“Charity begins at home, but should not end there.” This quote has a number of variations and has been attributed to many authors over the years, but in the end, it always drives home the same point: to help the world, you must first start with the members of your immediate family and community. Then, slowly but surely, the ripple effect takes place.
I feel this message also applies to the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers (FABC) and America’s Blood Centers. After operational expenses, all of the dollars raised by the Foundation go right back, either directly or indirectly, to you, the members. But it certainly does not stop there. When our members have the necessary tools and resources to run the most efficient and effective blood programs possible, the communities our blood centers serve, both nationally and internationally, benefit the most in the end.
Did you know that in addition to the member grants awarded each year, the FABC provides a substantial amount to ABC annually to fund the Member Focused Initiatives? These programs include the 28 scholarships that were awarded to financially support some of your blood center staff to attend various ABC Specialty Workshops this year. These programs also include the complete remodel of the public website, www.AmericasBlood.org, which will soon include a mobile version for optimized viewing on smartphones, as well as the ongoing redesign of the ABC member’s website. The FABC also funded the long-running and wildly popular “My Blood, Your Blood” series of educational materials about blood donation. Over the last several years, the material was distributed to more than 5,000 elementary and high schools in the country. Moreover, Spanish translation of the material was provided to more than 700 schools in eight years. More recently, through FABC funding, ABC has rolled out the SPYRRS E-Catalog, to enable your recruitment staff to share best practices, tips, and ideas regarding high school donor recruitment and school partnerships.
These are just a few of the many examples of how the FABC ensures that the money we raise goes right back “home” into the betterment of ABC members and the communities they serve.
I can just imagine the good we could do if each blood center donated to the Foundation just once a year in some capacity. The programs that the FABC could fund would not only help our “family” of blood centers but also the family of patients who rely on us. Until then, you can help by sponsoring or attending our annual fundraising gala in Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 14. I look forward to welcoming you there.
Francine Décary, MD, PhD; email@example.com
Board Chair, The Foundation for America’s Blood Centers