Margaret lives in Louisville, Kentucky and is retired from the marketing and communication consulting business she started in 1995. She now has a small craft business and participates in local craft fairs when she isn’t volunteering for us.
How long have you been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association?
I have been volunteering for the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter since the summer of 2016. Before that, I volunteered for about 7 years for the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter.
In what ways do you volunteer?
Initially, I got involved to help with area health fairs; manning the information table, distributing pamphlets and brochures, and talking to families about the many support services our local chapter offers. Last year, I began working on database projects: one being developing church contacts for potential educational programs and speaking engagements and the other responsibility I have is updating the official Alzheimer’s database with attendees of various community programs, caregiver support groups, and more. Last year, for example, I entered data for over 300 chapter programs with more than 3,100 attendees! In Dallas, I also participated in dozens of health fairs, eventually moving into database development of local elder services (eldercare law, to home health agencies, to memory care housing options, etc.) that the chapter could distribute to families looking for help and resources.
Why do you support the Association?
While we were in the Dallas area, my husband’s mother passed away from Alzheimer’s. I knew a bit about the disease as my marketing and communications consulting business was doing quite a lot of work in the eldercare industry. Having my own business allowed me to organize my schedule to include doing community outreach and it seemed a natural fit for me to do something with my local Alzheimer’s Association chapter.
What impact do you feel your work with the Alzheimer’s Association has on the community?
A man came up to me at a health fair his church was sponsoring. He was the primary caregiver for his mother who suffered from the disease. He was tired, worried and needed someone to talk to. I shared with him some of the support services our chapter offered, including caregiver support groups and the Helpline. I don’t know if he ever reached out, but I will never forget him. If I can make a difference to even one family, I consider that to be a huge win. In terms of the database entry I do, I know that the information accumulated in them aids the chapter in planning and deploying the right resources, so I consider my involvement in that process to be quite valuable.
Why would you encourage others to support the Association?
With more than 70,000 people over the age of 65 suffering from this dreadful disease in Kentucky alone, there is much to be done! There are so many ways a person can get involved (whether it’s participating in the annual Walk, facilitating educational programs or lending a hand in office administration) that makes a big difference to thousands of families dealing with Alzheimer’s.
Is there anything else you would like us to include or know about you?
If I were giving life advice to a young person today, I would encourage them to get involved in a cause near and dear to their heart – such as the Alzheimer’s Association is to mine – as early as they can. The rewards will be great and your active participation in your community will make the world a better place. Yes, you can change the world!