Friday, November 6, 2009

The Decision to Help Others

I am sitting on an airplane on my way home to Atlanta from Chicago. For the last three days I have been doing a photo shoot for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This is my third year shooting their annual conference for them. Each year as I listen to the speakers, the award winners and the doctors talk about MS and their fight to have "A World Free of MS" I become a little more inspired.

Let's start a little farther back in time. I have been wanting to do something to help others for quite a while now. I have been feeling like there is something missing in my life. Apparently this is usual for people no matter what age they are. I have been using my Facebook status updates lately asking my friends for suggestions. I have had some great ones and will share with you in the days, weeks, and months to come.

I have my photo business since it is more of a hobby for me and not 'work' I have been trying to think of something to do in that area. Not really finding anything that I feel would reach enough people, I kept on the mission. It isn't that I feel that I need to reach millions to help others, I just didn't get that it was the right thing to do. After all, if I get one person to help another I am on the right track.

I work at Cheesecake Factory part-time and love it! I have some great friends and I love to bartend and meet new people. Business travelers, families, groups of friends and even the ever-so-often ladies in their 60's or 70's who haven't seen each other since college. I am not kidding, it happens more than you would think! Back in September The Cheesecake Factory as a company teamed up with Feeding America. I instantly went to the management staff and told them that I wanted to head up a team to help raise money. And that is what I did. In less than a month we raised $600 and were able to purchase 2,300 cans of food for our local food bank in Atlanta. I was so pleased. But what was I going to do when September ended?

My thoughts started going again. My husband and I moved to Atlanta from Chicago we decided to live in an apartment since we still had a house in Chicago. Going from a full house to an 1100 sq. ft. apartment is a big change and we didn't have the room for all of our stuff. A lot of it went into a storage unit. So with the wheels turning, I decided to clean out the storage closet and donate stuff. That I did. I gave boxes and boxes of clothing, kitchen stuff, electronics, etc. to Goodwill. Of course it was a great satisfaction to get the storage unit clean, but it felt even better to be able to donate items that others could benefit from. We weren't using the items and there are others who could use my items to help them in life.

So that was October. It is now November and we are back to the three days that I just spent at the annual conference for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Phil Koeghan was a speaker this year. He talked very little about his book "No Opportunity Wasted" and about his life list. I had one of those once. I do know where it is but haven't pulled it out in a a few years. If I brought it out I could probably cross one or two items off but I would also add a lot of things as well. Another speaker talked about how to reach out to others to help raise money for MS. Naturally she suggested Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I was starting to get the wheels turning. As I shoot this conference each year I have the pleasure not only learning about MS and how to help but also talk to hundreds of people who are affected by it directly or indirectly. There is Walk MS and Bike MS that thousands of people each year all over the world participate in. 2-Day walks and 150 mile bike rides to raise money and help to support MS. Here is where it gets good! I have decided that I... yes I... am going to participate in a 150 mile bike ride in 2010 to help create "A World Free Of MS"!

I feel that this is what I am supposed to be doing. I am supposed to be helping others and raising awareness. Over the next days, weeks, and months I will be raising awareness not only of MS but Helping Others in general. Each day I will update you on my training for the bike ride and will also give you suggestions on how you can help others. You won't even need any money.

It is tough times right now and a little help goes a long way. If I have inspired you please keep up with my blog and hopefully something will get your wheels turning. Then you can help turn other wheels.

Let's Help Others!


  1. Wow, Sheryl! I am inspired and will support you and follow your blog all the way!! There is nothing more rewarding than helping others and you, my friend, are a professional! I wish you the best and I am so proud of you! Is there a bike ride for MS in St. Louis? Kevin and I just bought new bikes...let's ride, sister!! Love you!!!!!!!!!

  2. There is a ride in Columbia, MO. I am not sure when it is. Everyone has to have their sites up by the end of November. It is then that I will pick a spot. I was thinking of the New Jersey ride as of now. I have also been looking at Washington. I want to go somewhere I have never been before to do something I have never done before. Love you too girl!!!!!!!!