How To's

How to Hang MS Awareness Posters Around Town

Click Here to download the PDF version

1. Make a plan and prepare

  • Make a list of the businesses you'd like to visit or contact.
  • Dress in MS shirts, scarves and other orange items to stand out in the crowd.
  • Have plenty of the following items. The Society is happy to send you materials if you cannot print them on your own.
    i. MS Awareness Week posters – MS Kills Connection > < Connection Kills MS
    ii. Posters and cards about our MS events: Bike, Challenge Walk, Walk, and MuckFest MS
    iii. MS Connection magazines
    iv. Specific info about our groups, programs, and services

2. Hit the streets!

  • Enter one of the businesses on your list, introduce yourself, and ask if manager or owner is available or if there is someone else to speak to about MS Awareness Week.
  • Introduce yourself as a community member and share information about MS and your connection.
    i. Example: "Hi my name is Colleen Sazama. It is MS Awareness Week and we are getting the word out about MS and ways to get involved in our area. Are you familiar with multiple sclerosis?"
    ii. You will learn how much the business owner knows about MS at that point. Use it as an opportunity to share your connection to MS and about how the community can get involved with MS.
  • Hand out MS Awareness Week posters and other information.
    i. Ask if it would be ok to hang a poster or leave some information.
    ii. If your community has a Walk MS or other event nearby, ask if it would be okay to display posters, trading cards, or other information about Walk MS.
    iii. We have never been turned down, but we let them choose where and how to display or we can do it for them. Some businesses also place info in employee break area.

3. Words of advice

  • No two people with MS are alike and no two businesses are either. Your approach will likely be different for each business.
  • Being prepared is the most important part. Practice your pitch and make sure you have plenty of materials on hand.
  • Have fun! This is a great opportunity to connect with people in your community.

How to Host a Fundraising Event with a Restaurant

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1. Pick a restaurant close to where you work or live

  • Be sure to know a little about the restaurant
    i. Are they open for lunch and dinner?
    ii. What are the hours of the restaurant?
  • Make sure the food prices are not too high or you will not get people to attend.
  • Look at the restaurant's website to see if they say anything about fundraising events - this will give you additional info before calling/talking to the restaurant.

2. Visit or call the restaurant

  • Ask for the manager on duty - be sure to get the manager's name.
  • Ask if they do any fundraising meal events.
    i. If yes - ask what they do.
    ii. If no - ask if they would be willing to.

3. Start planning your event

  • Pick a date for your event
    i. Some restaurants will not do Fridays or Saturdays.
    ii. Be sure to pick a date a couple weeks out so you have time to promote.
    iii. Ask the restaurant if they will hold the event all day - be sure to know the hours of your event - lunch and dinner/open to close so you know how to advertise it.
  • Will the restaurant cover bar drinks in your fundraiser?
  • Ask the restaurant how much they are will to donate - most restaurants will do 20 percent or 25 percent of the total bill.
  • Ask the restaurant how they will be tracking bill totals.
    i. Some restaurants require the person dining to bring in a flier to give to the server.
    ii. Some restaurants want you to mention the fundraiser to your server.
    iii. Some restaurants will put notices on each table or the front desk talking about the fundraiser - see how your restaurant will handle it.
  • Be sure the restaurant has all your contact information so they can get in touch with you if something comes up.

4. Advertise your event

  • Send emails to all your friends letting them know about the event.
  • Post on your Facebook page.
  • If you can, post at your place of employment.
  • Ask friends to notify friends and post it.

5. Two days before your event

  • Call the restaurant to be sure they remember your event and that they are all set on their side.
  • Send reminder emails to advertise with people you know.
  • Repost on Facebook and your place of employment.

6. On the day of the event

  • When you arrive at the restaurant, be sure to ask for the manager and let them know you are the fundraiser coordinator and if they have any questions to let you know.
  • The restaurant manager may need some info from you if they did not get it beforehand, such as your mailing address and to whom to make out the check.

