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TAM 7 Vaccine Drive Total PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Joe Albietz   

Well, the final tally is in, and the TAM 7 vaccine drive to benefit the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) has been an outstanding success.

Our original concept had been to simply collect donations in association with TAM registration, and to present the SNHD with those proceeds at TAM 7.  The relatively late conception of the project combined with working to ensure that donated funds would be used to their optimal effect meant that it was an understated affair with relatively little publicity.  When combined with the current economy and the fact that attending TAM has never been a cheap affair, we had no idea what kind of response the project would receive.

We need not have worried.

Attendees of TAM provided a solid stream of contributions during registration, and I was very pleased by the willingness of JREF members to donate to the drive even when they were unable to come to TAM 7.  I was however completely unprepared by the outpouring of support at TAM 7 itself.

On the Saturday of TAM 7 I informed you that the total was approximately $8500, which would have provided approximately 340 children with a series of vaccines at no cost to their families.  Following this announcement I met a seemingly constant stream of people asking where they could donate to the drive.  Linda Schallenberger quickly rose to the task of receiving on-the-spot donations to the drive.  Within an hour of that announcement at TAM the total donations had exceeded $10,000.

The grand total raised by the JREF is $12,050.

One hundred percent of these proceeds are being donated to the Southern Nevada Health District.  Nearly 500 children will be able to be vaccinated at no cost with these funds, and the SNHD hopes to be able to stretch the funds even further.  The SNHD knows its population very well, and has identified a few of their impoverished districts with the worst vaccination rates in its region.  They will use the funds you have donated to engage focused vaccine drives in these areas.

I will be keeping in touch with the SNHD, and will be certain to let you know the final impact your generosity has had on the children of Southern Nevada.

I said it at TAM, but I'd like to say it again.  I am profoundly humbled and proud to be a member of a group of people who sacrifice their time, their effort, and their resources to champion reality and improve the lives of their fellow human beings.

Thank you.

 

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written by Eosine, July 26, 2009
Woot! Good job everyone!
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written by mandydax, July 26, 2009
That is so wonderful! smilies/cheesy.gif
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written by tmac57, July 27, 2009
Going after the anti vaxers is important work, but I thought that this project was especially valuable because it got right to the core of the problem, which is unvaccinated children.
Kudos to all who were involved, and lets hope that we can, as a community, continue to create effective ways to combat the damage done by those who choose to believe in irrational things.
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boss
written by randi, July 27, 2009
I'm always humbled when JREFers respond so generously to such good causes. Joe, Linda, Jeff, thank you all for making us proud. We did a good thing, and also managed to fly in the face of the anti-vaxers who have created a potential loss of life for so many kids. We will survive long after the nut-cases have vanished... Thank you, all.
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written by Kuroyume, July 27, 2009
Bravo!!

Putting this kind of public face on our work will gain us some traction in our fight to educate people. And it will show what we're really made of: star stuff. smilies/grin.gif
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Can we still donate?
written by gabriel, July 27, 2009
Can we still donate? Also can I take a tax deduction for the donation?
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See!!
written by BatBoy, July 27, 2009
This is exactly what I love to see, skepticism in action. Thanks to everyone who participated in this project. From someone who is a proud JREF member, and a citizen of Southern Nevada.
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written by thearmchairskeptic, July 28, 2009
When the $8,500 total was announced, I was frankly embarrassed by how little had been collected. $1,000 of that total came from one person; some of it came from the JREF itself -- they gave speakers certificates instead of trophies as thank-you gifts, and donated the money they saved; and the winner of the poker tournament donated his winnings. With over 1,000 people attending, that came to an average of maybe $7 a person, possibly less. I'm glad to hear that more people stepped up to donate after that. With a bit more advertising and coordination (Allison's "Skeptilove" food bank collection was also going on during the TAM), I'll bet even more could have been collected. This was a terrific cause, and very relevant to skeptics. While it's great to see we at least broke the $10K mark, I think we could have done even better.
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written by SheldonHelms, August 01, 2009
What astonishes me the most about this is that it takes $12,000 to vaccinate only 500 children. That's an ENORMOUS amount of money for a surprisingly small group. It seems to me that, in a civilized world, vaccinations would be free. I realize that there are overhead costs, but $24 per child is ridiculous.

In response to "thearmchairskeptic," you need to realize that many of the people attending TAM each year have their own causes to which they donate a good deal of money. I have half a dozen causes that I regularly give to, and just because one as emotionally charged as this one was announced at TAM doesn't mean that I'm going to rush up and start writing a check. And I don't think we want to turn TAM into a fund-raising event. I paid my $500 to attend an educational conference, not to get hit up for everyone's favorite cause.
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