At Kaplan Executive Search one of our core values is ‘People First.’ Where we lead with genuine care and concern for our employees, clients, candidates and the local community. We believe that building and maintaining strong relationships is essential in business and in life. Which is why we have selected our theme for 2019 to be that of ‘Giving Back.’
To kick-off this initiative, we brought in the new year by thanking our clients and partners of 2018 with a donation in their honor to a charity in need. Rather than sending holiday greeting cards and gifts, we felt our clients and partners would agree that these proceeds would be better spent to help those in need. Because who really needs another greeting card to toss in the trash anyway?
Here are the organizations we contributed to in 2018 and their purpose:
- New Day Foundation
- Kids Kicking Cancer
- America's VetDogs
- Friendship Circle
- National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
1. New Day Foundation
New Day Foundation was founded in 2007 co-founded in honor of Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn by their surviving spouses, Michael Spehn and Gina Kell Spehn. The two married, blended their families together and started the foundation in the same year. Michael and Gina created New Day with a desire to help families cope with the financial and emotional burdens of cancer.
New Day Foundation works with hospitals in metro-Detroit and across the state of Michigan to help families reach the other side of cancer by overcoming Cancer-Related Financial Toxicity (CRFT), a harmful side effect that creates significant barriers to treatment and healing. Cancer Related Financial Toxicity is most often caused by the inability to work and loss of income due to a cancer diagnosis, and rising expenses including high deductibles, medical bills, high-cost prescription drugs, and transportation. CRFT directly impacts life expectancy and quality of life for cancer patients and their families, regardless of socio-economic status.
2. Kids Kicking Cancer
Kids Kicking Cancer began in 1999 by Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg who lost his first child to leukemia at the age of two. The program started with ten children at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and is now empowering over 5,000 children in 48 hospitals in 5 countries.
Kids Kicking Cancer is a global organization dedicated to lowering the pain of children through the teaching of martial arts as a therapy. Children learn breath work, meditation and traditional karate movements that empower them to teach others and thus gain purpose within their lives. Their young cancer patients teach other children with challenging illness and even adults how to “breathe in the light and blow out the darkness.”
Kidpower was founded by Irene van der Zande after experiencing a frightening incident while chaperoning a group of small children during a field trip in 1985. Approached by a man who threatened to take one of the children, Irene stepped in, shielded the children, and with the help of bystanders forced the attacker to leave. This incident led Irene to create Kidpower to help people, especially children, build the skills and confidence to take charge of their own safety.
Since 1989, Kidpower has served over 4.4 million children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs, through their workshops, partnerships, and educational resources. Kidpower teaches empowering and effective child protection, advocacy, positive communication, and personal safety skills that help to prevent and stop most bullying, violence, and abuse.
4. America's VetDogs
America’s VetDogs was created by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. in 2003 to provide assistance to America’s wounded veterans. In 2006, VetDogs became a separate 501(c)(3) corporation.
America’s VetDogs was created to provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to once again live with pride and self-reliance. VetDogs specializes in placing highly-skilled service and guide dogs to individuals with physical injuries, PTSD, hearing and vision loss, and seizures.
5. Friendship Circle
Friendship Circle was founded in 1994 with eight volunteers meeting four families in their homes every week.
Friendship Circle of Michigan provides assistance to 3,000 individuals with special needs and their families by providing recreational, social, educational and vocational programming. In addition to helping those in need, the Friendship Circle enriches its vast network of volunteers by enabling them to reap the rewards of selfless giving. The Friendship Circle also provides support to individuals and families struggling with isolation, addiction, and other family-related crises.
6. National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation was founded in 2009. After battling pancreatic cancer for five years, two of the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s directors lost a family member to this illness in 2010.
The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation exists to deliver unwavering support for patients and families fighting pancreatic cancer.
We would also like to send a special note of gratitude to those individuals that helped us to coordinate these donations: Gina Kell Spehn of New Day Foundation, Mark Cohen of Kids Kicking Cancer, Irene van der Zande of Kid Power, Rhonda Hatfield of The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, and the representatives at Friendship Circle and America’s VetDogs.
Here’s to Giving Back!
Adam Kaplan & Britney Shirshekar