In this season of thanksgiving, we reflect upon our gifts and the people who make them. We consider what compels donors to support the Medical University of South Carolina and how their gifts improve the lives of strangers.
We also realize, in this time of contemplation, how varied are the reasons that people choose to support our mission and how diverse are our donors themselves. From business leaders to former patients and grateful family members, donors bring a diversity of perspectives – and they come in every size.
We recently spent an afternoon with some of our smallest donors, students at Pepperhill Elementary School who collected nearly $750 in change for the MUSC Children’s Hospital. Pepperhill in North Charleston is a Title I school, meaning that three out of four of its children qualify for free or reduced lunches. Yet these students chose to put aside their own spare change in hopes that they could make life a little better for other kids.
“The reason why I gave is the children who are sick, to help them,” said fourth-grader Cherish Mitchell. “They’re not any different than us after all.”
Cherish and her schoolmates, some as young as 4, dropped coins in classroom jars throughout October. When the final tallies came in, Children’s Hospital Associate Director of Special Events Amanda Mahaffey brought in pizza and cookies for the three classes that collected the most.
“Thank you guys so much,” she told them, as she wheeled in a cart loaded with goodies one recent Friday. “Every cent counts and is helping the kids at the MUSC Children’s Hospital.”
In fact, their gift and the gifts of students across the Lowcountry helped surpass this year’s goal. The money raised benefits the general fund, meaning it will help the Children’s Hospital projects that need it most urgently. The Pepperhill kids liked that idea best of all.
“Our teacher said the class that raised the most money gets a party, but it’s not about the party,” said fourth-grader Davion Bellinger. “I did it for the kids.”
For his gift, and for the motivation behind it, we are thankful.
With gratitude, we wish you a very happy holiday.
Allyson Bird, Amanda Crocker and Vivian Ivory
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