Monday, July 20, 2009

Aflac Fights Pediatric Cancer

ATLANTA, GA — Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service reached the 10,000 member mark for causes on Facebook.

For those who are already a member of the cause on Facebook, you are probably aware of the many contributions Aflac has made to pediatric cancer, but for the rest of us, you can see why so many people have joined the cause.

In 1995, Aflac and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta joined forces in the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders by establishing the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service.

Aflac assumed a $3 million sponsorship of the center, which was then located at the Egleston campus of Children's. Aflac helped transform the facility into one of the most modern of its kind. In February of 1998, Egleston and Scottish Rite merged to become Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, with an Aflac Cancer Center at both campuses. Aflac's employees, executives, and sales associates have embraced the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service as the company's largest community project.

In addition to the company's initial donation to the renovation of the cancer center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Aflac employees help support patients and their families year-round through volunteer opportunities and fundraising events. Also, members of the Aflac sales force may elect to have monthly deductions from their checks and regularly engage in friendly competition among other Aflac associates to raise money for the Aflac Cancer Center.

Though it may be far from their own backyards, Aflac's sales force (with representatives in each of the fifty states) is aware of the national preeminence of the hospital and its treatment of children from all over the United States. In December 2001 Dan Amos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aflac announced a gift of $10 million to the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The gift is the largest in Aflac's history and is the largest corporate gift ever made to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

In addition to its role as Aflac's brand icon, the Aflac Duck has come to symbolize the companies national philanthropic focus of pediatric cancer treatment and research. Over 73,000 lush Aflac Ducks have been sold on the Aflac Web site, with proceeds benefitting the Aflac Cancer Center.

During the 2008 holiday season, Aflac again partnered with Macy's to sell special limited editon Aflac Holiday Ducks. More than $2 million has been raised to fight pediatric cancer since the sales began in 2001. Funds were donated to children's hospitals across the country.

A little effort can make a big difference. It may seem insignificant, the mere act of buying an Aflac Duck, but it was all those small acts that now benefit children across the nation. Think of small ways to get involved that make a big difference — there are many. At the very least, join a cause on your social networking sites and get the word out about who is doing good.

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