APhA Partners with Seattle Nonprofit to Address Homelessness

During its 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition (APhA2019) in Seattle last month, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) raised over $9,000 for Mary’s Place, an organization that helps homeless women, children, and families come inside from the streets and into permanent housing. Proceeds for Mary’s Place were raised from attendee and exhibitor donations as well as from the sale of t-shirts.

APhA also facilitated the collection of clothing, food, toiletries, and other items to support those in need. Over 1,000 attendees volunteered roughly 700 minutes of time to pack 120 cold care kits; put together 120 comfort kits; and make 44 birthday cards for mothers, fathers and children.

As part of its annual “Friends in Pharmacy” community service program, APhA identifies a charity to support in each city that hosts its annual meeting to ensure that it leaves a positive footprint. This special relationship with Mary’s Place resulted from a pre-meeting site visit in 2018 where APhA staff were moved by the severity of the homeless crisis in downtown Seattle around the Washington State Convention Center, where the annual conference would take place.

“We did have some concerns,” said APhA Senior Director, Meetings and Expositions Windy K. Christner, CMP. "Homelessness is a big issue in Seattle and much of the country, and we were committed to doing something to help during our time there. Thanks to members of the APhA, I believe we did!"

“We are so grateful to Windy, her team at APhA, and all the amazing and generous APhA conference attendees who came by to donate their time, items they collected, and financial contributions,” said Marty Hartman, executive director at Mary’s Place. “This unique partnership provided life-saving benefits to families experiencing homelessness in Seattle. What a tremendous gift!”

Seattle’s King 5 aired a news story on the local morning and evening news about APhA’s community efforts.

Separately, APhA held its 10th Annual Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry during APhA2019. APhA collected 44 units of blood, which will help save up to 132 patients in the community since one unit can be separated into three different blood components, including red cells, platelets, and plasma.

A stable blood supply is vital to the health of any community. To give back to the local community in Seattle, APhA partnered with Bloodworks Northwest on this year’s blood drive. APhA is also proud to partner with Be The Match Registry, which offers good Samaritans the opportunity to give a bone marrow transplant to someone in need. Thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases depend on Be The Match, the largest and most diverse bone marrow registry in the world, to find a donor.

The “Friends in Pharmacy” community service programs are geared toward annual meeting attendees but are also open to the public! Please consider donating to support the many who need a helping hand.