What is an Arthritis Ambassador?
Arthritis Ambassadors are volunteers committed to taking part in the democratic process and serve as liaisons between the Arthritis Foundation and their Congressional District’s Representative. Each Ambassador’s efforts are crucial to the success of the Arthritis Foundation. Each month, Ambassadors are asked to work with the AF Public Policy and Advocacy Department staff on special assignments to advance the Foundation's advocacy efforts and to share their story with important decision makers.

What kind of time commitment does the Ambassador program require?
Arthritis Ambassadors are asked to commit 2 hours/month for at least one year to the program.  Each month one hour is spent on a conference call with other Ambassadors from around the country.  During this call, Ambassadors receive their monthly assignment which will take about an hour to complete.  While it’s not an obligation, Ambassadors are
also encouraged to attend the annual Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC where you have the opportunity to meet your Legislators and advocate for the Arthritis Foundation.

When are the monthly calls?
The third Wednesday of every month at 3PM EST. If you can’t make the calls, don’t worry.  After each conference call the meetings minutes, including an audio file of the call, are sent to all Ambassadors so those that weren’t able to listen in can still get the information they need.  

What kind of assignments are Ambassadors asked to complete?
Assignments vary month to month depending on the most current issues at hand.  One month, you may be asked to write a message to your Representative’s Health Legislative Assistant.  Another you may be asked to attend a local town hall meeting and ask important questions about Arthritis prevention, research, and care.  Whatever the assignment, you’ll be provided amply training and guidance to fulfill the duty with confidence. If at any time you have questions about an assignment, you can reach out to Laurie Markle (lmarkle@arthritis.org), the Arthritis Foundation’s Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator.

Is there a training or new introduction session for new Ambassadors?
Yes! New Ambassador training takes place via conference call each quarter.  We encourage you to begin serving as an Ambassador as soon as possible, even if it’s prior to participating in an orientation.  On these calls you’ll learn the basics about how a bill becomes a law, how to report your activity, and strategies for establishing and maintaining contact with your Representative. The 2010 Ambassador Trainings will took place on January 27, April 38, July 28 and October 27.

Where do I sign up?
Great question! Click here to go to the National Ambassador website to sign up today.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cecil Wallace at cwallace@arthritis.org.

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