In September of 2015, just ahead of our annual conference in Orlando, ASHA President Linda Morse announced a new tradition: “ASHA Gives Back”. Linda explained it best:
ASHA members are caring and dedicated professionals. Each year, we come to a new conference city, stay a few days, and then return to our families, homes, schools, and universities. While at the conference, we learn from each other but what do we learn about the community and the children and youth who live there? This year, we are starting a new ASHA tradition: “ASHA Gives Back”. By donating to a local youth-serving charity, we can leave a small but meaningful impact on the lives of local children and youth who need our help and support to learn and thrive. We have a chance to touch the future and touch a life.
In that first ever effort, ASHA collected school supplies, clothing, and personal hygiene items for students served by the Covenant House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The tradition continued by collecting non-perishable food items for local food banks over the next couple years. At this year’s ASHA Conference in Indianapolis, we’ll be continuing the tradition of giving back, but in a new and interesting way.
This year, you can give back to the community by literally leaving a small part of yourself in Indianapolis. ASHA has partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive in conjunction with our annual conference. The Red Cross will have their mobile blood collection unit parked just outside our conference hotel, the Sheraton City Centre, from 7 am until 1 pm on Friday, October 5. There are a limited number of donation opportunities, so we encourage you to make an appointment to donate blood. To sign up, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/, search by ZIP code 46204 on October 5, 2018.
If you’re not able to donate blood at the ASHA conference this year, we hope you’ll use the link above to find a Red Cross blood drive in your own community and make time to donate life on another date in October. You can learn more about the importance of blood donation and how this simple act saves lives every day on the American Red Cross Blood Services website. We hope you will join us on this opportunity to give back.
Watch this blog for future announcements about ways ASHA members can continue giving back to the communities we serve.