Gift of Life Ambassadors are men and women who have a strong commitment to the organization and its life-saving work. Some are bone marrow donors, some are transplant recipients and others have been inspired by the organization's mission. These committed volunteers will be working with Jewish day schools and afternoon Hebrew schools to educate students about the Gift of Life and its work on behalf of those diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases and in need of a bone marrow transplant. Among the goals of the Mitzvah Project is to engage students as early as junior high school and continue through their college careers and ultimately enrich their adult lives through corporate and community involvement and a lifetime of social activism. Additionally, the aim is to increase awareness of their Jewish heritage and Jewish values, teach leadership and life skills, and expand the number of potential bone marrow donors in the Gift of Life registry. By working on the project, students will sharpen their organizational skills, learn how to prepare a formal presentation, create and distribute marketing materials, and coordinate a community event, all of which are life skills that will benefits the students in years to come.
When asked why he was participating in the Mitzvah Project, Alex Helfand said, "My experience as a donor was very positive. Volunteering for this program enables Gift of Life to accomplish its vision of expanding the registry. This allows me the opportunity to help prepare young people to become involved with an outstanding organization."
Evie Goldfine feels this program can be easily replicated in any city across across the country. The Gift of Life stands ready to offer guidance and materials to schools wishing to introduce the program into their curriculum.
The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation was launched over ten years ago as an impressive grassroots recruitment effort to save the life of New Jersey native, Jay Feinberg, after he was diagnosed with leukemia and told he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Neither of his brothers were a match, and there were no matches in the international registries. Because tissue is inherited, the best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those of similar ethnic background. For him, those were donors of Eastern European Jewish heritage. Unfortunately, the worldwide Bone Marrow Foundation registry was not representative of all ethnic groups. Jay’s family spearheaded “Friends of Jay”. After four years, recruiting 60,000 donors into the international registry and finding matches for many other patients in need, a match was finally found for Jay. The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation is one of the nation’s public donor registries, ranking 11th largest out of 60 worldwide. Since its inception, the organization has registered 154,000 donors and facilitated over 2,100 transplants for children and adults in dire need.
To learn more about the Gift of Life, please visit our website, www.giftoflife.org and for more information about the Mitzvah Project, contact Susan Greenspan, Ambassador Coordinator, at 561-982-2900 or email@example.com.
# # #
About the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation: The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation is one of the nation’s public donor registries, ranking 11th largest out of 60 worldwide. Since its inception, the organization has registered more than 153,000 donors across the United States and Canada and facilitated over 2,000 transplants for children and adults in dire need. The organization was launched over ten years ago as an impressive grassroots recruitment effort to save the life of New Jersey native, Jay Feinberg, after he was diagnosed with leukemia and told he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Gift of Life's vision is simple: A match. Anytime. Anywhere. For Anyone.