Diane Aboulafia started rallying support for Virginia Mason when she learned about our commitment to quality and patient-centered care. When the pandemic hit, she wanted to support health care workers, so she encouraged friends and family to support our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.
“I was deeply concerned about frontline health care workers,” she says. “I used social media and called friends to help generate awareness about the need for additional funding for personal protective equipment. Doing this felt so great because it helped the health system get critical supplies for staff and patients during the pandemic’s early months.”
Michelle Peterson, division director of external communications at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 40 years. During March, during Autoimmune Awareness Month, she used social media to raise funds and awareness in her community. Her efforts supported research at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI).
“I don’t always feel in control of my disease, but this is something positive I can do to help contribute and fight autoimmune diseases,” she says. “I’m really impressed by the work that BRI does and I wanted to spread the word."
The Virginia Mason Foundation recently launched an online platform that makes this peer-to-peer fundraising easier than ever. Donors can sign up online and follow simple steps to build their own fundraising page for Virginia Mason, Bailey-Boushay House or BRI. You can also select if you’d like your fundraiser to be a physical challenge (like a walk or run), virtual gathering, celebration or tribute page. These pages are easy to share via social media and email.
For supporters like Diane and Michelle, this platform makes it easy to connect and grow their fundraising community.
“Advocating for health care workers and raising funds for health care systems can save lives,” Diane says. “As patients, we all pay medical bills but philanthropy is a crucial source of funding for programs that aren’t reimbursed by private insurance companies or government programs. When I ask others to contribute, I always explain that it’s an investment in our long-term health, the health of our family and those we care about.”