How can I help?

How can I help?

This seems like such an innocent question, right??

It is always asked with the best of intentions from someone who would not be asking if they did not mean it.

And yet…I realized over the last year that it is often a tough question to answer.

That epiphany has put me on a quest for what I call a “tangible call to action.”

Anyone who is currently serving on a board, committee, or planning panel with me is very likely already sick to death of me saying “tangible call to action,” but I’m not giving up anytime soon.

I believe that if we are accepting assistance – and I can NOT survive without it! – then the person offering that assistance deserves a clear, concise response that includes a tangible call to action.

First of all, not providing a tangible call to action is disrespectful of the gift of a person’s time.  Without specific directives, one can not lend a helping hand, thus offering to do so is a waste of everyone’s time.  Harsh, but TRUE.

Secondly, many people simply want to serve as a worker bee.  They do not want to share in the big picture, the vision, or the scope of a project; they simply want to do a little manual labor to lighten the load, feel a sense of accomplishment, and move on with their day their life.  They can only accomplish this if they’ve received a tangible call to action.  Seriously, I can’t expect someone to DO anything if I can’t tell them what needs to be DONE!

Lastly, if committee members, helpers, and volunteers do not have a checklist – a tangible call to action – which can be physically checked off as they go, then they feel unwanted, unneeded, and unnecessary.  As the leader of the group, I know that is far, far from the truth, but if I have not given out the tools needed to work with me, then that is the message I have sent.  And just like an accidental email, that message is out there forever.  I cannot take it back.

Sooooo…I’m putting my rantings into reality.

Last year, many – as in NUMEROUS – wonderful friends, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, and family members asked how they could help as Coach and I chaired the 2017 Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Sadly, I did not have a quick reply, a workable answer, nor a tangible call to action.

Because I was unprepared to lead them, their offer fell on deaf ears, and while some hung around to enjoy the event for themselves, many others felt unwanted, unneeded, and unnecessary which means they moved on to other endeavors.

Well, I do WANT help, NEED help, and REQUIRE help to make this year’s event what it should be!!

I’ll be doing a much better job of providing specific – and tangible – calls to action, and here is my first:

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Please join me for our 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Volunteer Kick Off Party which is coming up on April 12th. It’s from 6-8:30 in the evening at the Hardesty Regional Library – Pecan Meeting Room (8316 E. 93rd Street). When you asked how to help last year, we didn’t have great answers. This year we are working to make that an easier process.

The planning committee “leads” will be on hand to share their “piece of the pie” in producing the Walk.  Perhaps you are passionate about outreach, possibly you could help us organize recruiting and awareness events, maybe you’d like to assist with the logistics on Walk day…whatever your flavor, however much time and energy you are able to contribute, you can find the perfect place to serve.

You’re not committing to anything by attending the kickoff, so please come on out if you can!!

For more information and to RSVP for the orientation, contact Rebekah at the Alzheimer’s Association Tulsa Office: 918-392-5000 or via email at readams@alz.org.

Of course, you can always reach out to me, too, and I promise to have a ready response which includes a tangible call to action 😉

See you on the 12th!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

Spring Break 2018

Spring Break 2018 was truly a great one!

Me and Coach and the kids enjoyed a positively perfect week of relaxing family time…

We made it to Spring Training for our Houston Astros:

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We spent some quality time on the beach, which included reading:

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And practicing a little yoga:

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And, of course, playing some catch:

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We didn’t set a morning alarm for 5 straight days, and we spent the evenings playing cards, enjoying movies, and simply slowing down for a few minutes to take a deep breath and enjoy being together as a family.

Meanwhile, the Alzheimer’s Association was having quite a week itself, both in Washington as well as in Oklahoma…

  • Oklahoma HJR 2014, a resolution presented to the House by Representative Cyndi Munson and to the Senate by Senator Ervin Yen​ was passed by both the Oklahoma House and Senate declaring Alzheimer’s a Public Health Crisis in Oklahoma.  This may seem like a small step, but in actuality it’s a big leap in the right direction!
  • Oklahoma HB 2514 has been approved by the Floor Leader, Senator Greg Treat, to move to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for consideration. This is the bill that I was advocating to get passed when I spent a day at the capital in OKC.  That day we witnessed government in action as Representative Cyndi Munson and Senator Ervin Yen introduced the bill, and it passed the House vote with flying colors.  Now it will move to committee and from there to the state Senate for final vote…#VoteYESonHB2514

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  • On Tuesday, March 20th, the Alzheimer’s Association released their 2018 Facts and Figures.  This annual report is an update on where we stand in fighting this disease, and while the death toll and diagnosis rates have only gone up, knowledge is power; therefore, it is critically important that we read, understand, and share all we know…#Every65Seconds.
  • On Wednesday, March 21st, the U.S. Congress, in its final appropriations negotiations for fiscal year 2018, included a $414 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research in its spending plan for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and today, Friday, March 23rd, it was finalized and signed into law.  Oklahomans should be very proud of Representative Tom Cole who is a major voice on our behalf, one of our very best national advocates to #endALZ, and a driving force behind this historic budget victory.  This brings annual research funding to $1.8 billion which is knocking on the door of the $2 billion per year that scientists have said is necessary to eliminate this disease.  Please, please take 30 seconds to thank your congressional representatives for supporting this critical funding bill:  Click here to send an email of thanks.
  • Last – but certainly not least – the Alzheimer’s Association is very excited to announce that another one of our priorities — Kevin and Avonte’s Law — has been signed into law. Kevin and Avonte’s Law reauthorizes the Missing Americans Alert Program to help local law enforcement officials quickly identify people with Alzheimer’s who wander and reunite them with their families.

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If you are already receiving Alzheimer’s updates and information, I am sure you’ve been grinning at your inbox just like I have this week.  If you aren’t getting the updates, please join AIM, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement.  It involves only a $20 annual membership fee, and we need you as a member.  The greater the number who join, the clearer the message to Congress that America deserves and demands that we as a nation properly care for those living with Alzheimer’s, that we actively support their caregivers, and that we make finding treatments and then a cure a top priority.

Well, friends, I will step off my soapbox and leave you with my heartfelt hope that you, too, have had a fabulous Spring Break 2018…and maybe a few ocean outtakes 😉

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Love and hugs,

Ashli