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July 29, 2009

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July 29, 2009

As a former staff member for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a friend to several young adult cancer survivors, I have been fortunate to know about the SAMFund since its inception. There are a great deal of reasons I'm inspired by this organization, not the least of which is its ability to provide resources for those things which are just not covered by regular insurance. Those of us who have never experienced the trials and tribulations of cancer (or the costs associated with the treatment of it) cannot fully comprehend the importance of a gym membership to stay healthy. Or a laptop to help get back on track after missing months or years of school. Or, having depleted our savings for life-saving care, not having enough money for a deposit on an apartment of our own in order to start living LIFE again. The SAMFund looks at young adult survivors and sees potential. Potential to make great lives for themselves. Potential to be great parents. Potential to be great co-workers. And potential to change the world, one small step at a time. But, more importantly, the SAMFund realizes that in order to fulfill ones potential, sometimes the very basic necessities need to be met. Filling the void between relying on your parents and receiving reimbursement from your insurance company - the SAMFund finds a way to give people the support to allow them to be like everyone else. And not be constantly struggling to take the next step to independence because cancer threw an early obstacle in their way. I am proud to be part of the SAMFund because I've seen, first-hand, how financial support can be the difference between going back to school and working in a low-paying job; can be the difference between living with your parents at age 30 and finally becoming an independent adult; and can be the difference between moving on with one's life rather than always fighting a battle because of cancer.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the many lives that have been changed and enhanced by SAMFund grants. The recipients words of thanks are the most important to hear.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not do one thing differently - the organization is committed to moving forward. And it has grown at a steady and manageable pace so as to sustain itself, not burn out.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

hearing the inspiring stories of the grant recipients. They are strong in spirit and provide a much needed reminder of how precious every day really is.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

absolutely amazing. Each and everyone is dedicated to the mission and to making a difference. They are selfless and giving.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make an even greater impact in the lives of even more applicants.

Ways to make it better...

we had even more funds to both promote the organization AND to give away!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

public relations. They serve the national community and therefore deal with different demographics, regions, and markets. There is no one single strategy that will work everywhere and they need more national coverage to recognize their great achievements!

One thing I'd also say is that...

with the resources available, the SAMFund has achieved great success.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 29, 2009

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July 29, 2009

The SAMFund is an awesome organization that assists young adults with expenses after cancer. I've never heard of another organization doing this. Beating cancer is only half the battle. Survivors must deal with huge bills after treatment. This economy is tough on every young adult, and with the additional burden of cancer, it can seem almost impossible for young survivors. The SAMFund gives them hope! By paying for something as simple as a gym membership, The SAMFund makes these survivor’s lives so much easier. After beating cancer, the last issue on your mind should be ridiculous bills. The SAMFund not only provides grants and scholarships, but also has events for survivors to get together and have fun. It's such a unique organization and I truly wish it could fund all of the applications.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Lifestyles magazine, the recipients' stories

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know how I could do it. i'd give money to everyone.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Reading all of the applications. The stories are amazing. These survivors have been through so much.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Amazing. Sam does a great job running The SAMFund.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Give huge grants to deserving people.

Ways to make it better...

We had a billion dollars and gave money to everyone!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Money, money, money...It's unfortunate that the economic climate is so bad. There are so many applications but not enough money!

One thing I'd also say is that...

The running expenses are very low. By donating to The SAMFund, one should know that pretty much all of their money is going to young adult survivors. I think that's amazing and very different from some of the bigger organizations.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 16, 2009

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July 16, 2009

Friends, family, coworkers, nobody seems to understand how isolating, scary, and downright horrible it is to be dealing with a cancer diagnosis in the "prime" of you life. I was a caregiver to my husband during his treatment, as well as our small children. The SAMFund is an incredible organization full of compassion and understanding, and tangible assistance. Only now, years later, have I begun to find peace with the whole experience by meeting and working with others who simply understand.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

open the nation's eyes to the "tweens" of cancer care and touch the lives of thousands of struggling cancer survivors.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 15, 2009

