SCAN Story: Jeff Bliss

Jeff Bliss, a SCAN of Northern Virginia Board alumnus, credits his personal relationship with founder, Dave Cleary, as the catalyst for his involvement with the organization. In engaging with Dave Cleary and SCAN’s small but mighty staff and volunteers, Jeff recognized the quality and diversity of those individuals, noting their varying occupations, educational backgrounds and life experiences. It was SCAN’s commitment to diversity combined with the joy each individual added to the organization that spurred Jeff’s years of service as a SCAN Board Member.

As a former Toast to Hope event chair and active Croquet Day and Toast to Hope supporter, Jeff contributed to the development of SCAN’s fundraising events over the past decade. Since becoming involved with the organization, Jeff has witnessed the numerous ways SCAN works to engage corporations, families, and friends in supporting the organization’s mission: to promote the well-being of children, improve parent-child relations and prevent child abuse and neglect. In understanding that not every individual has the same passion for aiding children and families, Jeff appreciates SCAN’s decision and ability to tailor its message to specific audiences. Though Jeff was an avid fan of SCAN’s previous golf fundraiser, Jeff believes SCAN successfully expanded the organization’s reach by introducing a family-friendly event- Croquet Day, incorporating a range of ages and skill-levels. After years of attendance at both Toast to Hope and Croquet Day, Jeff still eagerly anticipates both events. For Jeff, the friendly competitions during Toast to Hope’s live auction and on the croquet lawn are opportunities to support a cause he believes in and engage with the many outstanding individuals who have been drawn to and stayed with the organization over the years. In pairing a valuable cause with fun activities, Jeff believes SCAN is assured that individuals will return to SCAN’s fundraisers year after year.

In acknowledging the three T’s of philanthropy: time, talent and treasure, Jeff believes that SCAN remains a pillar of the community because it connects with people across all three areas: including local artists in the Toast to Hope auction highlights individual talents; the CASA program incorporates individuals looking to donate time; and SCAN’s inclusive practice of acknowledging monetary gifts ranging from less than $99 to $20,000+ demonstrates the organization’s appreciation of all financial contributions.

Since leaving SCAN’s Board, Jeff continues to be an active supporter of SCAN – sharing relevant studies and articles with staff, recruiting new volunteers and donors, and participating in SCAN-sponsored events. Jeff remains personally involved with SCAN because SCAN’s mission and the people who carry out the work are inspiring. In encouraging others to get involved, Jeff highlights the importance of both, as he believes it is easier to continually donate time, talent or treasure if you are invested in the organization and those carrying out the mission.