Volunteer Opportunities - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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The Upstate New York Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Upstate New York and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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  1. Volunteerism

    Special Events

    Join us for any of the chapter events throughout the year.

    Deborah Houck
    585-271-0801
    Email
  2. Volunteerism

    Client Programs

    Work on a program planning task force or you can also join our network of self-help group leaders.

    Deborah Houck
    585-271-0801
    Email
  3. Volunteerism

    Leadership Teams

    Be part of a growing group of leaders who help plan events and address strategic objectives for a given project.

    Deborah Houck
    585-271-0801
    Email
  4. Volunteerism

    MS Ambassadors

    Spread the word in your community!

    Deborah Houck
    585-271-0801
    Email
  5. Volunteerism

    Public Relations

    Be part of our team of writers, designers, photographers, and communications professionals who help spread the word about what’s happening at the National MS Society.

    Ashley Greenman
    585-271-0801
    Email
  6. Volunteerism

    Office Support

    Help us out with some of our day-to-day operations in our office.

    Deborah Houck
    585-271-0801
    Email
  7. Advocacy

    Government Relations Committee (GRC)

    The GRC is the Chapter’s volunteer committee dedicated to taking action on matters relating to public policy.  The committee meets a few times per year, is responsible for gathering information about issues important to people with MS and their families, setting the public policy state and local agenda, obtaining knowledge of political process, identifying key political players, building a network to respond to public policy issues of importance and having a reputation as an independent source of unbiased information.  Volunteer responsibilities include activities such as attending the Public Policy Conferences, providing testimony at state and local hearings, meeting with legislators, making phone calls or sending emails or letters about important legislation to legislators and executives, and representing the Chapter at press conferences. The time commitment varies during the year but is typically a few hours a month.  GRCs already exist in Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester, but we are looking for additional members.  We are also looking for both volunteers and potential leaders for GRCs we aim to establish in Binghamton and Syracuse.

    Aaron Ward
    518-464-0910
    Email
  8. Advocacy

    Grasstops

    A Grasstops volunteer has a promising to significant level of connection to a decision maker and can help us build a grasstops relationship with that prominent figure.  The relationships is a close, personal connection, not merely a casual acquaintance and is the kind of relationship that can be leveraged on behalf of the Society and our mission.  We are looking for volunteers who have close personal and/or professional relationships with federal and state lawmakers, mayors, county and city officials, and/or their staff members.  Many of you may already have these close connections to federal, state, and/or local legislators, staff members, and other government employees and could become Grasstops volunteers.

    Aaron Ward
    518-464-0910
    Email
  9. Advocacy

    General MS Advocates and Activists

    General MS Advocates and Activists are not members of the GRC nor are they Grasstsops, but they still play an integral role in Advocacy by their willingness to learn the issues, accompany staff on visits to federal and state lawmakers, and participate in other Advocacy activities such as handing out literature about Advocacy to participants at Walk MS, Bike MS, Monster Scramble, Research Nights, and other National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter fundraising events, activities, and programs and encouraging participants to sign up to become Advocacy volunteers, GRC members, and Grasstops.

    Aaron Ward
    518-464-0910
    Email
  10. Volunteerism

    MS Service Day - September

    Interested in volunteering?

    MS Service Day would not be possible without our teams of volunteers. These teams visit the homes of people who are living with multiple sclerosis and help with house projects, light housekeeping, yard work, and more.

    Recruit your family, friends, or co-workers to make a team of your own. Or, join a team that’s already formed. Make a difference in the life of someone living with MS. For a printable flyer click here.

    To request an application, or to learn more about MS Service Day, contact Deb Houck, Manager of Community Engagement, or click here to submit our MS Service Day volunteer registration form electonically. Click here for a printable form.

    Deb Houck
    800-344-4876 (press 2) ext. 70345
    Email
  11. 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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