Have You Met Barbara Murphy?
Believe you can move a mountain, and you can. And how many people does it take to make a difference? Just one. Get a room full of people who believe they can make a difference, and mountains will be moved.
As Co-Chair of this year’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Promise Ball, Barbara Murphy is a committed volunteer who believes that as a community, we can help accelerate the finding of a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
“I grew up with an older sister who was diagnosed with Type I at age seven. No one is ever fully prepared to accept the news that their son or daughter has just been diagnosed with a life-long malady. So, when our son Sean was diagnosed in 1997, at age five, we were devastated at the news, but determined to look at the positive side of how we were going to deal with this new way of life with him. I was fortunate to have had experience and some firsthand knowledge of type 1 diabetes, having grown up watching my sister’s struggle with the disease.
This resulted in my participation with the American Diabetes Association Walk/Ride For The Cure over the years. Today, I’m in my first year with JDRF. It is both challenging and rewarding to be part of the commitment to help facilitate through active fund-raising, campaigning and education, for finding a cure for Type 1. We live each day with this hope, and it will come!”
Barbara also reaches out to volunteer by helping the homeless of Phoenix. “I was fortunate to meet a Medical Doctor by the name of Sister Adele O’Sullivan, some eight years ago, who had a dream! ‘Circle the City’ was initiated, literally, as a ladies tea party and fund- raiser with a small handful of mothers’ willing to listen, people who believed they could make a difference. I just happened to be one of the original volunteers who got to help Sr. Adele make her dream a reality!”
During the past year their success story was the building of the new Medical Respite Centre, the first of its kind in Arizona to provide an invaluable service to the homeless. “It provides homeless men and women ‘a time and place to heal’ after they are discharged from local hospitals. Hopefully, it will provide them the opportunity to heal physically, socially, and emotionally, with resources that will help break the cycle of homelessness.”
Barbara continues, “If it is Tuesday, it is spaghetti night for the countless numbers of homeless in downtown Phoenix. Every Tuesday, my daughters and I go to Andre House to help in the preparation and serving of hundreds of meals to those in need. Andre House is an amazing ministry, an organization making a difference in the lives of people, everyday. It’s been a wonderful way for our kids to experience firsthand the joy of helping others as well as understanding how blessed our own lives are.
My husband and I have also had the opportunity to volunteer in supporting Scottsdale Health Foundation, a nonprofit hospital in Scottsdale. For years we have helped raise funds through an annual golf tournament and have also volunteered for the annual Health Care Gala Ball and Auction.”
Barbara was born in South Bend, Indiana and raised on the East coast. She has lived in many locales over the years, from the Mid West to Canada, but has called Arizona her home for the past 25 years. “I believe that home is where the family is!”
“They” say, that behind every successful man, is a dedicated woman. Barbara says “Behind this woman is a successful and very dedicated man! My husband Patrick is truly the strength and support behind whatever I do! He is the one who encouraged me to accept the Co-Chair invitation for The Promise Ball, and to help take it to the next level. Patrick has the business acumen and expertise that guides me in much of my non-profit activity.”
The theme for this year’s Promise Ball is “Making a Difference”, and this is what I am committed to doing in working with JDRF. For those who can share their time, volunteering is a wonderful and rewarding way to make a difference; for others, making a monetary donation is also a valuable way to make a difference. The bottom line is, we ALL need to get involved in some way in order for a cure to be found for Type 1!”
What are your local volunteer activities? Helping the homeless of Phoenix; working with un-wed mothers; Scottsdale Healthcare Fundraising, JDRF Promise Ball
Who inspired you to give back to your community? My husband
Which fundraising event is your favorite? JDRF Promise Ball of course!
Favorite restaurant? Tarbell's
Whom do you most admire, and why? Mother Theresa because I admired her unconditional love for humanity. She was completely selfless.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Meryl Streep
Do you have any pets? 3 Golden Retrievers – Tucker, Dusty and Wilson
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That this home was loved and “lived” in!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned through the years? I’ve learned that you have to give back to others in thanksgiving for all that we have.
What was your first job? Retail sales
What is your greatest indulgence? Getting out of Arizona for the summer
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My four children!
What is your most treasured possession? My family
What is the quality you most like in people? Honesty - Integrity
Favorite books/Writers? Murder mysteries; Catherine Coulter
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Insincerity - hollowness
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Reading, baking, going to the movies, Skiing and hiking
What is the best advice you have ever received? The very best advice I ever received was from my Dad, to live by the “Golden Rule”
What are some challenges facing nonprofits? In seven words…Build the relationship then, make the ask.
In 119 pages…Some fundraisers should have required reading…before proceeding. This book is valuable: Relationshift – Revolutionary Fundraising and Fundraising’s 20 most damaging myths by Michael Bassoff and Steve Chandler