“Doctor’s And Their Families Make A Difference”

DATFMAD (also known as the Pink Bag Initiative)

What is this?

“Doctors And Their Families Make A Difference” is an annual project created by the MSMS Alliance and the MSMS Foundation to be held in conjunction with national “Make a Difference Day”.   National “Make a Difference Day” was initiated in 1992 by USA WEEKEND magazine and joined by Points of Light.  Together they have sponsored the largest national day of community service for more than twenty years. Communities are asked to create their own activities directed at honoring this national day of community service.  Because October is National Domestic Violence month, the MSMS Alliance and the MSMSA Foundation saw an opportunity to “Make a Difference” in the lives of domestic violence survivors.

Do we have to do a DATFMAD project on the 4th Saturday in October or can we participate on another date?  Your county alliance may organize a DATFMAD project for a date that works for your own calendars.  The timing is not critical….. your participation IS!

So, what do we need to do? 

Shelters throughout Michigan, with limited funding, have helped protect and support thousands of survivors of domestic violence.  Annually, WE can make a difference by providing our local shelters with necessities not taken by women, men and children in an emergency flight from an abusive situation.  Often times those affected by domestic violence arrive at a shelter with only the clothes on their backs.

Participating is easy and meaningful.  Begin by contacting your local shelter to find out what their needs are.  Distribute this list of shelter ‘must haves’ and empty official “Doctors and Their Families Make a Difference” promotional pink bags to your county alliance members.  (See “Often requested donation items” list for things typically asked for.) Although they are not necessary to share in this effort, the pink bags are provided by the MSMS Foundation. Contact Carrie Wheeler at cwheeler@msms.org or fill out and return the included “Participation Form” to order your bags.  Another way to partake is to get neighbors and friends of alliance members involved.   Simply hand out empty pink bags and ask them to fill them with items suggested by your local shelter. Cash donations are also acceptable.  Collect filled bags on a designated date and deliver to your local family crisis shelter.  Perhaps you’d like to get your local pharmacy involved?  If asked, they may let your alliance members distribute flyers to customers and then allow you to collect items purchased for donation right outside the pharmacy doors.  Or, how about inviting your local shelter director to come speak to your members at an October alliance meeting?  This would be a great way to educate your members and provide real meaning to the gathering of necessary items needed to help survivors of domestic violence.  After hearing the talk from your shelter director, your members can then donate the suggested items at a post meeting event organized for a week later.  Perhaps you could plan that event to be kind of festive…. maybe a fun, social event that would also boost membership.


What is our alliance responsibility after our event?

Please share what you did with the rest of us!  Your great idea may be just the inspiration another county needs to make their own event even better next year.  Once your event is completed, a brief report needs to be filled out sent to the DATFMAD MSMS Alliance Chairperson AND Carrie Wheeler at the MSMS Foundation.  The “Report of Activities” form is included.  Please include any details and photos.  The county reports will be compiled and published in our state alliance newsletter and perhaps the MSMS Medigram or Michigan Medicine.


What should we do if the project we wish to create costs some money to organize?

It is possible to request Health Promotions grant money from our State Alliance. Go to the website at www.msmsa.org for information.

We have questions… who do we contact?

We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Or you may contact Carrie Wheeler at the MSMS Foundation (517) 336- 5723