#GoMatchyMatchy, meet Pam!

14991344_10154643922012416_4443433946586554567_oHappy New Year! We are looking forward to a GREAT year for the Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota. Every day we work towards helping our friends with CF to breathe easier—physically, financially and emotionally.

As a lead up to Giving Hearts Day 2017—an online, statewide giving day- On February 9, we are going to take the next month to help you get to know us a lot better!

Today we will introduce you to our Development Director, Pam Thompson, as she encourages you to #GoMatchyMatchy with her!

Q: How long have you worked for CFA?

I started at CFA a few months after my twin daughters turned three-years-old. Before starting at CFA I had been mostly a stay at home mom for the better part of 16 years! My twins turn 7 in just a few weeks, so that means I have been serving the cystic fibrosis community in North Dakota for nearly 4 years!

Q: What do you find the most challenging about working for CFA?

I think the hardest thing is to know that I am working to help people live with a disease that currently has no cure. There is great promise in treatment for CF, but it is really, really hard for me to see people suffer. I’m a problem solver by nature and I feel like I want to “fix” CF—which is no simple task. Everyone with CF works through things differently as well, so I try to meet people where they are at. CF also has a tremendous financial burden on families—so my challenge is to raise more and more funds so that we can do more good. It is a big job, and it is never truly finished

Q: When you tell your friends and family that you work for CFA, what do they say or ask?

The first thing people ask me when I tell them where I work is whether I know a friend or family member who has CF. I always respond that I only had a passing knowledge of CF before working here, but now some of my favorite people are living with CF. The Cystic Fibrosis Association really is like family, and the members that we serve are VERY dear to me.

Q:  What are 3 words you would use to describe CFA?

Family. Caring. Helping.

Q: Tell us about a moment you loved your job.

I always feel exhilarated at the end of a fundraising event such as Holiday Homes of Hope or the Turkey Trot or one of our golf tournaments. But the most rewarding moments are when I talk to the CF moms—they are the most special people and I watch them walk a difficult path. But when they thank me for the hard work that I put in—it means the world to me. Everything I do at work is for these families—and when that is noticed—it makes all of the long hours and crazy holiday times worth it!

Q: If a donor made a $30,000 donation and asked you to decide how the money would be used, what would you do?

Well, first I would cry. But then I would work on developing a CF-friendly lounge for people with CF to safely spend time together. CF can be extremely socially isolating—since individuals with CF can pass harmful bacteria back and forth. I dream of developing a space in which there was proper air ventilation and the like so that people with CF could spend time socially with each other – just like their non-CF counterparts. I’m not even sure if there is such a thing, but it is something I would LOVE to see happen!

Q: Who are you going to ask to #GoMatchyMatchy with you?

I want to encourage all of my mom friends to #GoMatchyMatchy with me! I know that all of us dread having to deal with illness in our home and we can relate to the fears and struggles of the CF moms. We all want to see healthy kids and family members!

Q: How are you going to match?

I always donate to CFA on Giving Hearts Day, but this year I am contributing matching funds ahead of Giving Hearts Day to be used as matching funds—it may not be a lot, but even little donations can add up!

Q: How can people who want to be involved join in?

I thought you would never ask! If you want to contribute matching funds—contact me at the CFA Office: 701.222.3998. OR, mark your calendars for Thursday. February 9, 2017, and then log in to impactgiveback.org and donate to CFA (and many other charities as well!). I also would ask you to spread the word! If CFA has touched your life in some way, please share this opportunity to help our friends to #BreatheEasier with others! Together we can make a HUGE difference in the life of someone with CF.

Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Most people are shocked to know that I have six kids! My oldest is 20 and my youngest are those almost 7-year-old twins I talked about earlier! I don’t find six kids and a full-time career that surprising, but others do!

Q: What do you do when you are not working?

I’m a blogger, and a speaker, and I love teaching other people about social media. But my latest obsession is crochet! I have been playing with yarn for almost a year now and I am ADDICTED!

Q: What is the best book you ever read?

Well, the Bible, of course, but outside of that, it is a toss up! I’m an avid reader, so I read a lot of books! But, I’m currently reading the Little House on the Prairie books with my girls and for now, those are my favorite! They lead to so much discussion and they help me realize how very easy my life is now!

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

My motto is, “Ora et Labora”, which is Latin for pray and work, which finds its origins in the Rule of St. Benedict.  My life is not always as contemplative as I would like, but this motto does serve as a guide and a reminder of what is important vocationally.

ghd_logo_ribbonTo learn more about CFA and our services, visit CFANorthDakota.com

Mark your calendar for Giving Hearts Day—February 9, 2017—at impactgiveback.org

Pam can be reached at development.cfa@midconetwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Join Us for the Holiday Homes of Hope, November 14 and 15

2015 HHOH infographic

It is becoming tradition to open the holiday season in Fargo with the Holiday Homes of Hope Tour and Holiday Hope Boutique and Vendor Fair.

Yearly this event has grown, and this year is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet.

This year’s tour features eight gorgeous homes in the Rose Creek neighborhood of Fargo. Each home is expertly decorated by eight different designers. This tour is a feast for the senses! Gather your friends and join us for the day, or spread your home viewing out for the whole weekend! Read More »

6th Annual Sonia 5K a Success

Sonia walk
Run, walk, or ride!

Saturday October 3 started out chilly, but things quickly warmed up as about 160 people of all ages gathered to walk, run, bike, and stroll a beautiful 5K path in memory of Sonia Balliet-Heidenreich. Nearly $8,000 was raised to benefit people in North Dakota living with cystic fibrosis. Brunsdale park in South Fargo was a sea of purple in memory of Sonia.

Thank you to all who came out to support CFA and remember a life well-lived!

Special thanks to the following sponsors who gave $200 and above for the walk: Truck Licensing and Service, Cloverdale Meats, North Country Contracting, Berthold Oil Terminal, Dakota Eye InstituteInvestcore, Inc., Carol Schwartz and Les and Paula Balliet.

Halfway sign

Stay tuned for next year’s event!

6th Annual Run/Walk In Memory of Sonia

Cystic Fibrosis is a tricky disease.

Obviously the person living with CF is most affected. But there is a ripple effect with cystic fibrosis. The disease eventually touches all of those who surround the patient.

There is no better example of this than Sonia. soniaphoto

Sonia Balliet-Heidenreich was diagnosed with CF at five months of age. She spent her life in and out of doctors’ offices for both routine check-ups and prolonged intravenous doses of antibiotics to fight persistent lung infections. She spent nearly 4 hours a day taking medications, undergoing medical treatments and cleaning and preparing for the next round of treatments. In addition, she spent numerous nights/days traveling to clinics and hospitals where she could receive proper care at a location accredited for cystic fibrosis patients. Even while spending a great portion of her life fighting her own illness, she still spent her days helping others with CF through blogs, online support groups, over the phone, and through e-mail. Even during the last months of her life when the infections in her lungs were overwhelming her she still continued to support the CF community.Read More »