An AGM is a funny affair. It’s one of those things you have to do, and want to do, to open the books and the floor to the general membership once a year. It’s full of motions and bizarre language like quorum. “Have we got a quorum?” “Well I didn’t bring one, did you?!?”
Today was my first AGM for our Chapter in the role of Chair, which meant I had to give a report and, well yes, pay more attention to “getting it right” than in the past.
As it came closer to the day I became to wonder what I was going to say and what people wanted to hear me say, and if those two were the same things. I’m really proud of the things that happen in our Chapter, but what if that wasn’t being communicated?
Finally I realised it was a celebration of what we had accomplished – in 2014 we did some great things. And even more importantly, it was the place to celebrate people. This was our look back at the year. This was our time to reflect on a job well done.
Sherry, our client services coordinator, does an incredible job. She has woven a net of strategies that support people with MS locally in a myriad of ways. If you want to talk to her one-on-one, you can, face-to-face or on the phone. If you want to be put in touch with the right person to help with the problem you’re facing, she does that. If you want a group of people to hang out with and chat over coffee, yup, there’s that. If you want to learn about things that are related to having MS, that can happen too, from financial and tax issues to chronic pain. Not that big a leap between those two, though.
Last year she thought there was a need for young people with MS to get together, so she started a group for them. This year she wants to get a friendly visitor program going, where people visit those people with MS who have been isolated and would love to chat with a friendly visitor once in a while.
It’s an incredible net of support that she’s created. Hopefully there’s something for everyone and we would hope to catch anyone with MS before they slipped through. The more I talked about this net, the more I realised just how amazing it was and how right it was to be saying it out loud for everyone to hear.
The fusty process now has more meaning for me. Next year I will look forward to looking back, and I will once again be proud to celebrate everything we have done this year. And I’ll still be looking to see who brought the quorum.