Never expect rewards because they will come by themselves.”
In addition to volunteering, Carol takes care of her husband, two dogs, nine grandchildren, and five children.