Loose change turns into big gains for nonprofit
Thanks in part to the fundraising efforts of dedicated Aflac employee James Mailman, the Beads of Courage program is helping kids cope with serious illness at the Aflac Cancer Center.
James Mailman, a field liaison manager for Aflac, has seen cancer up close, as his wife is a survivor. After seeing her go through treatment, Mailman had an idea to help raise money for children going through the same process.
Mailman decided to start a coin drive encouraging fellow Aflac employees and friends to contribute any loose change they might have laying around. While it began as a small idea, it ended up anything but in the 10 years he’s been doing the drive. Since 2004, Mailman’s efforts have raised $270,000 a majority of which has gone toward Beads of Courage, a non-profit organization that helps children cope with their illness through art.
"I like to do little things for the kids. Somebody should do something and that’s the little piece that I do," said Mailman. "Bottom line is I’m just trying to pay it back."
Mailman’s efforts led the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to name a room in his honor — and others outside of his employer have noticed, too. Fortune Magazine named Mailman one of its "Heroes of the 500," which recognizes extraordinary acts of kindness by employees of Fortune 500 companies. Mailman was one of only 55 recipients out of more than 27,000,000 employees.
"James is a very special employee, someone that has made a difference in society by doing it a little at a time," said Dan Amos, Aflac chairman and CEO. "[He] represents the quintessential employee. One that works hard, but [also] gives back to the community, and that’s something we want to stress with all of our employees."
To learn more about Aflac’s efforts in the fight against childhood cancer, go to aflacduckprints.com.