My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, Inc., Ridgeland, MS, USA
As others offer testaments to the attributes and life changing impacts the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has had on the individuals affected with diabetes and their families, I’d like to focus on the individual who is the genesis of building this organization.
Mary Fortune has run this organization for over 35 years. When Mary joined, it was the American Diabetes Association. There was no budget, the Mississippi Charter loaned money to pay Mary’s salary, her desk consisted of a board over two chairs, and there were few volunteers.
Undaunted, Mary began soliciting corporate sponsorship, creating fund raising events, recruiting volunteers, hiring compassionate and dedicated employees, and building a business strategy to address and help Mississippians find support, educational information, and guidance to medical resources.
Her community outreach included sponsoring diabetes testing in schools, churches, and businesses. She organized seminars where leading doctors from across the country would speak with the local medical communities on the latest medical technologies and developments. For the children of Mississippi, she created an annual camp where kids could be kids.
It was at the pinnacle of her work, the American Diabetes Association decided to pull all the funds of the Mississippi Chapter had raised to finance her initiatives and consolidated it on a regional level. This action would eliminate the ability to fund the new programs under her initiative.
Through Mary’s leadership, the Mississippi Chapter challenged the national organization in federal court. The outcome was the Mississippi Chapter could divest itself from the national organization; the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi was born.
Under her continued leadership, Mary, her team, the volunteers, and corporate and individual sponsors have continued a program to help those affected with diabetes to enhance their health, find medical solutions, gain a better understanding of diabetes care through educational programs, and provide compassion, empathy, and care to those afflicted until a cure is found.
Mary Fortune, I acknowledge you for your dedication to those whose lives you have positively impacted across Mississippi, your legacy in creating hope, the support and care you have provided families, and your tenacity and leadership skills to built an organization of high values and principles. Mississippi is lucky to have you!