7. After the event - the next day

  • Follow up with the restaurant to see if they have any questions.
    i. If you know the manager you worked with works during the evening, call then or call when you know they are working - if not any manager should be able to help you out.
    ii. Ask to be sure they have all the information they need.
    iii. Ask if they know what the total of the check will be.
    iv. Ask when they will be mailing the check.
  • Send a thank you to the restaurant
    i. If you have the manager's name who you worked with, address it to him/her, otherwise send it directly to the restaurant and thank them for hosting the event.

8. Side notes

  • You may find that you did not make that much money - try a different restaurant next year.
  • If you had a great event take your business back to the same restaurant - it is good business for them.
  • Make some notes to see how you can improve things for your next restaurant event.

Successfully Submit a Letter to the Editor

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1. Write your letter

  • Use the Letter to the Editor template from the National MS Society.
  • Insert your personal story and connection to MS.
  • Provide a brief example of what MS is and how it affects people.
  • Include your name and the name of the city in which you live.

2. Identify where you want to send your letter

  • Look in your local newspaper or on your newspaper's website to identify where to send your letter and in what format.
  • In most cases it will be an email address or an online submission form.

3. Send your letter

  • If possible, send your letter at least a week in advance. Each newspaper is different and will need different lead time.
  • Don't worry if your letter isn't published until after MS Awareness Week. It's important that we are raising awareness year round!

4. Follow up

  • Keep an eye on the newspaper or the online version to see if your letter is published.
  • If the newspaper contacts you to let you know they are printing your letter, let us know! We'd love to hear your great news and see a copy of your letter.


Suggestions from volunteers who have had success:

I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspapers in the communities I have lived in over my life. I included just a bit of my history with MS, my connection to that community and the fact that it is MS Awareness Week. I pretty much followed the template but tweaked it to personalize it a bit.
Jon Englund, Sioux Falls, S.D.


I wrote my letter the week before MS Awareness Week and it was published the week after MS Awareness Week. The editor will usually need advance notice to put something in the paper. I encourage you to send it as soon as you can.
Tammy Lauer, Bismarck, N.D.

Write a Letter to Your Legislator

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Sharing your story is a great way to energize our grassroots movement and build important relationships with elected officials. Your story is compelling and persuasive because it is authentic; it is your own experience. However, to be sure your story is heard and understood, it is important that you communicate in a clear and organized fashion.

First things first

  • Use the proper salutation at the beginning of your story.
    *If you're writing your state legislator use, "Dear Senator___," or "Dear Representative__"
    *If you're writing to your U.S. Senator or Congressperson use, "Dear Senator___," or "Dear Congresswoman/Congressman___"
  • Identify yourself as a constituent.
  • Thank your legislators for their past support. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts, even if you disagree with their position. Doing this will make them more likely to listen.
  • Legislators often receive more complaints than compliments, so it is beneficial if you position yourself as someone who recognizes they are working hard to represent you and your community.

Getting to know you
Use this first part of your letter to introduce yourself. Try to keep the following questions in mind when you write your introduction:

  • What is your connection to MS?
  • What specific bill or issue concerns you.

To ensure your elected official understands how the issue specifically affects you, please refer to only one issue. If there are additional issues that affect you, feel free to write more than one letter.

In your own words
Use the second part of your letter to describe your personal experience. Give your elected official a detailed picture of the affect MS has on your daily life. Keep these questions in mind when you write the body of your story:

  • Specifically, what challenge in your life motivated you to write your story?
  • How can your elected official help with this issue?

Remember, your voice and your words are persuasive because they are genuine!

Just to recap
Use the last part of your story to remind your elected official why you wrote to them and what action you would like them to take. Keep the following questions in mind as you write the conclusion of your story:

  • Why did you write your elected official and what would you like him/her to do?
  • How will his/her action positively impact your situation?

Please remember to thank your elected official at the end of your story for their time and consideration!


National MS