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July 15, 2009

I have had the honor and pleasure of being involved with the SAMFund for the past five years and have seen this wonderful and unique organization grow from a seed to a flower to a garden and beyond. As a member of the Grants and Scholarships Committee, I can attest to the thoughtful, caring nature of the SAMFund and its volunteers as well as the effectiveness of the help that the SAMFund provides. The SAMFund answers a truly unique need for young adult survivors of cancer. Because of the SAMFund's holistic vision and understanding of what helps a young adult survivor get back on his or her feet, the assistance that the SAMFund awards provides not only financial and stress relief but also helps recipients move beyond those well-known worries, helping them pursue and achieve goals and dreams that had to be put on hold –- whether those dreams are to start or finish college, pursue training in a specific field or interest, receive assistance with costly fertility treatments, or to join a gym or attend a yoga retreat or “simply” for a plane ticket to attend a convention for cancer survivors. Many of our recipients have told the SAMFund that they would not have been able to achieve their goals and dreams and move beyond their cancer experience had it not been for the help of the SAMFund. What a fantastic gift to be able to give! Of course, every member of the Grants and Scholarships Committee would like to fund every single request that comes in to the SAMFund and hopes that someday that dream will be a reality, but until then there are always difficult decisions to be made. I have been a part of many very difficult discussions and decisions and can assure that the volunteers of this special organization are so thoughtful and thorough, caring and sensitive in their decision making process. Every decision that is made to fund a request is made in such a way as to insure that the we are providing the most effective and greatest amount of assistance possible. The SAMFund is an extraordinary organization and one that I hope to be a part of for years to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the responses from grant recipients who tell us they could not have pursued their goals without help from the SAMFund; an increased ability to fund more and more grant and scholarship requests with each year; an increasing awareness of the organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue in the direction in which the SAMFund is going and continue to honor the mission of the SAMFund just as Sam and her team is doing!!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the amazing volunteers on the grant and scholarship committee who are so thoughtful, caring and generous and who work so hard to make sure we are helping as many people as possible and in the most effective ways.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful, thoughtful, caring, fun, dedicated!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

fund many more requests and help so many more young adult cancer survivors move forward and pursue their goals and dreams as well as continue to increase awareness about this unique and wonderful organization!

Ways to make it better...

had that "10 million bucks" that last question referred to and never had to make the difficult decision to not fund a deserving request! :)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the economic climate and the overall increase in giving that most (all?) non-profits are experiencing coupled with the on-going needs of applicants.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you for letting me be a part of such an extraordinary organization! I hope that those who read about SAMFund on this site are moved to find out more and perhaps help out in some way.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 15, 2009

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July 15, 2009

Sam Eisenstein Watson runs an incredible organization! She is incredibly inspiring. I heard her story at a networking event and instantly had to get to know her and become involved with The SAMFund. Her diligence, knowledge, and generosity is unmatched and she has done the young adult survivor community a huge service. The SAMFund is truly a terrific organizaion!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with Sam and meeting some of the grant recipients.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 9, 2009

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July 9, 2009

I've had the great pleasure of seeing the SAMFund grow from an idea among friends, to a massive grant-giving organization affecting lives across the country. The applications we receive at the SAMFund are compelling, heart-wrenching, and almost always worthy of support. Choosing how and where we allot funds is an excruciatingly difficult process, but I have seen the staff and volunteers at SAMFund execute this task with grace, respect, and love for the applicants. It is a fantastic team that is creating new opportunities for young people battling the after-effects of their illnesses. I consider myself lucky to be involved with the SAMFund and can't wait to see how much they grow as time passes.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Meeting grant recipients who have taken their lives in new and exciting directions as a result of the support they received.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be quite humbled. I don't think I could do it better than those who run it currently. They should be very proud.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Finding those applicants with dire need who have nowhere else to turn. It reminds me of how significant the SAMFund really is. There is nothing else like it.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

responsible, caring, and sensitive. At the same time, I have complete confidence that it is run by an able, professional staff.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Fund even more of the applications it receives. No matter how much we can give out, it never seems to be enough.

