Whether it’s because we’re careening fabulously fast into the festive season or simply pondering a gift to mark a special occasion throughout the year, we all experience a range of emotions in how we choose to give.
Let’s take you on a journey of a wonderful relationship that started with MS Research Australia just over 5 years ago. It all began with a very simple phone call enquiry asking about the difference between our organisation and several others in the same MS community. After a satisfactory explanation, the caller hung up.
Further conversations with that caller were to follow over time; discussions about research projects and the progress that was being made. Gradually, that bond between the caller and MS Research Australia strengthened. So much so that in May this year it culminated in a significant donation well in excess of $1 million – the highest ever donation received from an individual in our history.
Quite simply this gift was the action of a woman who wanted to commemorate the love for her husband who had bravely battled MS over 22 years. Her compassionate gift was in hope of preventing somebody else going through what her beloved husband had. When asked why she decided to make such a generous gesture, she replied “because it makes me happy.”
We all know giving helps others, whether we volunteer, offer emotional support to those around us or donate to charities. But studies show that giving is also good for the giver — boosting physical and mental health. The Cleveland Clinic in the USA recently published a study that found the health benefits associated with giving were lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less depression, lower stress levels, longer and life and greater happiness.
The bond you have with the recipient of any gift – be it a friend, family member or organisation such as MS Research Australia – is critically important and we strive to make a connection with our supporters on many levels. Through information, awareness and of course finding that emotional and communal connection. As Winston Churchill said, “you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”
We are proud that we can transparently assure you that your financial support contributes towards our goal to accelerate research: into the cause, better treatments and prevention, with the aim of ultimately finding a cure for MS.
Written by Jillian Kingsford Smith and Neil Robertson