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Student Initiative: Haym Suissa on Fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood cancers, holds a teen volunteer fundraising drive every year. This year, sophomore Haym Suissa led a fundraising team to great success. 

Suissa’s interest in partnering with the LLS stems from personal experience. He said, “I’ve seen firsthand the downsides of cancer treatments from the past; they’ve come a long way. And that’s because of organizations like the LLS, who are financing research.” Suissa went on to note a complication of chemotherapy that his mother was affected by; that complication no longer exists. He decided to leverage his knowledge for a good cause; the majority of the funds he raised went into scientific research toward developing new and more effective chemotherapy treatments. 

A large component of the event was social outreach. Suissa created a fundraising team consisting of 16 people, with the help of two other high schoolers. Suissa enlisted fellow Heschel students en masse to help set up and supervise one of his largest fundraising events, a basketball tournament held on Feb. 10th. Sophomore Ethan Margolis said he was more than willing to help the effort “knowing [he] was making a difference.” The campaign raised over $2000 on the day of the tournament. Another component of Suissa’s efforts was acquiring corporate sponsorships. Along with the rest of his team, he negotiated with local businesses to receive grants. In total, Suissa’s team raised nearly $70,000 before March 15th, the fundraising deadline.

 Suissa is highly positive regarding the experience, saying that it taught him about leadership, building and maintaining a team, and fundraising. For the future, Suissa wants to encourage his peers to consider joining or creating teams of their own. Suissa said, “It’s a great experience and an important cause; you just need to look for it.”

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