It’s said the best gifts come in small packages. Small (and not-so-small) gifts given across several decades may be even better, adding up to make a difference in many lives.
Five Johns Hopkins All Children’s employees were recently honored for 30 years of ongoing contributions to the Employee Giving program, an annual campaign of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation. They’ve been contributing ever since Employee Giving started in 1987.
Most employees give through biweekly payroll deduction, so together these five longtime donors have made nearly 4,000 “small” gifts that add up to a big impact.
The program’s creation was inspired by hospital staff who wanted to support the hospital’s vision of creating healthy tomorrows for one child, for all children. As the number of total employees grew, so did the number of participants. Over the years, funding was used to create a garden outside of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the former hospital, to help build new facilities, or to help out wherever help was needed the most. These days, employees can choose to support an Employees Helping Families fund that provides gas cards, meal cards or other help for parents of hospitalized patients. Another recent choice is an Employees Helping Employees fund that provides small financial grants to employees facing a personal emergency. In the two months after Hurricane Irma, more than $90,000 from this fund was distributed to employees who faced a hardship as a result of the storm.
Why donate? In this season of giving, we asked these 30-year supporters why it’s the right thing to do.
Mary Stoft, Radiology Operations Manager
We work in an environment where we see proof that “it is through giving that we receive.” We are truly blessed to touch and be touched by so many lives. Over the years, I’ve used the services of the hospital for my children and then my grandchildren. Family friends have needed our help, too. There aren’t many people who get to spend their life’s work in one place—but this is not your ordinary place. It’s a place where miracles come true.
Monica Gray, Laboratory Manager
For me it’s about making a connection with the mission. From the start, Employee Giving shared videos and materials that helped those of us who don’t work directly with patients feel the connection. It was easy to become passionate about giving, and I’ve continued to seek ways to connect—like getting together with a group to cook dinner at Ronald McDonald House. My nephew was a cancer patient here for a few hundred days and eventually lost his fight. During his stay I saw that parents don’t leave their child’s bedside very easily, and there’s a great need for help with food and gas. I choose to leave my donation open to where it’s most needed. I have a great deal of trust and appreciation for those who manage this fund and know they’ll use it where it’s needed.
Mike Copeland, Buyer-Materials Management
Over the years I’ve had two personal experiences with the hospital care. A relative was successfully treated for leukemia here over 30 years ago. More recently, I know a family with two children who needed to spend lots of time here due to health conditions. Seeing how well those kids are doing today confirms that this hospital “works” and I’m happy to do what I can to be a part of that. I started giving from the beginning because I felt it was the right thing to do and as a way to show my gratitude for having this type of hospital in our community.
Pat Edwards-Hare, Dietitian
I give because it’s the right thing to do for the patients and for the hospital. As staff we see all that the patients need. If we don’t support giving, how can we expect our community to give? We have done so many wonderful things here at Johns Hopkins All Children’s over the last 30 years and I am proud to have been a part of that through my Employee Giving contributions.
Diane Kracht, Lab Operations Manager
I’ve seen many reasons to give. Early in my career I saw the care we gave to fragile triplets in the NICU and I knew I wanted to be part of that. A friend’s daughter began life here as a “preemie” and grew up to be a NICU nurse. When another friend’s child had open-heart surgery I saw the great care we provided. And a friend’s grandchild had a rare neuromuscular disease that required very expensive medications—costs that were covered by hospital donations and grants. Seeing all of the patients we have and care for, I feel blessed to have so rarely needed the hospital’s services for my children. So I am thankful and give back.
Approximately 35 percent of employees donate each year. Gray points out that some ask, “This place pays me … why would I pay them?” She believes that it’s all about getting the connection right. “When we can feel the connection we see time and time again that it all builds together. I’m proud to do my part.”
“The Employee Giving Program is such a great example of our culture at work,” says Jenine Rabin, executive vice president of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation. “Staff are going beyond their professional role and investing personally in a place that they love. It represents the compassion that staff have toward our patients and their families, their commitment to care for our patients and each other, and the dedication to our mission. The Foundation appreciates these donations and will always ensure we use them wisely them on behalf of our employee donors.”
Visit HopkinsAllChildrens.org/Foundation to support the hospital.