Volunteer Opportunities - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Volunteer

The Upper Midwest Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and several counties in western Wisconsin and Nebraska, and raises funds for critical MS research. Join the Movement toward a world free of MS.

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  1. Fundraising Events

    Volunteer at a Walk MS or Bike MS event

    The success of Society fundraising events is directly related event participants across the chapter area. Help make our event experience meaningful and fun by signing up to volunteer for an event below.

    Walk MS
    Join us for a one-day event to celebrate the power of our connections. Held in 33 sites throughout Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin in spring 2014, and in North Dakota in fall 2014.

    Bike MS
    Volunteer at any of six extraordinary cycling events across the chapter area. Bike MS kicks off in mid-May and finishes in mid-August.

    Challenge Walk MS
    Test your strength and spirit, and volunteer for a two-day, 50k walk through the Twin Cities.

    Will Zeigenhagen
    612-335-7992
    Email
  2. Volunteerism

    Office support volunteer

    Office volunteers assist with the National MS Society’s daily operation from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. We welcome volunteers with a wide range of talents and skills. There is only one requirement: a desire to Join the Movement® to end multiple sclerosis. To volunteer, fill out the online interest form or call Society volunteer staff at 800-582-5296 (option 2).
    James Adkinson
    612-335-7984
    Email
  3. Volunteerism

    Youth Camp

    Volunteer for Youth Camp

    The success of Youth Camp is directly related to the wonderful volunteers who help make the program go off without a hitch. We welcome volunteers with a wide range of talents and skills. There is only one requirement: the desire to Join the Movement® to end multiple sclerosis. See a listing of jobs below.

    To volunteer, download the interest form, wavier and the criminal background check consent form, complete and send to:

    National MS Society
    Attn: James Adkinson
    200 12th Ave. S.
    Minneapolis, MN 55415
    Fax: 612-335-7997

    Or contact James at 612-335-7984, 800-582-5296 or james.adkinson@nmss.org.

    Volunteer job descriptions

    Camp counselor*

    Assist in providing a fun, safe experience for kids age 9 to 17 as they play, learn and address issues related to MS in their families. Volunteer must be at least 18 years old and be able to maintain a daily routine from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Week-long commitment. Click here for a full description.

    Day volunteer
    If you are unable to commit for the entire week but would love to help out at camp for a day or two, that is also an option. Just let us know in your application.

    *=greatest need

    MS Youth Camp Counselor FAQ

    Why should I volunteer?

    Youth Camp is a life-changing experience for campers and counselors alike.  Through volunteering at Youth Camp, you will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people with a connection to MS, make new friends and have a fun-filled week on a forty-acre island on Lake Wapogasset.  You will also gain valuable leadership skills, experience and resume material.  

    I don't know a ton about MS.  Can I still be a counselor?

    Absolutely!  Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to learn more about MS from MS Society staff, medical professionals and camp participants. 

    What is the average day at MS Youth Camp like?

    A day at MS Youth Camp usually begins with breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and ends with an evening program before lights out at 10:00 p.m.  Throughout the day, your group will participate in 5 activity periods in addition to an hour of “quiet time” in your cabin after lunch.  

    Will I get breaks throughout the week?

    Yes!  We encourage our counselors to take a well-deserved break each day.  During counselor training, we help counselors choose times that work best for them and when possible, provide day volunteers to cover their absences. 

    Do I have to participate in all of the activities?

    While we encourage counselors to be active participants at MS Youth Camp, we also won’t ask you to do anything you don’t want to.  Often times, we encourage counselors to schedule their breaks during activities they prefer not to partake in. 

    How do you determine which age group I'm placed with?

    You will have the opportunity to indicate which age group you are most comfortable working with when you fill out your counselor application.  We will do our best to match you with the age range you request. 

    How many campers can I expect to work with?

    This depends entirely on what age group you will be working with.  You may have a group with as few as 3 campers and as many as 15.  No matter the size of the group, you won’t be working alone.  The number of counselors per group depends on the number of campers. 

    What if a camper in my group has challenges that I don't feel comfortable addressing?

    At MS Youth Camp, there is a well-trained group of professionals to support you.  This includes the Youth Camp director, a behavioral specialist, a medical professional and MS Society staff members.  If you encounter any situation that you’re not comfortable dealing with, a member of this team will make themselves available to help.  We also try to pair counselors of different skills and experience together so you are able to support one another throughout the week. 

    What makes MS Youth Camp different from other camps? 

    MS Youth Camp is a place for young people with a parent or other household member living with MS to have fun and connect with others who share similar experiences in a safe and supportive community.  Throughout the week, campers have the opportunity to learn more about MS in age-appropriate activities facilitated by MS Society staff and medical professionals that work with people living with MS.  They will also be able to express their feelings about MS through focus groups and MS-themed activities.

    James Adkinson
    612-335-7984
    Email
  4. Fundraising Events

    Walk MS Ambassador

    The chapter is looking for ambassadors to represent 2015 Walk MS events in May and September. An ambassador is the “face” of the event and uses his or her personal story to inspire, engage and educate the community. Through speaking engagements, media interviews and public outreach, ambassadors energize others to get involved with Walk MS.

