At DocuSign, part of our mission is supporting charitable organizations through our people, our product, and our profits. One such cause is March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works to provide vital healthcare services for moms and babies. Each year, approximately half a million babies are born prematurely or with birth defects in the U.S. alone. Since 1958, March of Dimes has been working to help improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality, and premature birth.
April is a big month for the nonprofit: They will be holding their annual “March for Babies.” All across the nation, marches and runs will be held in major cities to help raise funds for March of Dimes’ research and provide visibility to their cause.
We had the opportunity to speak with two individuals who have special ties to March of Dimes, and will be attending the March for Babies in their respective hometowns: Eric Brittain, an enterprise account manager for DocuSign, and Seth Hall, our KEY advocate and business sponsor at Philadelphia Insurance Companies. Coincidentally, Eric Brittain is also the account manager for Philadelphia Insurance Companies.
Eric shared the reason he became involved with March of Dimes: His son, five-and-a-half year old Kellen, was born at 26 weeks and weighed 2 pounds, 3 oz. “To give you an idea of how tiny he was, my wedding ring could fit over his foot and onto his leg. He also had bed side surgery (because he was too critical to move to OR) 16 hours after he was born. Ultimately, he was in the hospital for 72 days.”
“March of Dimes just hits home for us,” Brittain continued. “Their research helps prevent other babies from being born prematurely. You don’t really know what it’s all about until you have to experience it, but we’re grateful to have the research and their continued approach of ‘How do we prevent this from happening?’ Without that research, we would have been in the same position with our daughter, Ensley. The second time around, with weekly preventative shots and check-ups, Ensley was born only 5 weeks early and only spent 13 days in the hospital. This was a much better experience for all of us because of the March of Dimes. The real miracle of birth is actually being admitted and having a baby and leaving the hospital only two days later.”
Kellen, who turns six in June, has marched in the Minneapolis March for Babies each of the last 6 years. However, this year he was asked to be an ambassador for the march. He’s also fundraising for the organization, and is already halfway to his goal. If you’d like to help Kellen with his fundraising, you can visit his page here.
Seth Hall, SVP of customer service at Philadelphia Insurance Companies, is our KEY advocate and business sponsor. He was recently promoted to ChairPerson for the Philadelphia area March of Dimes, and has helped foster the connection between DocuSign IMPACT and March of Dimes.
“We started with DocuSign a year ago, said Hall. We began with small use cases and had great success early on. Then, we expanded a little more, then a little more. At this point, DocuSign has become somewhat of a verb in our company. I reached out to DocuSign about March of Dimes, because it’s such a great cause to support. The issue was raised through the appropriate chain of command until it reached the CEO. Everything is coming together so nicely. March of Dimes is a great organization to be attached to. It’s gotten to the point now where Dan Springer [DocuSign’s CEO] is taking a redeye to support the event.”
Hall originally became involved with the nonprofit when a friend of his had a baby who was born at 24 weeks. “The baby was 1 pound 9 oz. The mother had invited me out to the march. I came out and it was a wonderful event. I was very moved by it. I knew nothing about pre-term birth and the impact. While I was there I was thinking, ‘This is an impactful event.’ It would be great if we could add a run. So I started to ask around.”
By 2011 Hall organized the first March for Babies run. Seven years later, 5K and 10K runs are held in 18 different cities across the nation. Hall also helped organize a “Kids Fun Run.” The informal event is for ages 2-6 and will take place in Philadelphia. ”It’s such a cool experience for kids. Last year there were about 50 to 60 participants. We even had the volunteers dressed up as superheroes,” said Hall.
This year, we’re delighted to support March of Dimes. We’ll be attending the Philadelphia march as a silver sponsor, while looking for new ways to become involved in the coming year.
Philadelphia has a rapidly growing population of DocuSign employees and we will be wrapping a special IMPACT day into the event. Our Philadelphia and MidAtlantic employees are invited to bring their families to come out and support the march. Through our silver sponsorship, we will be given the opportunity to volunteer to assist with the event as well as to march together as an organization to support this important cause. We are looking forward to being able to introduce our families, and especially our children, to the March of Dimes as well as the philanthropy of DocuSign.
Hope to see you at the march!