I had the honor of participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association annual Lock Up event this past week, and I can tell you, it was an experience that I will be repeating next year–way more prepared and ready to raise much, much more than I did this year!
My best friend Jessica Mena (who I “volunteered” for this event, she’s such a good sport) and I were “arrested” at my house by a friendly MDA “officer,” who had an “arrest warrant” for both of us, and who escorted us to Cooper Blues, where we were booked and told to get straight to work making phone calls to make our “bail” money. Every time we got one of our friends, family members, or business partners to donate money, a bell was rung and everyone in the room clapped or whistled in excitement. A lot of money was raised that day to send kids in the Phoenix area to camp, and any leftover money went to helping others in the area with respite and other issues (all the money raised only went to folks with MD in Phoenix, not to the corporate MDA branch).
The annual MDA Lock Up event is held to raise money to send children affected with neuromuscular disorders to MDA camp for a weeklong fun filled session where they get to play wheelchair soccer and find their new best friends. I got to meet several of the young ladies and young men who would be going to camp that year because of volunteers like us, as well as an older gentleman who had been afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy since six months of age. He shared with us his story– how the Muscular Dystrophy Association had helped him and his family since his teen years, and that some of the spillover money from last year for camp went to paying for a new wheelchair for him that would allow him the better use of his hands so he could continue to work and feed his family.
Together, Jessica and I raised enough money to send one kid to MDA camp, and had a little left over to help out someone else as well. Next year though, when we get “arrested,” and need to get bailed out, we will have a better idea of the real impact we have on those affected with Muscular Dystrophy, right here in the Phoenix area. This Lock Up event was a great opportunity to not only give back the Phoenix community that we serve here as Helix House (thank you to Mike and Alona, my bosses, for not only encouraging me to take the day off to work the phones for my “bail” money, but for also contributing generously to my efforts), but it was a great opportunity to grow as an individual on a personal level. I felt humbled by the great attitudes of everyone in the room, from the volunteers to those that were affected with Muscular Dystrophy, and by the generous spirit of everyone I contacted to give money to help “bail” me out in supporting this wonderful charity.