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Alumna celebrated 30th birthday by raising ten thousand dollars for charity

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Jen Tullman

Turning thirty is a milestone in life. Most people celebrate with friends and family. But Jennifer Tullman, SIS/BA ’04, celebrated her 30th birthday by pledging to raise $10,000 to provide life-saving heart surgery for one child.

Jennifer discovered her passion for volunteering as a child. During her time at AU, she developed a deeper commitment for community service and social justice work through her involvement with the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. It was her work with APO that sparked her motivation and interest in working with a non-profit organization.

Two years after graduating from AU, Jennifer moved to Israel, and after spending time getting acclimated to a new country, she realized that something was missing. “After graduation, I moved to Israel and for the first few years, I had to concentrate on building my life in a new country and community service was something I missed very much. [I decided] to interview for a position with Save A Child’s Heart and although I didn’t get the job, I fell in love with the organization and knew it was exactly the cause I’d been looking for.”

Jennifer is excited that she reached her goal of raising $10,000, but it admits that it wasn’t easy. “Asking for money, especially in more trying economic times, is not always easy or comfortable. But it’s also been incredibly moving to see how willing people still are to give, even in the midst of their own financial difficulties,” she says.

Save A Child’s Heart is an Israel-based international humanitarian project whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries, and to create centers of competence in these countries. SACH is dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation.

When asked what Jennifer enjoys most about working with SACH, Jennifer says, “What I find most amazing and inspiring about SACH is its transcendence of political conflict. As an American immigrant in Israel, I am proud to support an organization that treats children from all parts of the developing world. It’s not always easy to be optimistic about the future when you live in this part of the world, but it gives me hope to know that Israeli and Palestinian doctors and families are working together through SACH.”

Jennifer says that her experience with fundraising thus far has been very positive, and she hopes to turn it into a full-time career. On advice she would give to those who aspire to work in fundraising, she says, “My main advice is to find a cause you’re passionate about, whether you’re fundraising as a career or as a volunteer. If you’re inspired by the cause, you’ll be able to inspire others to contribute.”