Aristotle, Greek philosopher and pioneer of philanthropy

What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle

This quote from over 2300 years ago by Greek philosopher, Aristotle, is one of the most ancient quotes about volunteering and offers proof that giving back and philanthropy is hardly a new concept.

Today, volunteering continues to be an important aspect of our lives. We still strive to serve others, to do good and make the world a better place. We can make a difference by giving of our time, energy and resources to the causes we’re passionate about. One of those causes, we hope, is the NFED.

Adapting to a more virtual world

Over the last two years, the NFED had to adapt to virtual volunteerism and fundraising in response to a global pandemic. Without in-person interaction, we had to think outside the box on how to keep our “family” engaged.

Was that an easy adjustment? Absolutely not! But we are in this together, and we survived with your help and encouragement. You reminded us that we are more than a foundation; we were a “family.” Our tagline says it all: “Supporting You. Supporting Each Other.”

Our work is not done. To help celebrate our 40th Anniversary and Ectodermal Dysplasias Awareness Month, we would love to step up our volunteer and family fundraising efforts. But we can’t do it without you! Will you help?

We want to reconnect with you and provide ways for you to engage that feel safe for everyone. We know that volunteering and family fundraising are great ways for you and your NFED family to stay connected—even in a virtual world. 

How can volunteering and family fundraising be the key to adapting?

I have been asking that question over and over again myself. Are there any Aristotles who have thoughts on this topic? I would love to hear from you on ways we can adapt together.

Here are my philosophical thoughts:

  1. Volunteering and fundraising will help you learn more about the NFED and its mission.
  2. Volunteering and fundraising can make you feel better. Many of our families have shared that these activities have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
  3. Volunteering and fundraising can help you learn new skills because you may have to try something new and get out of your comfort zone.
  4. Volunteering and fundraising can help you get more in touch with yourself. You might learn to better appreciate what you have or develop more empathy for others. Both can be an eye opener.
  5. You will probably meet new people and may even make some new friends and connections you never thought were possible!

We may not have had as much success raising money and volunteering for the NFED, if we hadn’t opened ourselves up and shared our struggles and successes along the way.”

Lindsay Claire, mother of Ronan, affected by Ectrodactyly-Ectodermal Dysplasia-Clefting Syndrome (EEC)
Ronan, affected by ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia-clefting syndrome volunteering for the NFED.
Ronan Claire, affected by Ectrodactyly-Ectodermal Dysplasia-Clefting Syndrome (EEC)

I hope you will join me in making a commitment to make volunteering and family fundraising a part of your lives, so we can begin reconnecting after almost two years of facing the challenges of a pandemic.

Can we count on your help and encouragement? Will you help increase awareness of the NFED and ectodermal dysplasias? Are you ready to start volunteering or planning a fundraiser? I can’t wait to help you get started!

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands—one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

Let’s see how we can work together!

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Explore different volunteer opportunities.

I’d love to talk to you about different ways that you can volunteer or to brainstorm different fundraisers that work for your family and lifestyle. Let’s chat. You can email me at or even better, give me a call at 618-566-6871.

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