by Amber Williams Countis, Pi (Tulane U), International Vice President
Another holiday season is well upon us and aside from decorating, shopping, traveling, visiting with family and hopefully taking some time for yourself to breathe and enjoy it all, it is also a fun time of year for AOIIs for another reason – Jingle Bell Run season! It is always exciting to see all the fun photos of our chapters, sisters and family members dressed in their best holiday style participate in these events and support our 50-year partnership with the Arthritis Foundation. I happen to be one of those people whose closest Jingle Bell Run event is about two hours away, so even though it has been awhile since I have participated on the day, jingling in my jammies and cheering others on for a great cause is definitely something even I can get behind!
These events provide a fun backdrop for an important cause that is near and dear to each AOII. Arthritis remains a serious and growing health crisis – impacting one in every five adults and an estimated 300,000 children. It is America’s #1 cause of disability. An estimated 67 million Americans – one in four – will be diagnosed by the year 2030. Arthritis is more common among women (26%) than men (19%) in every age group (source: www.arthritis.org). Arthritis remains an important health issue and AOII remains committed to helping find a cure.
As you think about all the things you will be celebrating this holiday season, please consider helping those who are suffering from this disease. You may not realize it, but arthritis is likely impacting someone very close to you. Together, we are able to help provide much needed relief through AOII’s ongoing financial and volunteer (and panda!) support of many arthritis-related efforts year round.
As these events are quickly wrapping up for 2017, it’s not too late to help support AOII’s efforts. Check out the following links for information about registering or donating. You can also track how our many AOII participants fared and the total number of participants and dollars raised. Currently, it appears we are nearing a total of $110,000 and had more than 1,500 participants in Jingle Bell Runs on AOII’s behalf!
Thank you for all that you do whether as part of your chapter or as an individual to focus on service each and every day, and to support Jingle Bell Run and other activities to help promote AOII’s support of the Arthritis Foundation.
I am sending all of you and your families lots of good wishes for a joyful and peaceful holiday! We have so much to be proud of and thankful for and so much more to look forward to in 2018! Happy Holidays!
Read more about philanthropy and AOII here.