    Nominate yourself or someone you know to be honored as the Walk MS Ambassador in your community! If you nominate someone else, be sure to ask him or her about this important role before you submit a nomination.

    2015 Walk MS Ambassador nomination form

    Anna Kucera
    612-335-7918
    Email
  5. Advocacy

    Public education and speaking

    Public education

    Public education volunteers promote the National MS Society's mission and information about multiple sclerosis and chapter program through educational display representation. Educational displays take place at the State Fair, corporate health fairs and expos across the chapter area. Training is provided. If you're interested in public education volunteer opportunities, fill out the online interest form or contact James at 612-335-7984. 

    Speakers Bureau 

    Are you interested in representing the National MS Society? Do you want to share your story to groups in your community? Do you want to inspire people to get involved with chapter events and activities? Join the Upper Midwest Chapter Speakers Bureau and help raise MS awareness in your community and beyond!

    If you're interested in becoming a speaker, complete this speaker bio to tell us more about you, your story and availability. All speakers will be trained on how to represent the organization. If you are a new volunteer, please fill out the online interest form or contact James at 612-335-7984 or james.adkinson@nmss.org.

     

    James Adkinson
    612-335-7984
    Email
  6. Volunteerism

    MS Club or Group facilitator

    MS groups connect people who have multiple sclerosis with others with similar experiences. Enjoy lively discussion, share valuable information and ways to cope with challenges, have fun and be inspired. Training is provided and required. See job description for more information. If you're interested in starting a group or you have ideas for a new group, contact Jeff at 612-335-7951, 800-582-5296 or jeff.fisher@nmss.org.

    Jeff Fisher
    612-335-7951
    Email
  7. Fundraising Events

    On the Move Luncheon Planning Committee

    The volunteer planning committees help make important decisions about the luncheon, host tables and secure auction items. If you're interested in joining the committe, contact Julie at julie.collier@nmss.org or 612-335-7953.
     

    Julie Collier
    612-335-7953
    Email
  8. Advocacy

    Advocate for people with MS

    Have you ever wanted to bend the ear of your Congress members (without having to travel to Washington D.C.)?  

    Congress will be in recess, and members will be back in your state ready to meet with you! You'll have the opportunity to influence important issues, such as federal funding for multiple sclerosis research and policies that help people with MS live their best lives.

    National MS Society staff will be setting up meetings throughout Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in August.

    For more information or to sign up, contact Dan Endreson at daniel.endreson@nmss.org.

    Daniel Endreson
    Email
  9. Volunteerism

    MS Awareness Council

    MS Awareness Council members increase understanding of MS and the National MS Society and deepen public engagement by executing actionable awareness opportunities; identifying compelling stories and pitching to local media; and developing partnerships with organizations and volunteers in key market areas.

    Awareness Council members coordinate and execute awareness activities — leveraging existing awareness efforts to increase community relevance (MS Awareness Week, Walk MS, World MS Day, etc.) — thereby growing knowledge of MS and the National MS Society and inspiring others to impact the MS movement through personal action.

    This volunteer position requires a year-long commitment, with expectation of 1-10 hours of work per month. 

    James Adkinson
    612-335-7984
    Email
  10. Volunteerism

    District Activist Leader

    Have you met with your elected official and shared how MS affects you? Are you interested in growing this relationship to keep people with MS are front of mind as he or she considers legislation? Lead the way in your community by becoming a volunteer District Activist Leader.

    As a District Activist Leader, you will build and foster critical relationships with the elected officials in your legislative district. You will serve as a liaison between these officials and the Society, helping to develop a reliable grassroots movement across the state and the country.

    Key Responsibilities:

    • Take a leadership role in engaging with elected officials via multiple avenues to help foster a relationship between MS activists and elected officials.
    • Collaborate with your State’s Government Relations Committee
    • Attend MS State Action Days and/or Public Policy Conference when possible
    • Receive elected official’s email/mail communications
    • Monitor and track the elected official’s district activities and public events
    • Attend town hall meetings and other public forums to engage on issues that impact people affected by MS
    • Help build the MS movement’s profile of elected officials by providing key biographical data and information to Society government relations staff
    • Conduct in-district legislative visits when needed
    • Complete on-going training
    • Raise awareness of MS policy issues by utilizying multiple media strategies

    Qualifications:

    • Responsible and reliable
    • Able to communicate respectfully and use good judgment
    • Able to represent MS movement position on local, state and federal issues
    • Comfortable with public speaking
    • Strong Interpersonal skills
    • Strong leadership and organizational skills
    • Good note-taking and ablity to follow-up
    • Basic computer skills (Microsoft Word and Excel, internet)
    • Interest in growing Social Media skills to connect with elected officials
    • Able to travel to and from district meetings/events

    Time Commitment:

    This is an ongoing position requiring a time commitment of approximately 10-15 hours per month (some months more and some months less depending on legislative cycles) for a minimum of two years. Regular calls and meetings with Society government relations staff will be required to discuss progress and strategize next steps. (in-person or by phone).

    Education and Support:

    Training and support will be provided by Society staff as well as other volunteer leaders

     

    To volunteer, complete a volunteer registration form.  A regional Advocacy staff member will contact you with next steps.

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