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.
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.
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?
Volunteer & Review letters of intent & grant applications; volunteer for event planning/fundraising activities.