By Laurie Williams
Supporting my family and other people affected by Huntington disease (HD) is the reason I volunteer with the Huntington Society of Canada (HSC). Although I do a lot of event planning with our local chapter in the Okanagan, I’m happiest working behind the scenes. That’s why I have chosen to use my efforts in putting together funding proposals on a national level.
Before I retired, I worked with First Nations, helping them secure funding for construction projects. I found I really missed that kind of strategic thinking. I like a challenge, I like to solve problems and to find money, so this kind of volunteering utilizes my skills, which keeps my brain active and gives me a significant way to give back.
Whenever a new project comes up and HSC is looking for funding, I’ll search through foundation listings to find the best prospects and suggest how to tailor the proposal to each one. I’ve also put together strategy documents that HSC can pull on for funding proposals.
It’s important for me to be able to give back this way. Every time a funder says yes, it makes me feel really good that I’ve been able to contribute. And by doing this work, I’m freeing up more money in the budget for research and family services.
One of the things I really like is the flexibility. Thanks to the Internet, I can work at home, at my own pace. Volunteering has also allowed me to develop a close relationship with HSC. If someone in my family has questions or needs help, I can just pick up the phone.
It’s such a great way to contribute. I’d really encourage other people to approach HSC and see if there are ways they can use their unique skills to help out. The more volunteers that step up and support HSC, the better.