Like most great ideas, it started with a question on a legal pad. “What do you think about putting emergency contacts in your driver’s license?” And just like that, TIFF’s Initiative was born. Last Friday night, Christine Olson and the TIFF team participated in a local gala where the Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce presented awards to the Best Non-Profit of the Year, as well as the Best Small, Medium and Large Businesses of the Year. TIFF, as a non-profit organization, has been a finalist 3 time now, and each time, remains a finalist. While the accolades would be wonderful, and could help TIFF gain visibility, awards and recognition are simply not why we do what we do.
We soldier on because we believe in a world where vital, life-changing knowledge and information can travel as quickly as meaningless social media jokes, where families and loved ones are considered important enough to be made aware when someone in their tribe is hurt or dying, where security and peace of mind are everything when it comes to your loved ones. We keep going because we are making a difference, whether that difference is awarded or not.
In the past 12 years, we have seen nearly 14 million individuals registered in the state of Florida alone, and who knows how many more registered worldwide. At least seven other states are now using TIFF as their means of communicating with family members at the scene of an accident. Are you part of those numbers? Do you have loved ones in states we are not yet in?
This week, with the holidays approaching, we implore you to take one more step. As you shop for your Thanksgiving meal, prepare your travel plans, and make room for holiday guests, stop and spend three minutes registering yourself and your family members with TIFF. Many, many people will be out of the routine this week, which can lead to accidents in places where someone may not be known. If you’re traveling to a state that does not yet have an Emergency Contact System in place, use this opportunity to promote the idea as you travel! Ask friends and loved ones to lobby for change in their state. Our goal is to see TIFF active in all 50 states and internationally. This holiday season is a great time to spread the word while making sure your information is current.
With or without an award, we are marching forward. Will you join us? Will you do your part to make a difference? Together, we can be the change.
Remember: “You’ll never know how much you need it until YOU need it.” ~Jon Stuart, SCORE mentor