When my husband, Mark, retired from the USAF (United States Air Force) he got a super job with a company whose president is the founder of the non-profit organization, That Others May Live. When I first heard of the charity, my heart skipped a beat and I got goose-bumps. The charity provides post-secondary educational assistance to children who lost a parent in a USAF Personnel Recovery training or operational mission. A very worthy cause. I provided the president with my resume and shortly after, became the first full-time employee of the foundation in existence since 2002.
Mark worked in the search and rescue/personnel recovery career field for 21 years and is my inspiration for my involvement with this charity. Because of his career, we have come to know many of the families affected with the loss of a parent, which makes my job very personal and meaningful. I find it important to give back to the families who have lost someone while they attempted to save a life. That is incredibly inspirational to me.
While Mark was deployed I was bored to tears. I missed him so much and needed to find something to occupy my lonely weekends and time away from work. So, as I developed my skills in making gifts for friends, I also started my business, Laura Loo Creations. As it stands now, working full time for the foundation allows me to raise money for the foundation, while also providing a means of giving personal and custom gifts for my clients. They agree to pay a little more than my asking price and I kick back portions of the proceeds to the Foundation. I ensure that the receiver of the jewelry item is aware that the charity benefitted from the purchase of their gift by putting a sticker on the back of my card thanking them for the purchase and listing the website www.thatothersmaylive.org.
Laura and Mark Lerdall
A note to 'That Others Might Live', the USAF Search and Rescue organization. I was associated with them, as a developer of a support system, for many years. Truly dedicated people that do not get the recognition that they deserve. Very much akin to the US Coast Guard, whose motto is that you have to go out, you do not have to return', in rescue cases.
- Morton Friedman