Show Us Your Hands! Seeks Director Of Finance

Board-150x150Are you passionate about raising awareness about inflammatory arthritis? Have you been looking for a unique opportunity to work with a close-knit team of dedicated people who like to laugh while they work hard? Do you get numbers? If so, this may be perfect for you!

Show Us Your Hands! is looking for a new Director of Finance. A basic facility and comfort level with finances is essential, but we encourage learning on the job and support each other through gaining specialized knowledge. Knowledge of accounting and past involvement in non-profit organizations a plus.

As a member of the Show Us Your Hands! Board of Directors, your responsibilities would include:

  • Lead the organization’s financial strategy
  • implementing and maintaining transparent financial systems, budgets, annual reports and spending and accounting controls,
  • supporting and engaging in fundraising efforts, donor relations
  • working with the teams to implement our Mission and ensuring we stay on course,
  • developing an annual plan and managing programs to accomplish our Mission,
  • internal board management and administrative tasks
  • establishing and overseeing special-issues committees (e.g., Finance Committee, awareness programs, special events and ad hoc initiatives)
  • helping promote Show Us Your Hands! and its activities to the public.

Our organizational culture is one that emphasizes proactive teamwork, respect and a sense of humor. We believe in the inflammatory arthritis community and in this organization and work hard for the love of the cause. (This is another way of saying that this is a volunteer unpaid position!)

If you are committed to working at the global grassroots level to unite and inspire people who live with inflammatory arthritis, please submit your application by January 31, 2014.

Show Us Your Hands! is an international awareness movement which serves to unite and inspire the inflammatory arthritis community. For more information, please visit www.showusyourhands.org. Show Us Your Hands! can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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Show Us Your Hands! Annual Report: Building Foundations for the Future

SUYH-Logo-128x128To celebrate the first anniversary of Show Us Your Hands! as a non-profit, the Board of Directors is writing a series of blog posts about the past year. Each of us writes about a different topic, relevant to us as individuals, to the organization and to the community. We welcome your comments and hope you’ll share these posts with others to continue the conversation. Eduardo Flores, President, closes the report by taking the broader look at our goal of uniting the inflammatory arthritis community and what this means for the future of Show Us Your Hands!

Two years ago this month, Show Us Your Hands! debuted as a collage of hundreds of hand photos of people who live with inflammatory arthritis. What was conceived as a visual tapestry of all different type of hands from around the world quickly grew into something larger. For some people, it was a step into a place where they could feel proud of their hands. For others, it was a way to share stories about all of the different things that these hands continue to do. For other still, it was a moving visual representation of the community of individuals who live with inflammatory arthritis, and who continue to connect with one another for inspiration and support.

Last year this month, Show Us Your Hands! announced that we had grown our board to include individuals who live in the United States, Canada, England, and South America. Our application for nonprofit charity status was approved, completing a busy first year which included the design of multiple inflammatory arthritis community collage posters, as well as the Our Hands Can! photo book.
This past year has been a very successful one, in many ways. Even though we have been a little silent at times, we have been busily working at creating all of the different foundational pieces of running an international organization. Most importantly, we have carefully been building a foundation that not only allows for continued growth in the future, but that also allows for our organization to be fully run by a group of dedicated volunteers, all of whom live with inflammatory arthritis.

In doing so, we have learned a lot about ourselves as a community, as an organization, and as individuals. We have learned how to balance the excitement that comes with expanding existing community projects and launching new ones, with the realities of living with inflammatory arthritis. It’s been fascinating, building an organization which is based completely upon the needs of individuals who live with rheumatoid arthritis. In previous posts we have shared some of the lessons that we have learned during this process, and we look forward to sharing more updates in the future.

During early January we will be announcing one more opening on our board of directors, and look forward to hearing from individuals who would be interested in joining our dedicated team. We would also like to thank all of our friends and members of the community who have donated funds over the past couple of years, so that we may reach the place we are at the moment. We are excited with how much this community has grown over the past couple of years, and we look forward to uniting and inspiring even more people who live with inflammatory arthritis both now and in the future.

RA-Guy
Eduardo Flores
Show Us Your Hands! President
December 17, 2013

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Show Us Your Hands! Annual Report: Our Hands Can! Community Stories

SUYH-Logo-128x128To celebrate the first anniversary of Show Us Your Hands! as a non-profit, the Board of Directors is writing a series of blog posts about the past year. Each of us writes about a different topic, relevant to us as individuals, to the organization and to the community. We welcome your comments and hope you’ll share these posts with others to continue the conversation. Today, Lene Andersen, Director of Community Outreach, presents the first edition of our new feature Our Hands Can! — Community Stories. Modeled on our photo book, these are the stories of people living with inflammatory arthritis, their hands and their lives.

