Does the BPN Really Need My Support?
By Dan Dillard, Executive Director, BPN
I recently had lunch with a group of firefighters who are actively involved in the programs of the Burn Prevention Network. During lunch I asked them why they thought that many fire service organizations do not join as BPN Emergency Services Members or support our “Give Burn the Boot” Campaign. The answer I received was both unexpected and enlightening.
In a nutshell, I was told that there is a general perception out there that the BPN is “fat and happy!” After all, we are associated with the Lehigh Valley Health Network aren’t we! And the Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage is an event, both in scope and stature that rivals an Eastern Pennsylvania version of the Academy Awards Gala. Add to that, they told me; BPN’s nationally recognized programs reach nearly 500,000 persons each year. How can we not be well-off and accomplish that success?
Now for the truth! We are a small non-profit that has developed an extremely cost-effective network of partners enabling us to have both a broad and deep reach into our target populations. We balance our annual budget by watching every penny and being resourceful. Here are some examples:
Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage: The cost of admission to the VPSOC ($40) is less than our per person costs for food, beverage and set-ups. Without sponsorships and donations, the event would be priced well above the level of comfort of many of our guests.
Wear Your Gear Training: This annual, continuing-education-credit event for firefighters and emergency response personnel is free to participants. We rely on donations to cover the costs of our speakers, refreshments, facility rental and promotion.
Youth Fire Misuse Intervention: There is no charge to families of youth who are referred to this program for inappropriate use of fire. Again, we rely on donations to off-set the cost of professional assessments and case management. In return, this program continues to produce a recidivism rate of under 2%!
BPN & LVHN: The BPN is an independent 501 (c)3 non-profit organization with no official connection to LVHN. We do receive support from LVHN, but this is based on availability of funding that varies from year to year.
Bottom line … we do a great deal with a relatively small amount. Without your financial support, the services above would either be eliminated or vastly reduced in scope. With your help, we can do even more! Thank you for supporting the BPN!