Ways to make it better...

there were more funds available for grants. It is difficult to see the economic crisis leaving a trail of lower endowments when illness rates haven't changed at all.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Establishing an ongoing endowment of renewable funds, and providing consistent and adequate pay for their awe-inspiring staff. They do quite a lot with what they have, but I can only imagine how great it would be if they had more!

One thing I'd also say is that...

I hope to be a part of SAMFund for decades to come. Though it is an emotional experience, it is quite important to me.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 8, 2009

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July 8, 2009

The SAMFund helps gives back independence and peace of mind. Disability/Social Security/Unemployment is just not enough and finances quickly become overwhelming. The SAMFund fills a broad spectrum of otherwise overlooked financial needs for young cancer survivors.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

all the young adult survivors served.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing, the founder is on target with her mission.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the positive attitude and willingness and open mindedness towards helping.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

n/a

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Solve all the financial needs of young adult survivors!

Ways to make it better...

n/a

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

having enough funding to help all the applicants.

One thing I'd also say is that...

TheSAMFund is the one organization I needed as a young cancer survivor, but it hadn't existed yet - great vision.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 8, 2009

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July 8, 2009

The SamFund fills what was formerly a void in services and opportunities for young-adult survivors. Samantha Watson's vision, passion, and first-hand knowledge is helping men and women reestablish themselves after treatment. It is an amazing organization that helps an often overlooked population.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the tangible opportunities it provides young adults to be able to launch independent lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not be able to do as good a job as Samantha and her team.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching Samantha's passion and vision take life. She started with a dream, and has grown a vibrant organization that is thriving.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, compassionate, insightful, and able to have fun while helping others.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really change the lives of young adult cancer survivors.

Ways to make it better...

the economic climate was different, and the Samfund was able to provide all applicants with scholarships or grants.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial. It has far more applicants than the current climate allows for funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

THe SamFund is one of a kind.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

July 8, 2009

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July 8, 2009

The SAMFund is the only organization that provides support to young adult cancer survivors. They make a huge difference in our lives by serving as an informational resource, providing financial support, and by raising awareness.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of people served by their grants and the huge impact these awards have on their recipients

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing different.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the enthusiasm of the staff and their commitment to improving the quality of life of young cancer survivors everywhere

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

visionaries; passionate; committed; engaging; intelligent; fun; empathetic

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a huge impact in meeting the needs of young people living with and surviving cancer; expand their network; provide more comprehensive "care" to more people;

Ways to make it better...

NOTHING

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the economic climate. people are less willing and able to give. the needs of young cancer survivors doesn't change. in fact, many survivors are probably facing additional challenges themselves which makes the sam fund even more relevant!

One thing I'd also say is that...

i'm inspired by how sam transformed her personal cancer experience into something so big!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 6, 2009

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July 6, 2009

The SAMFund is an amazing organization with which I've had the pleasure of working since close to its inception. Its founder, Sam Eisenstein is a friend from college who I met after her first major bout with cancer. She is an amazing woman who not only found the strength to beat cancer, but to use her experience to help others. The SAMFund recognized an under-represented base of need in this country, and has done so much already to help. I've met a number of recipients as well as donors who believe so fully in this cause that many have taken helping to an almost full-time level. In an economic climate like today's, there is no better time for a group like the SAMFund to be in existence helping to keep young survivors going and on top of their bills and in charge of their lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the eyes of recipients. The relief they feel and the burden that is lifted is apparent in everything they do.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that the goal is clear, the constituency is there, and the results are tangible.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

committed, honest, and all knew someone who had been through the disease, and had a first person understanding of why what they were doing was necessary.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be that much more helpful to so many more struggling young survivors of cancer.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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