“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This quote by Winston Churchill is meaningful as we celebrate National Volunteer Week. Established in 1974, this commemorative week is a time to shine a light on those who spend time supporting causes they care about.
I’m deeply appreciative of our members’ commitment to serve within various areas of the College and selflessly further our mission. Our volunteers’ service has been especially meaningful during the pandemic. While our personal and professional lives have been turned upside down, our members sprang into action. I’d like to highlight just a few examples:
- Members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force have been busy for months working on guidelines for both practitioners and patients as well as frequently asked questions (FAQs) for both audiences. They’ve also responded to inquiries from fellow members on DocMatter and worked tirelessly sorting through the plethora of information to focus on the needs of practicing allergists. The task force is comprised of members from a variety of College committees.
- Members of the International Committee used their expertise for the first-ever webinar in Spanish, on COVID-19 vaccines.
- The Advocacy Council and Practice Management Committees pivoted their efforts to produce a series of webinars on COVID-19 topics relevant to allergists.
- The Anaphylaxis Committee developed the ACAAI Guidance on Emergency Department Laboratory Evaluation of Allergic Reactions to mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines.
- Members of the Public Relations Committee contributed to Spanish translation efforts by proofing language for webinars, patient COVID-19 FAQs and COVID-19 patient guidance.
- The 2020 Annual Meeting Program Committee went above and beyond to plan the virtual Annual Meeting, and the results were amazing. Registration rates broke records and participants’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Many of you attended virtual committee meetings even after a long day of seeing patients (either in person or virtually), guiding your children through online school and worrying about loved ones. More than 300 members volunteer their time to serve on our committees and councils each year and 70 or so serve on editorial boards and task forces. Our volunteers help the College run seamlessly. I thank each one of you for making a difference in the organization, the A/I specialty, and our patients’ lives.