Last July, Janet Kaplan and Michelle Rich, two women who are on the Social Action Committee of Temple Beth Ahm, in Aberdeen, NJ, began a campaign called “54-4-54.” They set a goal of raising enough money to pay the lab processing fee for 54 donor kits. It costs $54 to process one kit through the lab; so, by promoting the importance of joining the bone marrow registry and the mitzvah of saving a life, they hoped to raise $2,916. Over the course of six months, they raised enough money to complete their goal. Now, they want to do it again.
 
Janet and Michelle are still on their mission to save the lives of those in need of bone marrow transplants. The passion to help save lives began at Gift of Life’s annual Partners for Life Gala last May. There, they viewed a video that instilled a desire to help raise funds to pay for the kits. The video featured Ezra, a two-year old from New Jersey who is in need of a bone marrow transplant. The women learned that there were over 13,000 kits still on the waiting list, and the thought that someone’s match could be on that list spurred them into action.
 
Currently, there are over 13,000 kits on the waitlist. Michelle and Janet have revived their campaign, naming it “54 More,” in the hopes that they raise more funds to process another 54 kits. They have a personal goal of completing their mission of 54 kits within six months, and they want to continue fundraising to get as many kits tested as possible. To them, helping others and saving the life of another is not just a hobby; it’s a passion and a mission. They hope to continue to teach their community and everyone they meet about the importance of helping someone in need and to light a fire in their hearts about the need for more donors.
 
Michelle hopes that one of the kits they clear from the waitlist will be that miracle match someone has been looking for. She says, “I just want to make a difference, and this is one way I can help.” Indeed, these two amazing women have already started to make a difference. We are so proud of the success of their first campaign, and we cannot wait to see what they do next! To read about Janet and Michelle’s first campaign, click here

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