Working with Show Us Your Hands! is a joy. I get to spend time with people I like, doing something important. The photo book Our Hands Can! is one of my favorite initiatives, combining our mission of raising awareness of inflammatory arthritis with our message of positivity and acceptance, of ourselves and each other. We all liked it so much that we decided to create a regular feature profiling members of the inflammatory arthritis community telling stories of how their hands give them support and are a conduit to happiness.

Kim Curry, 53. Pennsylvania. Scleroderma, RA
Kim Curry

I need my hands to hold and play with my grandchildren, they are what I live for! This is the only way my grandchildren have known me. Anything that involves fine motor skills is difficult, however, I enjoy cooking for them when they’re with me. I play board games with them, build Legos with my grandson and have tea parties with my granddaughters. It gives me pleasure to know that while arthritis limits much of what I do, there are still things we can do together.

Tina Warner, 50, Minnesota. RA
Tina Warner

Last year I reupholstered my dining room chairs, and was so proud of how they turned out. When you can take something that is worn out and ugly and make it look like new again just by using your hands, it really gives you a sense of accomplishment. I also crochet and recently taught myself how to crochet hats, scarves, and mittens. The hats give me the most satisfaction. I made my 7 year old granddaughter a matching hat, scarf, and mittens, and she just loved them. I will continue to create things with my hands as long as I can.

Annette McKinnon, 65. Toronto, Canada. RA
Anette McKinnon

I use my hands to connect with others who have RA. From the time of my diagnosis I craved conversations with others like me and now my hands enable that communication through Twitter and my blog. Sometimes the online conversations are so speedy and exhilarating it feels like actual surfing! I never thought I would say that because of the damage to my joints, but it does not hold me back from meeting new friends online and passing on the information I have learned over the years.

In Memoriam: Flossie Doty, Florida.
Flossie & Sharon

Flossie Doty and her daughter Sharon Wickham were part of the Show Us Your Hands! photo book. Their experience of sharing inflammatory arthritis – Flossie’s RA and Sharon’s psoriatic arthritis — and their close relationship is a very special story. Flossie passed away earlier this year, but her spirit of determination and will to be positive lives on. The following is an abridged version of Sharon and Flossie’s story, as it appears in Our Hands Can!

I have always loved spending time with my mother. At a very early age I told her that I was going to live with her forever. I didn’t actually do that but have always lived nearby. My mother taught me how to sew and enjoy crafting. We have completed many creative projects together. I am beginning to teach my daughter to express herself with her hands through creative outlets.

I use my hands, even though they hurt, to comfort and love my child as my mother did for me. I want my daughter to learn compassion from my relationship with my mother. I want her to know that life continues regardless of the curveballs life throws at you.

Inflammatory arthritis may try to destroy your body, but it cannot diminish the love between mother and daughter. In fact, it can have the ability to help strengthen them. My mother and I sharing a similar daily struggle has deepened our relationship.

Thank you to everyone who were featured in this first edition of Our Hands Can! — Community Stories. We look forward to continuing this feature in the future!

Lene

Lene Andersen
Show Us Your Hands! Director of Community Outreach
December 16, 2013

Show Us Your Hands! is a nonprofit charity organization that aims to unite and inspire people who live with inflammatory arthritis. For more information, please visitwww.showusyourhands.org.

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Show Us Your Hands! Annual Report: Managing Stress

SUYH-Logo-128x128To celebrate the first anniversary of Show Us Your Hands! as a non-profit, the Board of Directors is writing a series of blog posts about the past year. Each of us writes about a different topic, relevant to us as individuals, to the organization and to the community. We welcome your comments and hope you’ll share these posts with others to continue the conversation. Sallie Ferguson, Director of Fundraising, writes about how managing stress benefits Show Us Your Hands! and ourselves. She also shares exciting plans to expand in the new year.

Stress, me? Never! Ask all my friends and colleagues over the years and they will confirm that I am always serene and calm; nothing fazes me.

Or so we all thought.

While the swan held her head serenely above the water, underneath the water level she was paddling fervently trying to keep her head above the water without knowing that she was in danger of drowning.

Prior to my diagnosis of RA in mid 2012; I had been through a very painful 5 years where life had thrown some major challenges my way, including losing my Mother and Brother. This, together with a very demanding career with lots of travel and long hours meant that soon the cracks began to show. Suddenly, I was no longer able to deny my stresses and how they had manifested in chronic pain and fatigue and finally the diagnosis of RA.

One benefit of working for a large corporation is that they were able to support me, not only in the workplace but with psychological support and cognitive therapy. Why hadn’t I reached out for this help much sooner?

