Dear Addy: Giving Back

Dear Addy,

I want to give back this holiday season, but I’m not sure how. Can you recommend ways to be more involved in my community?


Inspired to Serve

Dear Inspired,

The holiday season is a good time to reflect on giving to a cause or serving those in need. There are many ways to help the bleeding disorders community, as well as other groups and organizations. Being an advocate means being involved. Whether you can offer time, resources, or ideas, your support is important. Here are some ways to get involved this holiday season and year round:

  • Join a committee: Reach out to your local bleeding disorders organization or HFA to find out what opportunities are available. Committees typically include: advocacy, fundraising, programs, etc. This is a great role if you are interested in serving more in an advisory position or helping with capacity building.
  • Volunteer at an event: Event volunteers are needed in a variety of areas, including organizing pre-event logistics, registration, child care, set-up and tear down, soliciting in-kind donations, etc. This is often a short-term opportunity and good for groups of volunteers.
  • Mentor a teen or young adult: Working with a young person to help them understand their bleeding disorder and management strategies is a great way to give back through direct service. This position may be especially beneficial if you live in a rural area or far from a Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC).
  • Become an intern or volunteer in the office: Do you enjoy using social media, organizing supplies, answering phones, or coordinating mailings? Administrative and technical help is often needed in the office, especially if you have daytime availability.
  • Share your story: Write a blog post or newsletter article about your experience with an aspect of bleeding disorders and submit it to your local organization or HFA. Sharing your experience with others allows you to both volunteer and advocate.
  • Alternative opportunities: You may also consider supporting other causes that are important to you. Volunteer Match has a lot of opportunities to get involved, and you can find organizations in your area that fit your interests, skills, or other criteria.

Contact your local bleeding disorders organization to begin the process of getting involved. As you are deciding on a position, choose something you have the time and energy to commit to. This is particularly important for the organization you are serving, as they are relying on you and excited to have your help.


HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.