Location: Columbus, Ga.
At the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Aflac Cancer Center, children walk the halls wearing stacks of beaded necklaces. Each bead, provided through the organization Beads of Courage, represents a procedure that the child went through, giving the kids a sense of ownership and progress as they undergo their treatments. The program at this center is solely funded by a coin drive started by James Mailman, a field liaison manager for Aflac (No. 132). Mailman, whose wife is a cancer survivor, wanted to do something for the children he had seen going through rough treatment protocols, just as his wife had endured. “When you see a small child—I mean a little baby—having chemotherapy going through their veins, it’s hard to imagine.”
Each year, the drive raises $12,000 for the Beads of Courage program, plus extra funding that goes toward the Cancer Center’s wish list. One year, the overflow money went towards buying a rocking chair for every hospital room after Mailman heard about a grandfather who wasn’t allowed to hold his grandson because nurses were afraid he’d drop the baby. Another year, the extra money went to a foosball table for the older kids. Since 2004, Mailman has raised more than $262,000 for the center.