What a busy, exciting, game-changing year this has been at The SAMFund. Right before we head into 2015, we are stopping for just a moment to reflect on some of the highlights of 2014, and offering our most sincere thanks to each of you for supporting us along the way!
Not too long ago, it was just Sam and Michelle in our little Boston office. Now, with Katie as our full-time Community Outreach Associate and Kristen (who just joined us this month!) as Development Associate, we’re a bustling staff of four! We’re excited to have a full house as we move forward with several new projects.
But we’re not stopping there… In April, we invited a crew of dedicated Sambassadors to help expand our community outreach efforts across the country. That same month, one of our Alumni Leaders, Kyle, ran his first-ever marathon, officially launching Team SAMFund! Since then, Team SAMFund has blossomed into a campaign to wear your purple proudly all over the world. Have you joined yet? Shirts, stickers, and magnets are available at The SAMFund Store, and watch out for new merchandise in 2015.
Finally, just a few months ago we welcomed Corey Peterson, of Lenox Advisors, to The SAMFund Board of Trustees. We are fortunate to have a very active and dedicated Board and we know they will accomplish great things in the new year and beyond.
We worked with AMAZING people
In 2014, we were lucky to collaborate with some of the very best minds in the young adult cancer community. We worked with Triage Cancer on Finances 101: A Toolkit for Young Adults – a project you’ll be hearing even more about in 2015 – and presented at Critical Mass‘s annual conference in Denver. We’ve also added lots of organizations and scholarship opportunities to our resource lists, to make sure young adults can find the help they’re looking for throughout their cancer journey.
We’ve had webinars with some fantastic leaders in financial health wellness: among many others, Sherri Avery from Brandeis University spoke about going back to school after cancer in October, and Arielle Haspel of Be Well with Areille joined us in July for a webinar about healthy eating on a budget. You can see all our past webinars on our YouTube channel. As always, they are totally free and available for download at any time.
This year, we’ve also been thrilled to collaborate with HP’s Young Employee Network on a massive coast-to-coast fundraising effort. Through their unbelievable hard work and commitment, YEN chapters across the country have already raised over $87,000, and they are still going strong! You can check out some of the great events they’ve had this past year.
But there is still so much more work to be done…
With “financial toxicity” (finally!) being talked about regularly in the media, this issue is quickly gaining attention and awareness — but it’s not news to us. We’ve been dealing with this for over a decade! The exciting part is that The SAMFund’s track record of awarding a total of $1.3 million in grants has positioned us as a leading resource in the cancer community for young adults who are struggling financially. But there are still so many more young adults who need help surviving in the financial aftermath of cancer — those who need help putting food on the table, who are skipping their medications, and who are about to be evicted from their homes… all because cancer cost them every last penny they had. Unfortunately, these stories are not as uncommon as we would like to think.
Reflecting on this past year and seeing the need that is still out there reminds us that cancer isn’t free and makes us even more determined to do more in 2015 but we need your help. Our annual holiday campaign is going strong — and with just over 24 hours left in 2014, there is still time to make your tax-deductible donation. It took us nine years to award our first million dollars and we’ve set an ambitious goal to award our next million in three. We need your help, now more than ever, to make an even greater impact in the lives of young adults after cancer treatment.
Thank you for your support over this past year. Your donations, your words of encouragement and your commitment to our young adult survivor family has made this an outstanding year and we thank you for making our work possible.
From all of us at The SAMFund, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!