Every gift makes a difference

Written by Jessica Wilfore, MS-Ed, CCLS on December 10, 2020

- and if we all do what we can - then every bit helps!

Many of us subscribe to monthly TV streaming services, gym memberships, or indulge in a specialty coffee several times a week without hesitation. Have you ever considered setting aside a monthly donation to support Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors? Maybe you aren’t sure if your donation would make a difference? Your commitment to a monthly donation, no matter the size, helps support Phoenix Society programming, impacting burn survivors around the world! A monthly gift is the gift that keeps on giving! 


We had the opportunity to speak with Lauren Bernacki who gives Phoenix Society a monthly gift. Lauren is an elementary school music teacher in Illinois, she is married to a Burn survivor and Phoenix Society Advocate, Jamie Nieto. Learn more about how her husband, Jaime here. Now, let’s meet Lauren:

Phoenix Society: How did you first become involved with Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors?

Lauren: I started dating Jamie Nieto who is a burn survivor and his story compelled me to get more involved.

Are you a burn survivor or know of someone who is?

My husband, Jamie Nieto, is a burn survivor and best friend and mentor, Tony Gonzalez, is also a burn survivor.

How have you been involved with Phoenix Society? 

I attended my first Phoenix World Burn Congress in Anaheim. Being able to hear stories and connect with others was such an indescribable experience that I’m so glad I was able to be a part of!


What made you decide to commit to a monthly donation?

I was donating to a previous organization and their ideas veered from what I originally wanted to be a part of. Knowing my donation will and can make a difference for a community which I love and truly am a part of everyday makes my heart so full.

What sort of impact do you hope your donation makes? 

Truly, I hope my donation can make an impact in any and all areas where needed. I am truly blown away by the burn community and am so grateful for Tony Gonzalez being a mentor and friend to my husband. Although I didn’t know either of them at the time of Jamie’s accident, I can’t thank him enough for the support and love he has shown.  


For someone considering donating, but isn’t sure how much they can commit to, what advice would you give them?

Anything can help! Truth be told, I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to donate but I knew that this is something that I am so passionate about and whatever I was able to give, I wanted to.

Anything else you would like to add?

I am so grateful for organizations like the Phoenix Society because I can honestly say that it has saved so many lives including the love of my life. 

Transform your next gift into a monthly gift! It is easy to set up and changes can be made at any time. We are so grateful for the reliable, recurring financial support that Lauren, and so many others, give every month. Recurring gifts of any amount provide a sustainable source of support for Phoenix Society’s critical programs and services. Your generosity helps us achieve our vision of uniting the voice of the burn community across the globe to profoundly advance lifelong healing, optimal recovery, and burn prevention.


For more information, please contact Martha Boks, Phoenix Society Development Coordinator, martha@phoenix-society.org (616) 208-1142