Alongside the cognitive therapy, I was also spending every spare moment researching and reaching out to various groups. It wasn’t long before the research led me to Show Us Your Hands! and ultimately the fabulous opportunity to work with Eduardo, Lene, Cathy and Jess.

The Show Us Your Hands! board really made me look at my life, my priorities and the demands that I put on myself. There is a real bond between us and a determination to make things better for everyone floundering as I was before. It has made me realise that I can continue to have high standards around delivering to promises while shifting my expectations and those of the board to accommodate the fluctuating impact of the disease. It has also helped me prioritize differently, finding ways to reduce stress, both on and off the job.

Last week I had a major breakthrough…..I switched my blackberry off on my day off work. The world didn’t fall apart without my responses and my team felt empowered and trusted. I’ve also joined Rock Choir – singing makes me happy (I’m not sure it makes those around me happy) and is a wonderful way to blow away the stresses.

The Show Us Your Hands! team has many plans for 2014. This includes ensuring that the Charity is registered here in the UK. It is my role to ensure we have the funding available to continue to unite and inspire the inflammatory arthritis community. We want everyone to know how bright the future can be!

Sallie

Sallie Ferguson
Show Us Your Hands! Director of Fundraising
December 13, 2013

Show Us Your Hands! is a nonprofit charity organization that aims to unite and inspire people who live with inflammatory arthritis. For more information, please visitwww.showusyourhands.org.

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Show Us Your Hands! Annual Report: Recalibration: Creating a Balance

SUYH-Logo-128x128To celebrate the first anniversary of Show Us Your Hands! as a non-profit, the Board of Directors is writing a series of blog posts about the past year. Each of us writes about a different topic, relevant to us as individuals, to the organization and to the community. We welcome your comments and hope you’ll share these posts with others to continue the conversation. Today, Cathy Kramer, Director of Community Programs, recounts our recalibration as a team and an organization and for herself, and her personal life.

I am the mom to a very passionate 15 year old daughter who has always had the amazing gift of living in the moment. I have vivid memories of her stopping on winter walks to pick up snow and not just eat it, but experience it. I could sit all day and watch her with friends because I know in her mind that she is thinking of nothing else but that moment which she is in. Times like this I want to stop and take it all in. I want to experience life as my daughter. These are the good moments of living in the moment. Unfortunately, there are also frustrating moments such as when deadlines aren’t met or planning ahead didn’t happen and she has to study for three big tests in one evening.

This school year I am spending a lot of time helping my daughter to prioritize her schedule. I make weekly calendars that she rolls her eyes at, but give both of us a view of the week so that we can think ahead. By thinking ahead, she is able to accomplish the things that have to be done and also plan ahead for the things she wants to do, which then makes living in the moment that much easier for mom. Planning ahead, prioritizing, and reprioritizing is a theme we are also working on at Show Us Your Hands! As Director Lene Andersen points out in Arthritis and Employment: Show Us Your Hands! the directors of Show Us Your Hands! each deal with inflammatory arthritis, stress, and workload in different ways and at different levels.

Many times we have had to stop and reprioritize our goals and projects while taking time to understand how each of us handles stress and life. Sometimes it has been frustrating to put community projects on the back burner so that we can stop and take a second or third look at our overall goals, but it has also given us lessons that each one of us is taking back to our personal lives. We have found that deadlines are necessary, so that as with my daughter, we can look ahead and accomplish our goals. Many times though, we choose to extend those deadlines as one or two of us might be dealing with life issues. We are constantly coming up with inventive ways of opening up the communication between the five of us who communicate exclusively through emails and Google Hangout as we live on three different continents. It is a constant theme to find more effective ways to distribute the workload and stay organized. We want to make this organization one that focuses on the physical and mental health of our team, so that we can better serve the community while being kind to our minds and bodies. We are constantly reprioritizing our goals so that in the end we not only provide community projects of substance, but also give ourselves as Directors time to live in the moment of our own lives.

As Show Us Your Hands! takes the necessary time to focus on providing a positive message to the community about inflammatory arthritis, I find this simple exercise helps me get in touch with what matters most to me in regards to my personal life and as a Director of Show Us Your Hands!. I stop, close my eyes, and ask myself, “What do you want? What do you need?” Taking just a few short minutes to focus back on my personal needs helps me to prioritize what I am able to do as a team member. My wants and needs are always changing which is why taking a few minutes and refocusing always brings me back to accomplishing my goals.

How do you prioritize your goals?

Cathy-Kramer

Cathy Kramer
Show Us Your Hands! Director of Community Programs
December 12, 2013

Show Us Your Hands! is a nonprofit charity organization that aims to unite and inspire people who live with inflammatory arthritis. For more information, please visit www.showusyourhands.org.

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