For the past 23 years, Iíve been running a nonprofit organization called Friendsí Health Connection.I started the organization when I was 16, after I had been diagnosed with lupus.The disease destroyed my kidney function, I had two kidney transplants, and I desperately wanted to find others who could relate to my experience.
The mission of Friendsí Health Connection is to ensure that no one has to battle illness alone.Anyone, any age with virtually any type of health challenge can join our free online community.There, they can search our unique online database to find friends who not only have the same health challenge but who are also the same age, with similar symptoms, experiences, attitudes and even interests.
To raise funds for my organization, I started a lecture series 18 years ago which grew widespread.When it became too large to handle, I transformed it into a speaker service whereby I used my contacts with the many famous individuals who I met along the way and I scheduled them to speak for hospitals, nonprofit organizations and other groups nationwide.
After four years, the speaker arm dominated our organization. It grew into its own entity and took much staff time away from the heart of our mission.When a decision was made to eliminate our speaker arm, I was granted permission to continue it as my own separate entity.
Today, I continue to serve as Executive Director of Friendsí Health Connection (If you or someone you love has a health challenge, please join us at www.friendshealthconnection.org).
I also recently established ScheduleSpeakers.com.I am happy to use my decades of experience scheduling experts and celebrities to help you find the speakers that will best fit your events.I have scheduled for many for-profit groups but, having worked in the nonprofit sector for most of my life, I especially love working with other nonprofit organizations to help identify and schedule a speaker that will make a fundraiser or special event the very best that it can be.I always try my best to get the very best rate possible for nonprofit organizations.
To read more about myself and my story, please visit www.roxanneblack.comI compiled my own lessons learned from my life experiences - battling illness, running a nonprofit and touching lives - into a memoir which was recently published by Penguin Putnam/Avery Books.Titled UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS: Finding Hope and Healing in the Face of illness, it is available wherever books are sold.
A portion of proceeds from select events that I schedule are donated to support Friendsí Health Connection.