The Central & Eastern Virginia and Blue Ridge chapters are joining together to form the Virginia – West Virginia Chapter of the National MS Society serving over 12,000 people affected by MS throughout Virginia and West Virginia, as well three counties in northeastern North Carolina and seven counties in southeastern Kentucky. This is great news for people affected by MS.
There are three driving goals behind this change: to offer more MS education, support, advocacy and services for people affected by MS; to raise more money and increase our commitment to MS research; and to improve operating efficiencies.
By combining the talents of our boards, staff and volunteers, we can enhance programs, services and advocacy for those affected by MS and increase fundraising effectiveness.
We will maintain offices in Richmond, VA; Virginia Beach, VA; Charlottesville, VA; and Charleston, WV. Additionally, the offices in these communities will continue to deliver programs, services and advocacy, as well as partner with local companies and organizations to ensure that Society events like Bike MS, Walk MS, Women on the Move Luncheons, and Dinner of Champions continue and grow.
The combined strengths of volunteers, staff and others who care about MS will move us closer to the ultimate goal that we all share—a world free of MS.
Sherri Ellis, who has been chapter president of Central & Eastern Virginia for the past 6 years, will serve as the president of the unified chapter.
We welcome your thoughts and ideas to maximize our new partnership to achieve our unified vision.
Frequently Asked Questions
The National MS Society is working toward a world free of MS. We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. With this in mind and after careful consideration, the Central & Eastern Virginia and Blue Ridge chapters have joined together to serve more than 12,000 people affected by MS throughout Virginia and West Virginia, as well three counties in northeastern North Carolina and seven counties in southeastern Kentucky. Our goals are simple: to enhance programs and services; raise more money and increase our commitment to MS research; and improve operating efficiencies.
We are excited about this opportunity to better serve you and will continue to provide the outstanding level of service you have come to expect from us as we move forward in achieving our vision of a world free of MS.
Below are some answers to questions you may have:
Why are Central & Eastern Virginia and Blue Ridge joining forces?
By joining together, people affected by MS in our area will benefit from the depth and experience of a larger staff. Programs and services will be supported by expanded resources and funding. Fundraising expertise will be strengthened to generate increased revenue, and administrative and overhead costs will be streamlined so a greater percentage of the money raised will be spent on our mission.
Will any offices be closing?
No. The offices in Richmond, VA; Virginia Beach, VA; Charlottesville, VA; and Charleston, WV will remain open to support programs, services and advocacy for those affected by MS in the local communities. In addition, we will continue to partner with local companies and organizations to ensure that Society fundraising activities continue and grow.
How will this change affect Society fundraising events in my community?
It will not; fundraising events have been, and will continue to be, an integral part of our local communities.
How will this change affect programs and services?
Programs and services will be enhanced throughout our area. MS Navigator® services and connections programs will be expanded and learning opportunities, financial assistance, clinical outreach, and advocacy efforts will continue.
How can I get to know the new staff?
There will be several opportunities to meet staff throughout the year. Please connect with us through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MSCentralEasternVA or https://www.facebook.com/nmssblueridge) and visit our website www.nationalmssociety.org/VAR to learn about upcoming events. Note: The Facebook page and website and will be fully integrated at the beginning of March and we will keep you updated on opportunities.
Who will be the president and where will they be located?
Sherri Ellis, who has been chapter president of Central & Eastern Virginia for the past 6 years, will serve as the president and will be based in Richmond, VA. Sherri has served as president of Central & Eastern Virginia for the past 6 years. She is only a phone call or email away and welcomes your thoughts and ideas on ways to maximize our new partnership to achieve our vision of a world free of MS. You can reach her at 804-591-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could Central & Eastern Virginia and Blue Ridge have remained separate chapters?
After careful consideration, the Board of Trustees in both chapters decided it was in the best interest of people living with MS to join forces in order to continue providing vital programs and services for people living with MS, connect everyone who seeks to join the MS movement, and fund research toward a cure.