By Kevin Harwerth
It’s an online world these days. You can buy groceries, clothes, cars and more online—and you can make gifts, small or large, to support worthy causes and charitable institutions all over the world.
Jennifer and Christopher Brown are used to making online gifts because of the convenience, and they didn’t have to look all over the world to find the place to make their most recent online contribution of $100,000. Texas Children’s Hospital was the very grateful recipient of this wonderful gift—the largest online donation the hospital has ever received—to the Heal Sick Children campaign. (The average gift through the hospital’s “Ways to Give” website is just over $100).
The Browns are parents of two wonderful children, but they had never visited Texas Children’s or had occasion to need its services. So when Jennifer’s friend—hospital volunteer Beth Wolff—invited her to tour the hospital and learn more about it, she agreed but didn’t expect that her reaction would be quite as strong as it was.
“Of course living in Houston, we always knew about Texas Children’s,” she said, “but it wasn’t until I visited there and learned more about the hospital that we realized what a jewel it is and how fortunate our community is to have such an amazing place right in our own back yard.”
During her visit, Brown met with Dr. Mark Kline, physician-in-chief, and was very impressed by his leadership and vision for the hospital. He described the hospital’s three current priorities—the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s maternity center and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus—and talked about how each of them is being constructed to enhance the care we provide to the patients and families who come to us for help.
After her meeting with Kline, Brown had an opportunity to tour the hospital and see firsthand the outstanding care each patient receives. “It was so clear that the programs at Texas Children’s have a tremendous reach to children and families throughout our community,” she noted.
She was moved by what she saw at the hospital, but the Browns are diligent about learning as much as possible about the charities they support and, before making their gift, they did some additional research using a web site that evaluates non-profit organizations and helps potential donors make informed decisions about their giving.
Like every contribution the hospital receives, this gift that winged its way through cyberspace and set a new record at Texas Children’s Hospital will be put to good use. “All of us at Texas Children’s are tremendously grateful to the Browns for their generosity and for their willingness to help us heal sick children,” said Kline.