Bakersfield – The Kern County office of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society will be able to offer its fourth annual MS Service Day in 2013, thanks to Chevron, which has announced it will be donating $2,500 to the project for a third consecutive year. The money will be used to purchase supplies needed to complete common household tasks or small home improvement projects for families impacted by multiple sclerosis. The only thing missing: more skilled volunteers.
MS Service Day has grown quite a bit since it started as a Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout project in 2010. Work the first year included yard work, cleaning, organizing, painting, and constructing a ramp. But in 2012, volunteers added more, such as:
· ripping out carpet and installing hard flooring so an elderly couple can more easily maneuver their daughter in her wheelchair around the house,
· installing a ceiling lift to help a woman get her husband out of bed, and
· installing an accessible shower unit for a woman living with MS, whose husband has primary lateral sclerosis, and whose daughter has cerebral palsy.
“It is difficult to say just how much MS Service Day means to both the households dealing with this disease that affects both mobility and cognition, and the volunteers who have an opportunity to meet the person with MS and their families and give back,” explained Kim Kotrla, Director for the San Joaquin Valley region. “It is truly a day that makes a huge difference in the lives of many.”
If you have expertise in any areas such as plumbing, electrical, or construction and are willing to volunteer your services, please call Christine Grontkowski at the Kern County office at 661.321.9512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The main MS Service Day will be held during Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week on March 16, 2013, but work continues throughout the year as the Society learns of additional needs.
About Multiple Sclerosis
· Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
· Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The advancement, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer toward a world free of MS.
· Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease.
· MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.1 million worldwide.