This has truly been a time of transition and movement. Although, at times I feel like I’m on a wild ocean ride, it also feels amazing when you catch the wave and the movement is positive. The newest wave swelling up is the merger between Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) and the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA)! This really makes me happy and feels sooo right. I was truly honored and flat out thrilled when I received word last night about the merger from KFA’s Board President, Lynda Mitchell and AAFA CEO Bill McLin during a conference call with fellow bloggers. Here is a link to the AAFA and KFA PRESS RELEASE!
KFA has been a food allergy cornerstone and the groundbreaking group who joined our community together –online. I’ve always been amazed when I meet people, from all over the country, and here they tell me their are KFA volunteers who are supporting each other while working on solutions for living with food allergies. I’m used to volunteers being all from the same area! KFA programs include education, peer support, cooking classes and outreach. What makes this marriage work like two puzzle pieces coming together is that AAFA is a national organization that works on research, education, advocacy for asthma, food and environmental allergies. KFA focuses on directly on individuals (kids) with food allergies. They are on the front lines, providing recipes, shoulders to cry on and programs to improve the quality of living with food allergies. For me, I’ve relied on their message boards and asking questions.
Each group compliments each other fabulously. My almost ten year relationship with AAFA began when I started a support group in my town. I registered my group as a support group and AAFA provided very professional guidelines on how to start and operate a support group. I even signed an oath of ethics! They have provided me with meeting topics, materials, ideas and information down to how to set-up a room and what to do when participation lingers. My relationship with AAFA will always have a special spot in my heart. I’ve only had wonderful interactions with them and each year I appreciate their work more and more. The only thing missing was access to peers battling food allergies. Now, that has been addressed.
KFA will continue as KFA–a division of AAFA. All funds raised by KFA will be earmarked for KFA programs. KFA will benefit from AAFAadvocacy and national structure. One side bar: as you may know, I’m heavily active with the American Lung Association (ALA) and what I admire abou tAAFA is that they work with ALA on advocacy issues (This Feb 20th both ALA and AAFA have organized a national Call In Day to Congress ). They do not compete, they support each other in their strong commitments to their missions! Linda will stay at the helm of KFA, but her title will change to Senior Director. Also, in the move, two board members from KFA have joined the AAFA board and the remaining KFA board members will be food allergy advisers for AAFA. To learn more about how the merger will work, please read this link: AAFA and KFA Merger Public FAQs.
For me, this is all welcoming news and a Marriage to celebrate!
Congratulations Kids With Food Allergies and the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America for boldly going where no man (or woman) has dared to go!