Guest Blogger: Kathy Page ~ What Have You Done for Me Lately?

I have to be honest; the current “cartoon” about renewing a WED Foundation membership is not exactly how I originally envisioned it.  My or...

I have to be honest; the current “cartoon” about renewing a WED Foundation membership is not exactly how I originally envisioned it.  My original title was “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” and showed a person with arms crossed, saying “You want me to donate to the WED Foundation?  What have they done for me?” (see image below)

The reason I wanted to present the cartoon this way is because that question has been asked of me several times and in just that tone of voice.  I talk to a lot of people about WED/RLS; I am a support group leader in Missouri and am on the board of directors for the Foundation.  I also help moderate the Facebook page and am in contact with a lot of people.  I have made some wonderful friends because of this horrible disease but I have also come in contact with people who just have a different view of things. 

I am incredibly amazed and thankful for the many people who make donations to the Foundation because they see the reason for it.  Those donations may be for a specific area, such as research or education, or they may just be sent to be used where needed most.  These people realize that donations and memberships have to come in order for the Foundation to continue to do the work it does.

Many years ago, we received money from pharma companies for various activities.  But the Foundation received a lot of criticism from the media and yes, from WED/RLS sufferers for this so that practice was stopped.  Now we depend on donations and memberships to provide the services we offer.  Without these, the Foundation would have to close its doors.  As it is, we have had to make a lot of cut-backs and stop doing some of the truly beneficial things we used to.  For example, yearly patient meetings were held for a long time with various doctors attending as well as great speakers.  These were extremely popular but when funding went away, so did the meetings. 

Again, I want to thank the many people who consistently make donations and for the people who decide to become members.  I can’t stress this enough.  Without them, the Foundation would no longer exist.  What is tragic are the people who cannot seem to see the many benefits they gain from the Foundation.  These people never seem to be satisfied.  A free on-line diagnostic tool, free educational materials, free patient webinars, research grants in the amount of $1.4 million, free discussion board for support and help, free Facebook site… what?  Why should I make a donation?  What have you done for me lately?  I don’t understand them.  These “free” things take money to continue for everyone’s benefit.

There are also people who would gladly make a donation or become a member but just cannot afford to.  This cartoon is NOT aimed at them.  Times can be tough, other things take precedence; completely understandable by anyone.  There may come a time when they can make a contribution and in the meantime, the Foundation will continue its work for everyone.  And yes, I do mean EVERYONE!

I have been on both sides of WED/RLS; as a sufferer who is looking for support and information and as a board member who is trying to do the best possible with the funds available.  I make a monthly donation—because I AM on both sides and know the need.  If you can find your way to make a donation or become a member, then I say “Thank You!”  You can even send extra to cover someone else’s membership that can’t afford it.  But even a $5 donation is $5 more than we had.  If you can’t, then it is okay; maybe someday you will be able to.

So the “cartoon” was redone to give good information about what your donation helps pay for and also to be more positive.  Much more productive than my original idea!  However, I do realize that one thing is missing from this “cartoon”—a huge thank you to everyone who supports the Foundation in any way.  So here it is, the final panel for this cartoon:

                                        THANK YOU!

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