Mission and Vision in Action

Mission and Vision in Action; Burn Survivor Karen Colligan Explains How Serving is About Giving & Receiving

Karen Colligan

Service to survivors and loved ones in the name of healing has always been at the heart of what the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is about: Building a Community for Transformational Healing. Community members receive support no matter their stage of healing. Through their presence and actions, they also offer support to others. As the organization continues to grow and refine the ways we live out our mission and vision, we are constantly inspired by the giving-in-action which brings the mission and vision to life.

Phoenix Society Board of Directors member Karen Colligan tells us more about this giving and receiving, embodying this vision in action.

After helping to bring Phoenix World Burn Congress to her local area of San Francisco in 2000, Karen joined the Board in March 2014, willing to do whatever she could to help the burn community. "As a burn survivor who was burned 50+ years ago I did not have resources available to me, nor did my family.  To be part of the continued effort to assist the burn community fills my soul."

Karen brings insight from her personal experience as a survivor, but she also brings professional expertise. "I am the founder of PeopleThink which focuses on leadership and team development. There is a direct correlation to the two efforts (professional and board member) in terms of creating processes to have people see new possibilities and achieve their full potential."

As a Board member, focused knowledge and investment in the organization's mission are part of her role. Yet it is how she is personally moved and impacted that tells the deeper story of how our community members - board members included - are the heart and soul of all we do:

"I see the Phoenix Society's vision/mission as the lead for everything the organization does.  Every program, every decision, every process developed looks at "how can we help our burn community."  The priorities never waiver.  It is a pure joy to see the relentless focus on our constituency."

2016 Phoenix World Burn Congress again brought these priorities to life for Karen. "As a burn survivor when I attend WBC I am completely amazed that I can be impacted so deeply. . . I was burned many years ago and yet I learn so much at every WBC." Finding inspiration in many corners, from keynote speakers to the massage therapists who donated their time, Karen was sure to express her gratitude. "As I went around to thank each of them for what they were contributing every one of them thanked me for having them participate. It is human kindness at its finest.

"I am forever grateful for what I have received from the Phoenix Society. I signed up to 'give back' and I have gotten way more than I could ever give!"

Looking ahead, Karen describes where the organization and community are growing: 

"The Phoenix Society is in a huge growth mode and will have the ability to help even more people who we have not yet been able to touch. As we all know, burn injury knows no boundaries and the more programs we can make available, and the more people we can touch, the better off we will all be." 

With the dedicated service of so many survivors and leaders we will together bring this Vision forward:

Uniting the voice of the burn community across the globe to profoundly advance lifelong healing, optimal recovery, and burn prevention into action every step of the way.


Learn more about our Vision in Action

About Karen Colligan

Karen Colligan is a burn survivor and Vice President of the Phoenix Society's Board of Directors. She is also the Founder & Principal of People Think, located in San Francisco, CA. Karen is a recognized expert in leadership, team and organizational effectiveness.

Learn more about Karen's story and expertise during her keynote address at Phoenix World Burn Congress 2017!  And don't miss Karen's newest blog post - Don't Give Up, Give Back!


This article is an excerpt from the Phoenix Society's 2017 Spring Newsletter.
The Phoenix Society, Inc.® • 1835 R W Berends Dr. SW • Grand Rapids, MI 49519-4955 • 800.888.2876 • http://www.phoenix-society.org

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Recent Comments

Pearl    Moderate:
7:18pm - Jul 16, 2017

Its so beautiful to find a group of individuals who have the longing to help humanity. I am inspired by this post and that of other survivors. May you all be blessed abundantly. I have learnt a lot about giving. Thank you!