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Meet the people who make a difference

David Blake

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MDRT Foundation volunteers have a far-reaching impact for those most in need.

Since it was founded in 1959, the MDRT Foundation has relied on members to be its backbone, providing priceless volunteer hours serving on the Foundation’s Board and committees, vetting charity partners, attending service projects or being advocates for the mission.

The passion of members fuels the mission to give funds to worthwhile charitable organizations throughout the world. This year, the Foundation created a Giving Committee composed of four task forces dedicated to raising funds and engaging members and industry partners to support the global grant programs: Inner Circle, Corporate Sponsor, Fall Fundraising and Spring Phonathon. Get acquainted with a few of the Foundation’s 2018 Giving Committee members.

Ana Sofia Rodriguez, MBA
Why did you get involved with the Foundation?
My son, Sebastian, was born two months before I was invited to be a Trustee for the Board. I saw it as an opportunity to give back for the amazing blessing I had just welcomed in my life.

What is your favorite Foundation moment?
Every year, I look forward to the Annual Meeting and the presentation of the charitable organization chosen to be our partner. MDRT members embrace and collaborate enthusiastically with these charities every year.

What does the Foundation mean to you?
A vehicle for good all around the world.

Tell us about the most recent grant you received.
The grant was for Ronald McDonald House in Panama. They are working on an expansion project to be able to provide accommodations for more families with children receiving medical attention in the nearby Children’s Hospital.

Ana Sofia Rodriguez is a 12-year MDRT member from Panama City, Panama. She is the 2018 Fall Fundraising Task Force Board liaison. Contact her at

Samuel B. Baldwin, CFP
Why did you get involved with the Foundation?
I was moved by what I saw on Main Platform at an Annual Meeting. I was motivated to volunteer and start giving. I have volunteered at Give Kids the World and helped with the playground build with KaBOOM! through the Foundation.

What is your favorite Foundation moment?
Handing a check to the founder of the charity I endorsed for a grant. It was to send kids in the Camden, New Jersey area to a leadership camp run by Steve’s Club. This organization helps kids learn about exercise, nutrition and the power of positive choices and thinking.

What does the Foundation mean to you?
Because of the global nature of our organization, and the values set forth in the Foundation’s mission, it means the dollars I donate have a far-reaching impact to those most in need.

Tell us about the most recent grant you received.
Most recently, I was able to present a $3,000 grant check to New Life Home Furnishing based out of Walpole, Massachusetts.

Samuel Baldwin is an 11-year MDRT member from Sudbury, Massachusetts. He is a 2018 Corporate Sponsor Task Force Board liaison. Contact him at

Helen Jayne West, APFS
Why did you get involved with the Foundation?
To give back to others through an organized group.

What is your favorite Foundation moment?
Collecting shoes and helping to bag up food during service projects. Most recently, it was meeting the children and families at the Foundation’s Give Kids the World Village service project in Orlando, Florida.

What does the Foundation mean to you?
An opportunity for the members in our organization to work together and do more for the countries in which we live and work, reaching out to others less fortunate.

Tell us about the most recent grant you received.
I received a grant for the YMCA Plymouth to help with educating young people about money.

Helen West is an 18-year MDRT member from Plymouth, England. She is a 2018 Inner Circle Task Force member. Contact her at

David C. Blake
Why did you get involved with the Foundation?
The Foundation provided me the opportunity to make a difference in the world and to give back in recognition of the life I’m so fortunate to live.

What is your favorite Foundation moment?
It’s not an easy answer, but I think the Food Angel service project preparing meals for the elderly in Kowloon, China, was something I’ll never forget. I met so many MDRT members from around the world who’ve become lifelong friends. Also, it helped me appreciate the privileged lives we lead in our country and helped me understand what people can do when they choose to make a difference.

What does the Foundation mean to you?
The Foundation gives me the opportunity to be a more well-rounded person and provides a pathway to help people in need who care just as much about their families and futures, but don’t have access to resources.

Tell us about the most recent grant you received.
This year, I was able to secure a grant for Friends of Firefighters, a Brooklyn, New York-based charity that provides confidential mental health and wellness counseling to New York City firefighters. The money provided by MDRT helped this charity set up a satellite location, expanding its capacity to provide firefighters a safe environment to seek help to emotionally handle what they see on a regular basis.

David Blake is a 17-year MDRT member from Harrison, New York. He is a Corporate Sponsor Task Force member. Contact him at


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