Public Affairs Specialist
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
I’m as materialistic as anybody. That new iPad? I want it. A couple of soft sweaters to ward away Oklahoma’s winter chill? Please and thank you. TVs, Blu-rays, gadgets, toys — I am insatiable and incorrigible.
But none of it lasts. Sweaters get old and threadbare. TVs and computers go obsolete in a few years. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy gifts or enjoy the stuff you get. By all means, have at it. I know I will. But what about the gift that will “give and give?”
Yes. I mean jewelry. BC Clarks is right — jewelry lasts forever. That jingle is both catchy AND true. You’ll probably pass that ring or necklace on to future generations. But there’s another gift that’ll also give and give.
OK, that’s a little schmaltzy, especially for me, but the truth is that 1 out of 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. And those people are scared. My mom has dealt with skin cancer. My grandfather had prostate cancer. And even though they’re fine now, it’s always hard news to hear.
Because so many people AREN’T fine. We’ve come a long way in being able to treat certain kinds of cancer, if it’s discovered early enough. But there are others for which there are few options and little success. And working at OMRF has put me in touch with people who are facing an uncertain future and the researchers working diligently to find a way to help them.
So, after the rampaging hordes of Black Friday have dispersed and the frenzied online shopping of Cyber Monday, I think it would be nice for people to give a different present. That’s what Giving Tuesday is all about.
At OMRF, we’re asking for two things. 1. We’d like people on Twitter and Facebook to share our message. Get the word out. Each share and RT will be matched by a donor with another $1 for cancer research. 2. If you have your own dollar or $5 or $50 or whatever you want to share, you can go here: https://omrfonlinegiving.abilafundraisingonline.com/mobilegiving.
What does $1 buy? Pipettes. Glassware. Reagents. Another laboratory technician. These small gifts add up quickly. And after talking to researchers, I know that what they need is support. The budget at the National Institutes of Health is shrinking. The competition for grant money from public and private sources is fierce. It is increasingly difficult for established scientists with a proven track record of discoveries to get the funding necessary to continue their work.
Just a few RTs and shares can help. A few dollars a year or a month can help. OMRF was built with a statewide funding drive. Farmers donated wheat. Students passed the bucket at OU and OSU games. Oklahoma built OMRF. And to keep 67 years of success going, we need Oklahomans to give what they can.
OMRF is far from the only worthy cause out there. Some organizations turn donations into food and clothing for our state’s neediest residents. Some care for children who have no one else to care for them.
Giving money to OMRF means looking to the future and knowing that your children, your grandchildren and future generations around the world will build on the discoveries made here in Oklahoma. They will live longer. They will stay healthier. They will have more time to spend with their families. Giving hope to future generations really will give and give and give and give and give.