My daughter, Kathy Busby, who is a Walk Manager this year, asked me to write a paragraph about the ‘Virtual Walker.’ What is a virtual walker anyhow? Well, my dictionary states that ‘virtual’ is defined as “being in effect or essence although not in actual fact or name,” and we all know what a ‘walker’ is! So a virtual walker is one who is not actually present on the occasion but has a very strong interest in the success of the endeavor. We’ve all heard the expression of being at a given event “in spirit” when the speaker wishes that he or she could be there physically but offers his/her blessing instead.
Our virtual walkers are very special people and are an essential part of the success of the whole event. It is understandable that due to age (I’m 94) or infirmity or other legitimate reasons, many are prevented from participating in the actual walk. It is surprising how many other opportunities are available to those who wish to volunteer for this important cause. The least that we can do (but very significant) is to contact a Team Captain and sign up as a Team member. There is strength and encouragement in numbers!
The ‘Virtual Walkers’ as a group are among the most significant cogs of the event—among whom are corporations, associations, philanthropists and individuals who are concerned about the plight of those who are dependent on our interest and understanding for their well-being. As usual in most appeals, the bottom line is funding. No organization can conduct their business without assets; without energy to keep the wheels turning, the effort would soon become stagnant and unproductive. Likewise with NAMI, their coordinated efforts to help individuals in need of care—to conduct classes for affected families, to organize efforts such as the Walk, to publicize the need for more action in regard to mental illnesses, to reduce the lingering stigma that surrounds mental illness—requires assets.
None of the above to accent the ‘Virtual Walker’ is intended to minimize the importance of the ‘Actual Walkers’ without whose presence there would be no Walk. So whether you are a ‘virtual walker’ or an ‘actual walker,’ please show your support by raising funds and awareness for NAMIWalks. You can make a difference today!
Herbert L. Phillips